Sunday, 29 January 2017

USS NCC-1701 Enterprise

Here is my new Eaglemoss model of the USS NCC-1701 Enterprise, a much bigger model than they normally release but retains the excellent build quality.







Death Count by L.A. Graf

Death CountDeath Count by L.A. Graf
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Tensions arise between the Orions and the Andorians after the disappearance of the renowned Andorian scientist Muav Haslev. It's believed he has secretly been working for the Orions and both parties seem very eager to get him back and maybe the technology he has been working on.
The Enterprise is docked at Sigma One space station and also hosting some Starfleet auditors who are making a nuisance of themselves, unfortunately they are kept on board when the Enterprise is assigned the mission to patrol the border after the USS Kongo suffered crippling damage and huge loss of life. On the mission the Enterprise has to contend with failing systems, alerts, sabotage, red tape from the auditors and pursuing Orion ships who believe whatever they are looking for passed through Sigma One and onto the Enterprise.
Death Count was a solid Star Trek adventure, the auditors were a nice touch especially given the political interference would normally come from an ambassador. I also really liked Chekov and his insecurities and emotional reaction to the loss of a friend on the Kongo, their relationship having been explored in an earlier TOS novel "The Kobayashi Maru". There was some nice twists and turns, combat and the secondary characters got plenty to so which is always welcome. Overall a fun and quick read of an all too typical mission for the Enterprise.

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Sunday, 22 January 2017

Legacies: Book #3: Purgatory's Key by Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore

Legacies: Book #3: Purgatory's KeyLegacies: Book #3: Purgatory's Key by Dayton Ward
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In our universe the Enterprise has to continue dealing with the Klingons and the fallout from the events on Centaurus but like their fellow writers Dayton and Kevin have given depth and levels of complexity to the Klingons which just gives the narrative so much more for the reader to embrace.
As events weave between the two universes the galaxy sits on the edge, failure for the Federation and Klingon Empire could mean Organian intervention, peace would not be the result as predatory species would fill the void and lets not forget the invasion forces that sits the other side of the mirror only a breath away. The threat has never been higher but the crew of the Enterprise and like minded individuals from the Empire and the Jatohr may bring us all back from the brink.
The final novel in the Legacies series "Purgatory's Key" was aptly named, we learn so much more about the universe that the Jatohr were attempting to escape from and it's totally understandable why they were so desperate. Of course not all of these aliens are of the same mindset which is always rewarding, the one emotion fits all for an alien race can ruin a story but we see many attitudes and by extension actions on the part of this race.
Purgatory's Key was a very satisfying conclusion to the three part series, once again writing styles gives this novel a slightly different feel than the previous two but the characters and themes ran true and while it's not all wine and roses for the civilizations and people involved we once again see that communication and cooperation when given the chance can work, granted some directed energy devices may be required to encourage all the parties involved:)
An excellent novel to wrap up a worth addition to the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, delighted to be given so much Captain Una and Joanna McCoy and who knows what the future may bring.

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Saturday, 21 January 2017

Legacies #2: Best Defense by David Mack

Legacies #2: Best DefenseLegacies #2: Best Defense by David Mack
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Best Defence is the middle novel of the Legacies trilogy and written by David Mack. The style is subtly different to the previous book and it was interesting to compare the way the two authors wrote and made me wonder if the needs of the overall story were parceled out in terms of the strength of the writers. So without getting too spoiler heavy the mysterious artefact protected through decades by the Captains and First Officers of the Enterprise is out in the wild, the Romulans and Klingons are in play and elements outside of the Federation are eager to see Klingon/Federation talks in the shadow of the Organians utterly fail.
As the Enterprise and Captain Una continue to clean up their own mess the delegations led by Sarek and Gorkon meet to discuss a peace treaty on the planet of Centaurus, the home at this time of one Joanna McCoy. Kirk and company have their work cut out for them as delegates mysteriously vanish and agents of chaos are ready to strike. Una stranded in the alternate universe has to understand her new world and find those who have been exiled here before her not forgetting the native Jatohr who will not be too pleased to see her again. To rescue her crew and so many other including the Usilde may be impossible but one thing is for sure the Jatohr invasion forces can not be allowed to enter into our universe no matter what the cost.
Best Defense was a riveting read, more action in this second novel of the series and always a delight to see Klingons and Romulans full on and of course Gorkon and Sarek serious points plus Amanda and Joanna bonus points galore. Kudos to David in creating the alternate universe, we still have a lot to learn about the world of the Jatohr but one thing for sure, it's alien.
The first two novels of Legacies have not disappointed, the bar has been set high for Purgatory's Key.


