Thursday, December 31, 2015

Trek Lit 2015: Year in Review

Another year gone. 2015 has passed us by, leaving us with twelve months of Star Trek novels to talk about! So, how was 2015 Trek-book wise? Not bad, it turns out, not bad at all!

We got some great stories this year, spanning the length and breadth of the Star Trek universe. Beginning with a stellar Deep Space Nine novel, The Missing by the supremely talented Una McCormack, the year started off strong and never let up. Takedown by John Jackson Miller was another highlight of the year, along with the continuation of the Rise of the Federation series with Christopher L. Bennett's Uncertain Logic.

Other exciting highlights of the year included a top-notch TOS five-year-mission adventure, Crisis of Consciousness by Dave Galanter, the continuations of the missions of both the Sagittarius and the Endeavour with books 3 and 4 of Seekers, an autobiography by Starfleet's most legendary captain, a reprise of New Frontier with Peter David's The Returned trilogy, another entry in the terrific Voyager series by Kirsten Beyer, and the much-anticipated telling of the Ascendants story in Deep Space Nine: Sacraments of Fire by David R. George III.

2015's lineup of e-book exclusive novellas was a little less varied than last year, with most of the slots taken up by New Frontier's trilogy. With that said, we got a very interesting TOS story early in the year with Scott Harrison's Shadow of the Machine. I have long been a proponent of the e-book exclusives because it means we get more Trek! Keep 'em coming, Pocket Books!

In my personal life, the past year has been a productive one. The move back to my hometown of Grande Prairie was ultimately a good one, with a much more stable and valued employment than I had last year in Calgary! I miss many of my friends back in Calgary, but such is the nature of life, unfortunately. I have had the good fortune of making many friends from all around the world, with people I care about on every continent on Earth (yes, even Antarctica - Hi, Jamie and Shannon!). It's sad to have to leave them, but I hope for many more reunions to come!

The past year has seen me co-hosting the Literary Treks podcast on Trek.fm with Matthew Rushing. I joined the team there late in 2014, and it has been an incredible experience! We talk about Star Trek books and comics, often with the authors involved in their creation. We have interviewed Trek scribes such as Dayton Ward, David Mack, Peter David, Kirsten Beyer, and many more! Head over to Trek.fm and check out their slate of podcasts, covering the entire Star Trek universe and beyond.

Outside of the book world, I've launched another new project: Kertrats Productions, a YouTube channel that I hope to soon fill with tons of interesting content! There's not much there now, just a quick reaction/review I did for the new Star Trek Beyond trailer, but keep an eye out for much more to follow! I am hoping to do a show around Star Trek books and novels, but the scope of the project is much larger than that. Stay tuned for more!



With that, let's look at the books that we reviewed here at Trek Lit Reviews this past year. This was a banner year here at Trek Lit Reviews, with a new book review posted nearly every single week! More books were reviewed this year than any other year before. Below you'll find the list of all of them, along with links to those reviews.

New releases are in bold and marked with an asterisk.


January

Unity by S.D. Perry (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
*The Missing by Una McCormack (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
Dark Mirror by Diane Duane (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Cardassia: The Lotus Flower by Una McCormack (Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
Andor: Paradigm by Heather Jarman (Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)








February

*Takedown by John Jackson Miller (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Slings and Arrows, Book 1: A Sea of Troubles by J. Steven York & Christina F. York
Trill: Unjoined by Michael A. Martin & Andy Mangels (Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)









March

*Savage Trade by Tony Daniel (Star Trek: The Original Series)
*Shadow of the Machine by Scott Harrison (Star Trek: The Original Series)
Slings and Arrows, Book II: The Oppressor's Wrong by Phaedra M. Weldon (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Bajor: Fragments and Omens by J. Noah Kym (Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)








April

*Rise of the Federation: Uncertain Logic by Christopher L. Bennett (Star Trek: Enterprise)
Slings and Arrows, Book III: The Insolence of Office by William Leisner (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
The Riddled Post by Aaron Rosenberg (Star Trek: S.C.E. #9)
Here There Be Monsters by Keith R.A. DeCandido (Star Trek: S.C.E. #10)
Ambush by Dave Galanter and Greg Brodeur (Star Trek: S.C.E. #11)
Some Assembly Required by Scott Ciencin and Dan Jolley (Star Trek: S.C.E. #12)
Ferenginar: Satisfaction is Not Guaranteed by Keith R.A. DeCandido (Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
Slings and Arrows, Book IV: That Sleep of Death by Terri Osborne (Star Trek: The Next Generation)



May


The Dominion: Olympus Descending by David R. George III (Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
*Crisis of Consciousness by Dave Galanter (Star Trek: The Original Series)
Slings and Arrows, Book V: A Weary Life by Robert Greenberger (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Slings and Arrows, Book VI: Enterprises of Great Pitch and Moment by Keith R.A. DeCandido (Star Trek: The Next Generation)







June

*Armageddon's Arrow by Dayton Ward (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Warpath by David Mack (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
*Return to Tomorrow: The Filming of Star Trek: The Motion Picture by Preston Neal Jones
Fearful Symmetry by Olivia Woods (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)











July

The Soul Key by Olivia Woods (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
*Sacraments of Fire by David R. George III (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
*The Returned, Part 1 by Peter David (Star Trek: New Frontier)
Mere Anarchy: Things Fall Apart by Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore (Star Trek)










