Friday, June 17, 2016

James Review -- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Force and Motion

This week I decided to review Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Force and Motion by Jeffery Lang. 

Benjamin Maxwell, a former Starfleet officer and starship captain who led his ship, the USS Phoenix, on a renegade offensive against the Cardassians whom he believed were secretly planning to resume war against the Federation, has been released from prison and after serving as a helmsman on a freighter, He resigned after a battle against pirates because he felt guilty about the deaths of the pirates, and has since become a janitor on the Robert Hooke, a civilian space station used for fringe research projects, some of which are on the edge of legality.  

Miles O’Brien, who formerly served under Maxwell, and Nog, who is trying to forge a closer friendship with O’Brien, travel from nearby Deep Space Nine to visit him. After meeting Finch, the leader of the station, who is working on creating genetically engineered organisms to cure the poison left behind on worlds devastated by the Borg in their final invasion. 

Unfortunately, soon Mother, the being at the core of Finch’s project, breaks loose, devastating the station. While most of the population--including Nog and O’Brien--evacuate, Maxwell and Finch are left behind, and soon the one of the evacuation craft begins suffering severe damage, leaving Nog and O’Brien no choice but to tow it back to the station with space suits and cables. 

Meanwhile, Maxwell meets Finch, who is rapidly losing his mind in the latter’s laboratory. And with the situation nearly a disaster, the secret customer for Finch’s work arrives ready to take what he has paid for by force. 

The novel also has a few flashbacks to Maxwell’s time in prison, and the period when he had just lost his wife and children along with some flashbacks to scenes from Nog’s life leading up to the novel and O’Brien’s Cardassian War service.

I give this book 5 out of 10. The main story is OK but nothing special in my opinion. The part where Maxwell resigns as helmsman of a freighter out of guilt for killing a crew of pirates who had killed the captain of the ship he was serving on makes no sense to me, unless he underwent an unmentioned lobotomy or something in prison. Some of the flashbacks seem pointless to me and these often come at points where the main story had good momentum going, only to be interrupted by an unneeded jump to the past. Also, descriptions of how Maxwell’s family died given in the novel don’t fit with what was stated in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Wounded" which introduced Maxwell, and I find the idea of an author writing a follow-up to an episode but not confirming that he or she got the details of a key event from that story correct to be unforgivable. 

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