Thursday, April 21, 2011

Inception

Star Trek: The Original Series: Inception by S.D. Perry and Britta Dennison
Published February 2010
Read April 19th, 2011


Previous book (The Original Series): Troublesome Minds
Next book (The Original Series): Unspoken Truth


Click the book cover to purchase Inception at Amazon.com!




Spoilers ahead for Inception!


From the back cover:
As man expands beyond explored space, the need to find a way to make inhospitable planets hospitable grows greater.  One young biologist, Carol Marcus, has a project she is convinced can reshape planets.  She puts together a team of young, committed scientists who dare to dream as she does: of a Federation remade so hunger is eradicated, where every world can be reshaped into a paradise.  The belief that all things are possible, that man can strive to conquer space not with force but with science, is shared by James Kirk, a young starfleet officer and her lover.
Leila Kalomi, a renowned botanist, is looking for a new direction.  After hearing about Marcus's project, she applies for a position.  She finds Carol's passion contagious, and a chance encounter with the Enterprise's science officer, Spock, convinces her to join Project: Inception.
Four people just trying to find the balance between their careers and their personal lives, trying to make the right choice not just for themselves but for the betterment of all mankind.  The choices they make will rewrite the history of the Federation and change forever how man explores space.



About the novel:
Inception tells the story of a young Dr. Carol Marcus and an even younger Leila Kalomi as they work together on a project designed to improve soil for greater crop yields.  Dr. Marcus is involved with a young Starfleet Commander, James T. Kirk, first officer of the USS Mizuki, while Kalomi finds herself drawn to a Vulcan science officer, Spock, of the USS Enterprise.

Leila has just been the victim of a rather nasty break-up with her boyfriend, and during a period of loneliness and vulnerability, falls in love with Spock.  Meanwhile, Dr. Marcus discovers that she is pregnant and finds herself unable to tell Kirk.  She recognizes that he is so in love with the Starfleet life that if he were to leave it to be with Carol and the baby, he would end up being miserable.  Carol decides to keep the news to herself.  Meanwhile, Leila comes to realize that Mr. Spock does not share her feelings, and has her heart broken once again.

All of this is set against the backdrop of the experiments that Carol is performing with her team on Mars.  The leader of an environmental group ("Redpeace") is opposed to the experiments, believing that they will permanently alter the Martian environment.  The entire novel becomes an argument between progress and environmentalism.  Acting on behalf of the "environmentalists," a young ideologue sabotages the experiment, which threatens to release a large amount of toxic and destructive chemical into the Martian environment.  The experiment was, of course, initially very benign, and it is only due to this interference that it becomes a threat.  Thanks to Spock's ingenuity and Kirk's leadership, the crisis is averted by Starfleet.

My thoughts:
Prior to reading this novel, I read a few reviews on the internet, as well as posted my plan to read this novel (as well as three others) on TrekBBS.  One poster, Thrawn, stated the following in response:


In order of awesome:

Reap The Whirlwind
Vendetta
Unworthy
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Inception

The review for this novel at Trekmovie.com (found here) was fairly scathing, citing the novel as "fail(ing) on nearly every level", and I thought I might skip this book altogether.  However, being a completist, I had to read it.  I suppose you could chalk my reaction up to "lowered expectations."  I think because I wasn't expecting much, I actually enjoyed the book quite a bit.  I thought that the authors captured Kirk's and Spock's voices quite well, and often heard Shatner's delivery in my head as I read.  I do agree with some reviewers that Leila came across as way too needy and desperate, but having been forewarned, it didn't grate on me as much as it might have otherwise. Also, it was an incredibly fast read; I don't think I've ever before blown through a novel, Star Trek or not, in less than two days.


Final Thoughts:
As I said, my impression of this book may have been coloured by the fact that my expectations were lowered before reading it.  However, I think it was a competent outing for S.D. Perry and Britta Dennison, although not particularly groundbreaking.  My final score for Inception would have to be a 6/10.  However, I am a very forgiving person.

More about Inception:



Also by S.D. Perry & Britta Dennison:

Star Trek: Terok Nor: Night of the Wolves (2008)
Star Trek: Terok Nor: Dawn of the Eagles (2008)


My next read:
The next novel I will be reading is Star Trek: Voyager: Unworthy by Kirsten Beyer, a book in the Voyager relaunch, set after the television series.  Stay tuned!