August

Reunion by Michael Jan Friedman (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
*Long Shot by David Mack (Star Trek: Seekers #3)
*The Returned, Part 2 by Peter David (Star Trek: New Frontier)
No Surrender by Jeff Mariotte (Star Trek: S.C.E. #13)
The Best and the Brightest by Susan Wright (Star Trek: The Next Generation)









September

*Atonement by Kirsten Beyer (Star Trek: Voyager)
*The Returned, Part 3 by Peter David (Star Trek: New Frontier)
Mere Anarchy: The Centre Cannot Hold by Mike W. Barr (Star Trek)











October

*The Autobiography of James T. Kirk by David A. Goodman
Caveat Emptor by Ian Edginton and Mike Collins (Star Trek: S.C.E. #14)
*Sight Unseen by James Swallow (Star Trek: Titan)
Mere Anarchy: Shadows of the Indignant by Dave Galanter (Star Trek)
The Q Continuum, Book 1 of 3: Q-Space by Greg Cox (Star Trek: The Next Generation #47)









November

Past Life by Robert Greenberger (Star Trek: S.C.E. #15)
*All That's Left by Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore (Star Trek: Seekers #4)
Mere Anarchy: The Darkness Drops Again by Christopher L. Bennett (Star Trek)
The Q Continuum, Book 2 of 3: Q-Zone by Greg Cox (Star Trek: The Next Generation #48)
Oaths by Glenn Hauman (Star Trek S.C.E. #16)









December

*Child of Two Worlds by Greg Cox (Star Trek: The Original Series)
Mere Anarchy: The Blood-Dimmed Tide by Howard Weinstein (Star Trek)
Mere Anarchy: Its Hour Come Round by Margaret Wander Bonanno (Star Trek)
The Q Continuum, Book 3 of 3: Q-Strike by Greg Cox (Star Trek: The Next Generation #49)










Best Trek novel of 2015:

Once again, picking the best Star Trek novel of 2015 was a difficult task. There were many great novels this year! Runners-up included the excellent Crisis of Consciousness by Dave Galanter, Atonement by Kirsten Beyer, Uncertain Logic by Christopher L. Bennett, and Armageddon's Arrow by Dayton Ward. All of these were excellent books, and gave the winning novel quite the run for its money.

However, the best Star Trek novel of the year is awarded to:

Star Trek: Titan: Sight Unseen by James Swallow!

While reading Sight Unseen, it struck me that the novel featured a lot of what I want in a good Star Trek story. An interesting alien race, an ominous threat, using and building upon ideas and themes that came before in canon Trek; all of these were present in this novel. Combined with Swallow's excellent storytelling, Sight Unseen hit all of the right notes. Capped off with an incredibly emotional climax and coda, the novel featured excellent growth and development for the Titan crew and made me want more! What more can you ask of a great Star Trek novel?

Titan: Sight Unseen by New York Times Bestselling Author James Swallow: The best Trek novel of 2015!


Let's take a look ahead at what we can expect for Trek literature in 2016, the 50th anniversary of Star Trek!

First off is the long-awaited conclusion to the Ascendants story arc, put on pause for far too long after 2009's The Soul Key: It's Ascendance by David R. George III! This novel has just been released, look for my review soon.

February's novel sees the continuation of the Voyager post-series story with A Pocket Full of Lies by Kirsten Beyer. Looking forward to this one! Speculation that it ties in the with epic two-parter "Year of Hell" makes this novel one not to miss!

Also in February is an e-book exclusive TOS story: Miasma by Greg Cox. Taking place in the movie-era aboard the Enterprise-A, this story features one of my favorite characters: Saavik!

March features a new TOS five year mission story by James Swallow: The Latter Fire. I'm excited for this one as Swallow is one of my favorite Trek writers working right now. Here's hoping for another classic from him!

April brings us the next story in Christopher L. Bennett's Rise of the Federation series: Live By the Code. Continuing the threads begun in Uncertain Logic, Live by the Code brings the Klingons into the picture as Archer and his former crew work to prevent war between the Klingon Empire and the young Federation.

May's novel is one that I'm particularly excited about. Dayton Ward's From History's Shadow was one of my favorite novels in recent years, and this month's book is a follow-up: Elusive Salvation.

June features a "buddy movie" team up with O'Brien and Nog: Deep Space Nine: Force and Motion.

July kicks off with the first book in a new trilogy celebrating the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. Author Greg Cox brings us Legacies, Book I: Captain to Captain.

Also this month is another e-book exclusive story, this time once again featuring Quark in a Ferengi adventure: Rules of Accusation by Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdman.

August features book two in the Legacies trilogy: Best Defense by David Mack, while the third book, Purgatory's Key by Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore, follows in September.

October, November, and December bring us yet another trilogy, this time set in the post-Nemesis Next Generation time period. John Jackson Miller, author of many Star Wars novels and the excellent TNG: Takedown, writes all three volumes of the TNG: Prey trilogy.

You can check out all of the new releases for 2016 by clicking here. You can also pre-order all of them from Amazon! Links are provided on the new releases page.

I've had a wonderful year here at Trek Lit Reviews bringing you all the news and reviews of Trek novels in 2015! While 2016 may feature a drop in the number of reviews I do, rest assured that I will still be bringing you reviews of every new novel as well as reviews of many more! And keep an eye out for interesting video content from Kertrats Productions as the year goes on.














Here's to an amazing 2016, and a wonderful 50th anniversary for this franchise
that we all love so much!

As always, live long and prosper, and don't forget to be awesome!