Keith R A DeCandido - Shastrix Books

Keith R A DeCandido

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Articles of the Federation

Articles of the Federation

Keith R A DeCandido

23rd June 2010

This is the first official political thriller from the Star Trek universe, and covers the events of the first year of Nan Bacco's tenure as Federation President, dealing with the Klingons and Romulans, first contacts, unruly councillors and the repercussions of the events of A Time for War, a Time for Peace.

I found it a difficult book to get into. There was no particular overarching plot, but rather a series of threads that weaved throughout the story. It is divided up into chunks with gaps of several weeks or months between, focussing on key periods, but also breaking up the narrative's flow.

On the other hand, there's a really good feature where the reader is taken out from the main characters into the company of a random Federation citizen watching a TV political discussion. It helps to fill in the gaps between the sections and to give an alternative set of viewpoints on the events of the plot. The segments do seem a little implausibly short for a TV show though, which I wonder whether is a symptom of decreasing attention spans in the 24th century, or poetic licence on behalf of the author.

The characters are mostly likeable and the main ones easy to get a grip on. Some of the more minor characters I found a little hard to follow though, especially as there were quite a lot of them that were dropping in and out. Overall, I enjoy this different style of Trek novel though, and this is a good way to round off the 'A Time To' series and set up the next set of novels.

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A Time for War, A Time for Peace

A Time for War, A Time for Peace

Keith R A DeCandido

13th May 2010

The final book in the 'A Time To' series has surpassed my expectations, much as the previous two. I felt the series started rather weakly, but towards the it's conclusion it has grown into something stronger.

While there is not really a central adventure to this novel, it's story is still captivating, as it focusses on not only the Enterprise crew as they prepare to separate, but also an inspection of their vessel, a hunt for a missing emperor, and a presidential election. In fact, I think this is better described as the first of the Star Trek political thrillers, as it's focus on the election and Worf's diplomacy take up a significant proportion of the narrative.

The main aim of this novel of course is to wrap up the series and to move the playing pieces into position for the film Nemesis, and it does this excellently. Previously this has seemed rather forced but DeCandido makes everything flow naturally and sets up even minor details in a believable manner.

I was pleased with the use of characters, though the focus away from the Enterprise meant some had less 'screen-time' than they perhaps deserved, particularly Crusher and Troi. Scotty's presence also seemed a little bit surplus to requirement, and I think a different character could have played his role equally well.

There was some rather unnecessary wrangling at the end that doesn't quite seem to fit in with how the later books progress, but as it was written first I don't suppose I can criticise on that basis.

I very much enjoyed this book and am looking forward to rounding the series off with its one-off sequel 'Articles of the Federation' which is the true first of the political novels.

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A Singular Destiny

A Singular Destiny

Keith R A DeCandido

24th March 2009

An interesting, and unusual take on the Trek franchise, but not as gripping as the trilogy whose effects this begins to tidy up. It's a good choice of idea to follow it up though as it deals with the future of the galaxy from multiple points of view, and sets the stage for the continuation novels of the next few years.

The main character, if there is one, is Sonek Pran, a rather dubious mix of Vulcan, Human, Betazoid and Bajoran (wouldn't have thought there were Bajorans around long enough ago). By day, he's a history lecturer on Mars, but by night an advisor and para-diplomat for the Federation President who runs around the galaxy sorting out problems. A possible opening for future novels I feel, although the character developed quite a bit in this one.

Also of note is the continued use of the USS Aventine, under Captain Dax, and introducing some more of her crew. Another opening one expects for a new line of novels!

All round, an important read, but not until after the Destiny trilogy, and definitely before any of the future continuations (and the next Titan book is on order from Amazon already!).

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Unreviewed books

A Good Day to Die
Diplomatic Implausibility
Gateways: Demons of Air and Darkness
Have Tech, Will Travel
Honor Bound
Miracle Workers
Tales of the Dominion War
The Art of the Impossible
The Brave and the Bold book one
The Brave and the Bold book two
The Sky's The Limit
What Lay Beyond
Worlds of DS9 Volume 3

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