Friday, December 7, 2012

Book Review: The Price of the Phoenix (JS)

The Price of the Phoenix- A Star Trek Novel by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath
Review by Jacqui Slaney
Carrying on my theme of science fiction, and having mentioned Star Trek, I could not resist doing a review on one of the books. I know some of you are probably rolling your eyes at the thought, but I have always had a soft spot for the original characters and the dodgy special effects.  This book is one of those based on these original characters but has never been filmed:
Captain Kirk Is Dead- Long Live Captain Kirk
Spock, Dr McCoy and the other crewmembers of the Enterprise experience a stunning double-shock. The first, painful blow is Captain Kirk’s tragic death. Then his miraculous rebirth reveals the most awesome force the Enterprise has ever encountered. Spock is forced into a desperate gamble for Kirk’s human soul against Omne- the ultra human emperor of life beyond life and death beyond hell...
The story starts with the death of Captain Kirk and the crews’ disbelief that this could happen. To be honest this is what made me buy the book, as this sort of start is a real attention grabber.
All the elements of the original series is here, though the friendship of Kirk and Spock is touched upon only lightly in many of the stories, here it is an important part of the plot. It shows Spock is willing to do anything to get his Captain back, whether the original or even a copy of him and it is the friendship that Omne tries to use against Spock and Kirk and ultimately against the Federation.  The secondary Enterprise characters are all familiar and you have the unusual add on of the female Romulan Commander actually being on the side of the good guys for a change. The villain is excellent, Omne, is everything a reader could want in a Star Trek novel going against Kirk. In many series, where you have an established hero, the bad guy normally threatens a lot but is no real obstacle. Here though Omne is certainly an obstacle in fact it is very likely that he can actually win the day.
There are a some negative points, there are some long conversations that slow the pace of the story down, and you do have a fear that the story will stagnate. The emphasis on what Kirk looks like can also be slightly annoying.
Overall, this is a good story with an intriguing plot line of an invention that can make death no longer the end, and what could happen if such a discovery was made by a man with no rules and willing instead to sell to the highest bidder. For anyone who knows Star Trek this is a good story and even for those who have somehow missed all the fuss about it, I would still say that this is a good book to start with.
7 out of 10

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