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Sunday, 15 January 2017

Stargate Atlantis Wrap Up Show

Stargate Atlantis Wrap Up Show 

Bonus 29 

Brad, Thomas, Alan and Mike discuss the five seasons of Atlantis along with the results of the favourite episode listener poll.

 

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Legacies: Book 1: Captain to Captain by Greg Cox

Legacies: Book 1: Captain to CaptainLegacies: Book 1: Captain to Captain by Greg Cox
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Secret the spans the decades and holding that secret from a galaxy unprepared for the power it represents are the Captains and First Officers of the Starship Enterprise. Captain April while commanding the ship now famed in legend visits the world of Usilde and observes an alien presence that is corrupting this primitive world and it's people. Lt. Una (aka Number One) a fresh faced officer leads an away mission to gather intel and it goes terribly wrong. Captain April intervenes before the whole landing party is lost but there seems to be no room for negotiation with this alien species who are intent on subjugating the native population and terraforming the world and they seem to have the power to back up their intent. We get a potential tricky Prime Directive dilemma as Uslide is not a Federation world and the alien invaders are unknown, the choice to oppose this wanton destruction or negotiate an understanding is why some people get to don the shirt and sit at the heart of a Starship but as we see logic and reasoning can often conflict with a heart and souls desire to do anything to oppose an injustice or right a wrong.
Legacies: Book 1: Captain to Captain is the first part of a trilogy of novels each written by a different author, in this novel Greg lays the groundwork and background to the events that helped to shape Una into the character of Number One we saw on the original tv pilot. The character has been used in other novels but this trilogy could become the baseline for judging this character who we never really got to know. Greg also make full use of work by Diane Carey who described April's Enterprise in some detail, it was most satisfying to recognise many names amongst this crew. The elements of the story that centered on a much older Captain Una (commander of Yorktown) also paid off handsomely as her interaction with Spock and the mystery of her visit to Kirk's Enterprise has you on the edge, you know something is going on but at the point you are not sure what. In many ways you get lost in the events on Usilde such is the wonderful descriptive world and people Greg presents but switching back to Kirk and company makes you realise the two main aspects of the novel are feeding off each other and offering up an excellent opening to this trilogy.


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Sunday, 8 January 2017

Bill And Ted


What can I say, there are times when Funko release a new Pop Vinyl that is just perfect and when these two were announced last year I had to pre-order. They arrived a few days ago and have taken up a most worthy position on the shelf :)

Sanctuary by John Vornholt

SanctuarySanctuary by John Vornholt
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Enterprise lays a trap to capture the pirate known as Auk Rex but his ship evades and a chase ensues, running at high warp the two ships enter relatively uncharted space and Spock "speculates" that they are headed for a world known as Sanctuary. This planet is believed to accept any persecuted person and protect them from harm and as Auk Rex enters the atmosphere Kirk, Spock and McCoy continue the chase in a shuttle.
As you would expect Kirk has leapt before he looked and it turns out that what they know of Sanctuary is correct upto a point, like the fabled Hotel California.....
Sanctuary was a very entertaining novel which makes the most of the trio of characters from the original series and the need for the star of the show to be center stage as much as possible. Yes it was ridiculously foolhardy for these three to follow the pirate ship down to the planet but it does make for a fun story as they learn the secrets of Sanctuary and the mysterious Senites who seem to exist purely to serve those that reach the planet.


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Ice Trap by L.A. Graf

Ice TrapIce Trap by L.A. Graf
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Ice Trap is set on the planet Nordstral where a pharmaceutical company has an agreement with the native population to harvest vast amounts of plankton like material from the deep ice bound oceans. A mental illness with no obvious cause is spreading alarmingly through the Federation citizens on the planet and that combined with missing shuttle crews sends the Enterprise to investigate. Issues with the natives and the local representatives of the company complicate matters and as quakes impact across the planet it's very existence comes under threat.
Ice Trap took a long time to read mainly because it collided with christmas but that aside the story never really grabbed me but that's not to say the time spent on covering the landing party (Chekov and Uhura) wasn't rewarding because it was and Kirk having to deal with an equal and on their home turf was amusing.
I did have trouble understanding the need to harvest this material and how that worked with a pre-warp civilisation but the native Kitka population were written well and their culture and interaction was interesting especially with the Chekov/Uhura (plus red shirts) landing party.
Overall I may have got more from the novel if I had read it at the usual pace or maybe if the novel had been more engaging I would have found the time:)

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Sunday, 1 January 2017

Gatecast Bonus Show 27 - Stargate

Gatecast Podcast


Andrew and Brad joined me on the podcast to talk about the 1994 Stargate feature film.