Robert Greenberger - Shastrix Books

Robert Greenberger

Recently reviewed

A Time to Hate

A Time to Hate

7th February 2010

This is the lowest in Star Trek noveldom I've visited in a long time. Very little happens until the final few chapters, and even then it's nothing that could not have been guessed from the previous novel. In fact, several of the major plot points have so blatantly been coming that it's a surprise there wasn't some sort of twist at the end. Admittedly it is lining up characters for their places in Nemesis but it's getting a bit silly when the entire plot seems to be just for the sake of one tiny set up.

For this is the book in which Riker and Troi finally decide to get engaged... and the author's attempts to explore this relationship by separating the two characters are sadly quite dire. Star Trek just cannot do romance. It's a well established fact, and this book proves it with both Riker and Troi and the going nowhere feelings between Picard and Crusher. It's just tiresome because the reader already knows where it is going.

The plot itself is next to non-existent. We follow characters who do next to nothing, and even the interesting interplay from the first half between Riker and Seer is missed out of this - Riker is paired with his sulky father, leading to little by way of conversation or interesting exploration of the alien races (one of which hilariously comes from Dorset!). There are holes in the plot (no combadge should mean no universal translator) and continuity problems (someone leaves but then is still there) which just make the novels seem badly written and edited. I'm not surprised that this pair are the only two of the nine out of print - they just aren't up to scratch.

In fact, the end is where it gets interesting - we finally get the proposal, Crusher comes out of her stupor and makes a decision and some interesting hints are let lose about what is to come in the next few novels. At least it's David Mack next - that should make for a more entertaining read.

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Buy book: UK
A Time to Love

A Time to Love

31st January 2010

Book five in this series is an odd fish. I'm not quite sure how to characterize it. The set up seems to be a bit of a murder mystery story on an alien planet known for being the one place where two enemy species are able to live in peace.

The problem arises when the mystery fails to generate any clues. The story merely follows the characters travelling around doing very little while the situation worsens. A true mystery story would have been littered with hints as to what Kyle Riker was up to, but there are absolutely none. It just leaves me feeling uninspired as a reader.

The alien creations themselves are far from novel - two races who hate each other living on one planet is an idea that I feel Trek has done to death and it's a bit cheap not to come up with something more. The main characters seem awkward too and slightly unreal - only Crusher seems to have any real depth to her in this one, where to my mind this should be a Riker book. Maybe this will improve in book two though.

I'm torn between whether the use of Riker's father is a cute tying up of an old story or whether it's simply another coincidence too far, but I suppose I will have to wait until the second part before deciding once I actually know what the plot is.

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Buy book: UK

Unreviewed books

Doomsday World
Doors into Chaos
Q's Guide to the Continuum
The Romulan Stratagem

Top books

  1. A Time to Love
  2. A Time to Hate