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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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08/10/2004 Archived Entry: "Trek book review: A Time to Love"

Star Trek
A Time to Love Ė Book 5
By: Robert Greenberger
Published by: Pocket Books (a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.)
Visit: http://www.simonsays.com/st
*available as a downloadable eBook!

Review by Kathy LaFollett

Itís a testament to the authors and cooperative publishing effort behind this series that I never noticed I had read out of sync with the book releases. My last read was Book 3. Not paying attention, I opened Book 5 and jumped right into the storyline. It was then (through the sharp eye of my husband, who now is reading the series) I realized that I was missing Book 1 and Book 4. Simon and Schuster were generous enough to immediately accommodate the missing books this week. Iíll be submitting this review today, and backtracking to 1 and 4 to pick up the storyline. But as the series is written and the authors support their peers within the life of the Enterprise crew it amazes me that in release order or out, the books flourish and offer excellent reading and imaginative scenarios.

Book 5 introduces us to the Bader and Dorset races. Normally highly aggressive with each other to the point of warring, they join forces to colonize a planet, Delta Sigma IV. The success of the shared coop planet becomes a testament to Federation interspecies cooperation. But all is not well on Delta Sigma IV. Is it something in the air? A once cooperative and friendly interspecies existence is threatened by extinction. Enter Kyle Riker, father of Will Riker. Kyle Riker sent by the Federation to study and search out the escalating violence and fighting discovers an existing gas on the planet that will, by sheer compounding attrition bring extinction to the Bader and Dorset lineage within a few generations.

Emerging violence and chaos is visited on a once peaceful planet, and the very people it threatens, unfamiliar with such matters calls upon the Federation to solve and cure the threat. Picard and crew, still under the dark political angst of the Federation Politicos arrives to pick up where Kyle Riker left off, and succinctly disappeared somewhere on the face of Delta Sigma IV. Commander Riker is forced to confront the reality that his own estranged father may be held responsible for the catastrophic threats, while Picard and crew are pushed to the very limits of their talents and fortitude in maintaining safety, security, and leadership among a clueless Congress of Delta Sigma IV.

Yes, it does smack of current political goings-on here in the US. But thatís another dissertation.

A Time to Love offers a great read. I was pulled into the storyline and character struggles immediately. Antagonists and protagonists exist on multiple levels while intermingling to the very end of the story development. This is murder mystery, science fiction, human (and alien) struggles, and action all wrapped up in one very well written sequel within the series. A Time to Love carries the format of puzzles and mystery with a twist at the end. It left me thinking, ďOh ya! THATíS the answer!Ē with regards to the impending doom of the Bader and Dorset races and how it should be solved.

The core storylines found in the original Star Trek for me has always been the logic puzzle. The riddle found in the middle of a mess, if you will. James Kirk would find himself and his crew on a planet amongst foreigners faced with what seems to be an insurmountable puzzle. Left unchecked that question would lead to the doom of all!

A Time to Love carries on the tradition in great form.

Making my way through the series, I find myself looking forward to the moments of the day and evening where I can pick up my current sequel read and sit quietly amongst the stars with the crew of the Enterprise.

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