Friday, December 6, 2013

Star Trek: The Fall: A Ceremony of Losses Review



This week I decided to review Star Trek: The Fall: A ceremony of Losses by David Mack. Around three years before the novel Andoria seceded from the Federation after the Tholians, who are members of the Typhon  Pact which is in a state of Cold War against the Federation and it allies, claim that the Federation was withholding data which could be used to prevent the extinction of the Andorian species.  While Andoria is neutral the Typhon Pact is attempting to gain its loyalty and in retaliation the acting president of the Federation has declared a total embargo against the world, which was devastated during the Borg Invasion of the Alpha Quadrant. Meanwhile with their efforts to cure the reproductive crisis ailing, and the point where  their species will be doom to extinction fast approaching one Andorian reaches out to Doctor Julian Bashir. Bashir puts together a team of some of the best medical minds in Starfleet to try and save the Andorian species despite the acting president forbidding any such effort and thus begins a race to prevent the extinction of the Andorians with forces of Starfleet trying to prevent the cure from being deployed at any cost.
 I give this book a 4 out of 10. I wanted to give it worse but the actual writing isn’t bad. The problem is that one of the keys points of Star Trek is that humanity and its allies are supposed to be kinder, more generous, and less power hungry and vindictive then humanity generally is now. So why is someone who managed to reach the highest levels of the Federation willing to risk the extinction of a species because being vindictive might win him votes? Why are there only a few people willing to oppose him, and why are Starfleet officers willing to commit acts of war against a neutral planet to keep the inhabitants at risk of extinction without a word of protest? The worst part is that the author’s other Star Trek works show he knows the setting well, so did he just forget the whole concept of what humanity’s and the Federation’s ethics are supposed to be in Star Trek’s future for this book? Is the author really claiming that all it takes to undo centuries of ethical growth in a culture is the death of one leader?



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