Wednesday, 24 February 2016

You are only human*

 I really can't be bothered to write up synopses for these books in my own words (partly because I've been working on another upcoming book challenge post, and I'm now synopsised out!), so you're getting the publisher's description/back cover blurb and just a few words about what I thought of these novels.

6. Mission Gamma: Lesser Evil (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), by Robert Simpson

 Continuing with the Deep Space 9 "relaunch" novels, this is the fourth and final book of the Mission: Gamma mini-series. It furthers storylines set up in earlier books (and TV shows), and moves along at quite a clip.
Anyway, here's the publisher's description:

  Sins past.

  Chaos erupts aboard Deep Space 9 as the crew begins a desperate search for a killer in their midst, catapulting Colonel Kira Nerys on a dangerous chase into the heart of the Federation. But the crime she seeks to avenge is part of a plot more ancient and far-reaching than anyone suspects, and that secret, if exposed, could divide worlds throughout the Alpha Quadrant.

  Meanwhile, as the starship
Defiant makes its way back toward the wormhole and home to DS9, a startling discovery shakes Commander Elias Vaughn to his core and brings to light the truth behind the most tragic mission of his long life. As the crew struggles with the implications of what they've found, their captain's judgment comes into question… and casts doubt on the final outcome of their historic voyage through the Gamma Quadrant.

* Post title from page 151.   

7. Ascendance (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), by David R. George III

 This is the latest DS9 novel, released a little earlier this year. It concludes the long awaited Ascendant story arc which was first alluded to about 10 years ago (2377-78 in universe), and also readies the station and crew for further adventures beginning in 2386. 

 On the original Deep Space Nine, Captain Kira Nerys watches as the nearby wormhole opens and discharges a single, bladelike vessel. Attempts to contact its crew fail, and the ship is soon followed by another vessel of similar design. When an armada subsequently begins to emerge from the wormhole, it seems clear that DS9 is under attack. Kira orders her first officer, Commander Elias Vaughn, to board the USS Defiant and defend the station, and alerts Starfleet to send additional forces as her crew prepares DS9's shields and weaponry for the onslaught to come.

 Meanwhile, on the lead ship, Iliana Ghemor considers launching an attack on DS9 and finally ending the life of Kira, the fountainhead of all the ills in her miserable life. Her vengeance demands more than mere death, though – it requires pain. Ghemor refocuses, choosing to follow her plan to mete out her revenge on the captain by first decimating the population of Bajor...

8. All The Birds In The Sky, by Charlie Jane Anders

 Childhood friends Patricia Delfine, a witch, and Laurence Armstead, a mad scientist, parted ways under mysterious circumstances during middle school. But as adults they both wind up in near-future San Francisco, where Laurence is an engineering genius and Patricia works with a small band of other magicians to secretly repair the world’s ever growing ailments. But something is determined to bring them back together—to either save the world, or end it.

 I heard about this novel on io9, where Charlie Jane Anders contributes some thought-provoking and funny articles, and bought it purely on the strength of her writing there. I wasn't disappointed. The blend of science and magic works well, and the story escalates to a potentially world-changing conclusion. However, this was not something I was expecting and, while well written and paced, I'm tired of the high-stakes endings many stories have these days (whether in prose, or on the screen), and much prefer a more intimate, personal or close-range conclusion. Having said that, Patricia and Laurence did get that kind of ending for themselves, it was just the devastating backdrop I didn't much care for.

9. Unity (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), by S. D. Perry

 This is the follow-up to Mission Gamma: Lesser Evil (up there ^ )

  On the eve of Bajor's formal entry into the Federation, First Minister Shakaar was assassinated, derailing the induction and plunging the planet and station Deep Space 9™ into chaos. Investigation into the murder revealed the presence of a parasitic conspiracy threatening not only Bajor's future with the Federation, but the very survival of both. At the same time, the fracturing of Bajor's theology has put its people on the threshold of a startling transformation -- and the consequences now rest on the shoulders of Colonel Kira Nerys, who months ago defied the religious authority of her planet by making public an ancient heretical text that challenged the very foundation of the Bajoran faith.

  Now, after a harrowing and historic voyage of exploration in the Gamma Quadrant, the weary, wounded crew of Starship Defiant is at last coming home. But the joy of their return is short-lived as the crew becomes swept up in the crisis aboard the station, with many of them confronting personal issues that force them to make life-altering choices. Among those is a grief-stricken Commander Elias Vaughn, who reaches a crossroads in his life's journey and learns the true purpose for which he was Touched by the well as the ultimate fate of Captain Benjamin Sisko.

  And... somewhere on Bajor... a child long awaited is about to be born.

10. The Corrections, by Jonathan Franzen

  This was a free Kindle book - one of six that I chose from. I haven't read anything by this author before, and was alternately intrigued and repulsed by the reviews for this book on Amazon. Ultimately, my curiosity won out, and I'm glad it did as I found this to be a very intricate look into the workings of two generations of a mid-west American family. Plus, parts of it reminded me of my own family - Although, we aren't quite as dysfunctional!

  After fifty years as a wife and mother, Enid Lambert is ready to have some fun. Unfortunately her husband, Alfred, is losing his sanity, and their children have long since fled for the catastrophes of their own lives. As Alfred’s condition worsens and the Lamberts are forced to face their secrets and failures, Enid sets her heart on one last family Christmas.


  So, that's ten books read so far this year. I'm going to try for another five in the coming month, but next up on the book front is a little something we've put together for the 2016 Infomaniac Book Challenge!

 Stay tuned. Or, should I say: Keep reading!


  1. I have to say that the Deep Space 9 ones sound really fascinating, esp. since I'm very curious about the Gamma Quadrant & what the heck happened to Captain Sisko. Also, I've found it interesting how futuristic culture & science dealt with religion, esp. in regards to those often nutty, fanatical Bajorans.

    The Corrections sounds interesting. Family dramas can make for great reading when it's done right. The cover art of All The Birds In The Sky is very foreboding, & not because it kind of reminds me of the Birds movie, but rather the horror of the thought of that many birds pooping as they fly overhead of my newly washed car. That's when the filthy flying rats like to drop their loads!

    A very nice collection of reading material you've posted. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Sounds like the DS9 books set after the series are for you, then. They also cover Bajor's entry into the Federation, the return of those pesky parasites from The Next Generation 1st season episode "Conspiracy", continuing relations with the Cardassians, the Andorians reproductive crisis, more jaunts into the Mirror Universe, a friendly(ish) Jem'Hadar, Kira leaving Starfleet to serve her faith, and Ro Laren commanding DS9 amongst other exciting things!

    2. I'd like to see a parody called, "Keeping up with the Cardassians."

    3. You know, I'd like to see that too!

  2. Ah yes, that *last* family gathering...
    - Mad gleam comes into my eye -

    1. Yes, Christmas can be quite trying depending on personal agendas.

  3. [off-topic. sorry.]

    Have you seen The Witch yet? If so, recommended?

    1. Not yet, but I've heard good things. However, I'm going to see Deadpool first.

  4. Good gawd, how many Star Trek books ARE there?

    1. Hundreds! And I've only read a fraction of them.


Tickle my fancy, why don't you?