Jim's Books

The Delta Anomaly

Rick Barba

The Delta Anomaly
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Buy book: UK

ISBN: 9781442412415


After a rough week at Starfleet Academy, James T Kirk and his friends blow off steam at San Francisco's hottest new club. Their good times come to a screeching halt however, when one of the cadets is attacked by someone who seemingly appears out of thin air. Bones and his medical team save the cadet's life, but they uncover the horrifying consequences of the attack. Meanwhile, Starfleet's investigation reveals the assailant is actually a brutal serial killer form the past - a mysterious entity known only as the Doctor.

Reviewed on 25th November 2010

I decided to read this book because it is the first novel to be set in the parallel world created in the recent Star Trek movie, and despite its billing as a 'Young Adult' novel. It is set at the Academy while Kirk, Uhura and Bones are cadets, and sees them dealing with their studies, relationships and an alien invader who is stealing human organs.

Unlike other 'young adult' books I've read recently, this one takes it to the extreme. The writing style is that I would expect in a book aimed at a child of around ten, while some of the content I would like to think would be more suitable for someone in their mid-teens. As an adult reading, it comes across as very fast paced and lacking in detail. Chapters tend to end mid-scene with me wanting to find out what happened next, only for the next to jump forward several hours.

The plot is reasonable. It's a good mix of student life with adventure, and the two storylines intermingle well and feed off each other. Perhaps the non-academic aspects of studenthood are simplified and juvenilised a touch, but that may be a result of either the young target audience or it being based on the American eduction system. The plot will have a little more value to longer term Star Trek fans, who will get some of the implied references, but actually this kind of irritated me, as I wish the author had been a little more original.

The characters are by far the best thing about this book. Kirk and Uhura are portrayed exactly as in the recent film, and Bones and Spock make good back-ups to the pair, however Spock does feel a little shoehorned in. There is also some confused continuity regarding how far through their studies each of the characters is, with some disagreement with implications from the film.

Will I continue to read this series? I'm not yet sure. At first I thought that the writing was too young for me, but now I don't know if that will stop me. I might try the second one to see if this is how it will settle down.

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