Saturday, 16 January 2021

Wagon Train to the Stars (Star Trek New Earth #1)

AuthorDiane Carey
First Published: 1999
File size/Pages: 1225KB / 265pp
Ebook Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Ebook Date: July 2012

Continuing my 2021 Challenge, the next book is the first in the Star Trek miniseries New Earth. Written by Diane Carey and published in 1999, this series deals with the exodus of humans bent on settling a new colony far from Federation and Starfleet control, in the star system known as Occult.

The New Earth series was devised to be solely concerned with The Original Series (TOS) crew of the Enterprise, unlike other miniseries that had gone before which flitted across the various time periods of the Trek universe. John Ordover, editor of the licensed novels between 1992 and 2003, devised the concept from his own reaction to the television series, Voyager. He was dissatisfied with the lack of Voyager's crew having any 'turf' to defend other than their own ship. He wondered what kind of stories could come out of a colony being settled far outside the common galaxy or from Earth's influence, yet having a Starfleet crew and ship assigned to protect that settlement and also expand the Federation's reach from that new home base. There is a widely believed story that Gene Rodenberry, creator of Star Trek, when touting the idea of the new series described it as "Wagon Train to the Stars". This was Pocket Books chance to carry out that theme in fiction format.

Diane Carey is an American author born in 1954. She began her career writing romance novels under the pen name of Lydia Gregory. Now best known for her works in the Star Trek universes, she wrote two of the inaugral books in the Trek lines, Broken Bow for Star Trek: Enteprise, and Ghost Ship for Star Trek The Next Generation. By 1999 she had many Trek books already under her wing and went on to author (or co-author) three of the six New Earth installments.

Monday, 4 January 2021

Jedi Twilight (Star Wars Coruscant Nights #1)

: Michael Reaves (James Michael Reaves)
First Published: 2008
File size/Pages: 596KB / 188pp
Ebook Publisher: Cornerstone Digital
Ebook Date: Oct 2012

For the first entry in my 2021 Challenge, I decided to choose the first novel in the Star Wars Coruscant Nights trilogy, Jedi Twilight, written by Michael Reaves. As I've previously said in my review of Heirs of the Force (Star Wars Young Jedi Knights #1) I have a problem with the Star Wars expanded universe books. 

I don't find reading about the adventures of Luke, Leia or Han Solo that engaging. Added to this, in my eyes no other villains can match up to the gravitas of Darth Vader or The Emporer. I've tried over the years, but it just hasn't worked out for me. So, when I decided to choose Star Wars EU as one of the 2021 Challenges, I had to pick carefully. To be honest, it was a toss up between this trilogy and the X-Wing series (mainly because I do not believe either of them feature any of the holy trinity) and this one came out on top.

And this is where it pains me to have to admit that I have actually read this book in the past. I have no idea what came to mind, but as I was about halfway through the novel I started to get a strange sense of deja vu. [It's now rather embarrassing to read my blog of Splinter of the Mind's Eye in November 2019 and realise I remembered reading it back when I wrote that blog entry, but not 12 month's later - I must be getting old!]. Anyway, suffice to say, I read the whole book through - this review isn't conceived from a long distant memory.

Michael Reaves was born James Michael in America in 1950. His work spans many mediums including film, television, tie-in novels, children's books and original short and long fiction. Beginning in the 1980s he has written for an impressive number of animated shows. His script contributions span numerous series such as Batman, Spiderman, Conan, He-Man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers, Ghostbusters, Superman, Godzilla, Droids and Ewoks as well as many others. He is also no slouch when it comes to live action; series such as Swamp Thing, Star Trek The Next Generation, Captain Power, The Twilight Zone and even Father Dowling Mysteries commissioned his work.