Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Book 70: Star Trek Corp of Engineers Book 1: Belly of the Beast

The Belly of the BeastI was really excited to have an opportunity to read Star Trek Corp of Engineers since the premise seemed so awesome. What more could an engineer lover ask for (aside from Dax and Klingons), I’ve always been drawn to the engineers so to have a series that focuses on them sounded so awesome. So I started at the first book in the list on the eReader I’m borrowing which happened to be Dean Wesley Smith’s Belly of the Beast. In the end it was a fun diversion and easy read but it was not the best Star Trek book.

As I said, I jumped at the opportunity to read this series. It actually beat the book I was supposed to read on the eReader (Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul). But then again, he wouldn’t have loaded it up with so many Star Trek books if he didn’t want me to enjoy them as well. And I’m glad that I could start the series at the very beginning. But reading this after reading Destiny and Typhon Pact, it had me slightly confused chronologically especially when I saw that Data was still alive. Then I realized it was pre-Destiny and pre-Nemesis and the confusion ended.

The book read smoothly and the evnts proceeded. There weren’t any real lulls. It went from the Enterprise fighting an enemy. After disabling the ship, Geordi stayed on to work with the Corp of Engineers and the Da Vinci to learn more about the alien ship. As they explore the ship, they learned that there was a terrible beast inside the middle of the ship that just exploded to life.

The book has two major weaknesses. First is maintaining character voice. Geordi is an iconic Star Trek figure and has a pleasant warm personality that loved to joke (but never at someone’s sake) and hard working. At times it was spot on and other times, it didn’t feel like Goerdi. But the bigger issue was the character voice of Vale. She’s becoming a favorite of mine after reading Destiny. I like her spunk. But I didn’t see it. Other characters that he introduced were okay but felt like they were throw aways for the most part. They didn’t have any depth. The only character I thought he nailed 100% was Scotty and he was there for a single chapter.

The other weakness was the fact at times action moved too quickly. It was as if all this amazing set up and intrigued maxed out most of his word limit and he had to wrap things up quickly with semi-neat ends. So the end was a real let down. I wanted to get at the core of the mystery and learn about the ship and the crew that were originally on the ship. But you never got that.

It was a good enough read to make me happy and lock me in but it wasn’t the best written book. Instead it had some flaws and it made me want more then could be supplied. But I’m still interested in reading the rest of the series and I’m hoping for better things as they go on.

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