I tried and failed once again to complete the 50 book challenge last year. However, I did a little better than the year before, and probably would have read at least two more books if I hadn’t made a cross country move.
- The Empty Chair by Diane Duane (fiction)
- A Librarian Is To Read by Betty Vogel (non-fiction)
- Wordplay: The Official Companion Book by Will Shortz (non-fiction)
- Death in Winter by Michael Jan Friedman (fiction)
- Puss ‘n Cahoots: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery by Rita Mae Brown (fiction)
- So Say We All: An Unauthorized Collection of Thoughts and Opinions on Battlestar Galactica (Smart Pop series) edited by Richard Hatch (non-fiction)
- Solstice Wood by Patricia A. McKillip (fiction)
- Gauntlet by Michael Jan Friedman (fiction)
- Progenitor by Michael Jan Friedman (fiction)
- Reunion by Michael Jan Friedman (fiction)
- The Valiant by Michael Jan Friedman (fiction)
- Three by Michael Jan Friedman (fiction)
- Oblivion by Michael Jan Friedman (fiction)
- Enigma by Michael Jan Friedman (fiction)
- Maker by Michael Jan Friedman (fiction)
- Journey Between Worlds by Sylvia Louise Engdahl (fiction)
- Orphan’s Quest by Pat Nelson Childs (fiction)
- The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (fiction)
- Towards Zero by Agatha Christie (fiction)
- At Bertram’s Hotel by Agatha Christie (fiction)
- Nemesis by Agatha Christie (fiction)
- Ordeal By Innocence by Agatha Christie (fiction)
- First Have Something To Say by Walt Crawford (non-fiction)
- Social Software in Libraries by Meredith Farkas (non-fiction)
- Beer & Food: An American History by Bob Skilnik (non-fiction)
- Guinness – The 250-Year Quest for the Perfect Pint by Bill Yenne (non-fiction)
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Maker by Michael Jan Friedman
The main story arc of the mini-series has been completed, and most everything has come to a satisfactory conclusion. Unsurprisingly, Friedman takes the events of The Valiant and ties them into this book. He still displays a penchant for old Trek episodes, but for the most part keeps his ideas and creations relatively fresh. Even so, I can’t help but think that the baddie ends up being the oil slick that will eventually kill Tasha Yar. Oh, yeah, SPOILER ALERT: Picard keeps his rank and command, despite the efforts of Admiral McAteer.
I am now officially burnt out on Star Trek books for the time being. They’re like brain candy, and after a while, the craving is sated and it’s time to move on to something different. On the other hand, I’m much closer to my reading goal for the year, if one is concerned with numbers like that. Nine books in ten days is the fastest rate I’ve read since summer breaks when I was in college. It’s also probably a sign that I need to do something about my social life.
Enigma by Michael Jan Friedman
This book tied up the loose end known as Dikembe Ulelo. Friedman has been dangling that one since the first book in the series, and I wondered when he’d finally get around to the explanation. Turns out, it’s a crucial point in the plot of this book.
Admiral McAteer makes an appearance again, but this time he’s a part of the action instead of off plotting somewhere. He’s still out to get Picard and has arranged for a review to determine if Picard is fit to be a captain. This is not resolved by the end of the book.
The mini story arc in the book closes nicely, even though there are still a few unresolved problems/questions. But, Friedman then does something that I find immensely irritating: He adds a cliffhanger. Sure, the reader might be concerned that Picard is going to have a rough time, but we all know how that eventually works out. On the other hand, Friedman has left another main character in a deadly and dangerous predicament. Stay tuned…. for the next book.
Thankfully, I already have it on my bookshelf. If I did not, I think I’d be particularly perturbed.
Oblivion by Michael Jan Friedman
I promise this blog won’t turn into a “which Star Trek book did Anna read today” blog. I swear! I mean it!
Okay, so, yeah. Another book in Friedman’s Stargazer series. This one is much more memorable and interesting that the last one, so I’m happy about that. It also provided another example of the paradoxes of time travel. In this case, it was that the first time Picard meets Guinan is also the second time she has met Picard. Don’t try to think too hard on that one or you’ll hurt yourself.
One thing I’ve noticed with this series is that like television episodes, the each book focuses on different characters from among the crew, and the focus shifts from book to book. For example, the Asmunds play a large role in the last book, Three, but they are only mentioned and not see or heard from in this one. The nice thing about this is that Friedman has been given the opportunity to develop a large set of characters that are mainly of his own creation, and he’s been able to further their development over time (and a series of books). I think that is when authors get to have fun in the Star Trek universe.
Three by Michael Jan Friedman
Like The Valiant, Three takes an element from TOS and imagines what might have happened to it in the years between Kirk and young Picard. In this case, the element is the mirror universe that Kirk visited via a transporter malfunction. Alternate histories and crossovers seem to be an irresistible element of the Star Trek canon, so I am not surprised to see it show up in Friedman’s Stargazer series.
The story was okay, but the plot and action did not move quite as dramatically as it has in previous books. Aside from providing more character development with the Asmunds and Ensign Nikolas, the book adds nothing to the story of the USS Stargazer and her crew.