Die Standing by John Jackson Miller (Review)

Die Standing by John Jackson Miller

Blurb

No one in the history of histories has lost more than Philippa Georgiou, ruler of the Terran Empire. Forced to take refuge in the Federation’s universe, she bides her time until Section 31, a rogue spy force within Starfleet, offers her a chance to work as their agent. She has no intention of serving under anyone else, of course; her only interest is escape.

But when a young Trill, Emony Dax, discovers a powerful interstellar menace, Georgiou recognises it as a super-weapon that escaped her grasp in her own universe. Escorted by a team sent by an untrusting Federation to watch over her, the emperor journeys to a region forbidden to travellers. But will what she finds there end the threat—or give “Agent Georgiou” the means to create her old empire anew? 

Review

This is the latest book in the Star Trek Discovery series and I must admit I was a bit hesitant to read it at first because I was worried about whether Emperor Georgiou would annoy me or not. Thankfully I did read it and was mistaken.

It has been a long time since I have read a book that has made me laugh so much. Georgiou is hilarious and very dangerous. Georgiou the emperor is a ruthless woman who has lost it all but is determined to make the best of the situations she finds herself in by any means necessary. Georgiou delights in causing chaos and the things she says are hilarious but one thing is for sure she is a lethal weapon. Georgiou is an expert killer, tactician and spy and this is all shown in the book.

In this book we also meet Finnegan. Georgiou knows Finnegan as Blackjack in her universe and by sheer coincidence she meets Finnegan in the current universe. Finnegan loves a good brawl and definitely loves a drink. You can happily imagine him getting drunk in a pub and starting a fight for fun. However, Finnegan does not agree with killing or enjoy it and that is where he differs from Blackjack. I really enjoyed the relationship that developed through the book between Georgiou and Finnegan and found it very funny how Finnegan was quite happy annoying Georgiou.

Emony Dax was an interesting character and one who wasn’t daunted by the scary things Georgiou kept coming out with. I felt quite sorry for Emony at times as people did not take her seriously and just ignored her opinions and ideas. Emony is an interesting character and I really enjoyed seeing how Finnegan took her under his wing and taught her how to fly a shuttle craft and even Georgiou at times looked after her and taught her things. 

I loved this book, the storyline was excellent but the main thing that really made this book was Georgiou, Finnegan and Emony and how they interacted with each other. A big 5 out 5 Dragons from me.

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Purchase Links

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About the author

New York Times bestselling author John Jackson Miller has spent a lifetime immersed in science fiction. His Star Trek novels include the Discovery – Die Standing, the acclaimed novel Discovery — The Enterprise War, the Prey trilogy, and Takedown. His Star Wars novels include A New Dawn, Kenobi, Knight Errant, Lost Tribe of the Sith, and the Knights of the Old Republic comics, available from Marvel as Legends: The Old Republic.

He’s written comics and prose for Halo, Iron Man, Simpsons, Conan, Planet of the Apes, and Mass Effect, with recent graphic novels for Battlestar Galactica, Dumbo, and The Lion King. Production notes on all his works can be found at his fiction site. 

He is also a comics industry historian, specialising in studying comic-book circulation as presented on his website, Comichron.. He also coauthored the Standard Catalog of Comic Books series.

The Dark Veil by James Swallow (Review)

The Dark Veil by James Swallow

Blurb

The Alpha Quadrant is mired in crisis.

Within the United Federation of Planets, a terrorist strike on the shipyards of Mars has led to the shutdown of all relief efforts for millions of Romulans facing certain doom from an impending super­nova. But when the USS Titan is drawn into a catastrophic incident on the Romulan-Federation border, Captain William Riker, his family, and his crew find themselves caught between the shocking secrets of an enigmatic alien species and the deadly agenda of a ruthless Tal Shiar operative. Forced into a wary alliance with a Romulan starship commander, Riker and the Titan crew must uncover the truth to stop a dev­astating attack, but one wrong move could plunge the entire sector into open conflict!

Review

Having read and loved the first book in the Star Trek Picard series I was really excited to read this book especially as it was to feature two of my favourite characters, Riker and Troi.

As soon as the book arrived through the post I started to read it and got very excited with the opening scene where we see Riker standing on trial. However, I will be honest my excitement soon waned with this book. I loved reading about my favourite characters and meeting Thaddeus, Riker and Troi’s son, but I just found that the story was very slow moving and frustrated me because of the lack of pace. 

Riker with a family was wonderful to see and the times where he was torn between duty to his ship and crew and duty to his wife and child was very moving. Troi was her usual calming and caring self who brings calm and order to any situation. 

I loved learning more about the back story to the TV series Picard and what has happened a year after the attack on Mars and I found the Jazari fascinating and wanted to learn more about them. I also felt rather sorry for them because due to living so secretly from other species it all sounded rather lonely. Zade was my favourite Jazari and his relationship with Thad was very sweet.

My biggest problem with this book was the lack of pace and at one point I did consider quitting but I am glad I continued reading because once I was past half way the story really picked up and I couldn’t put it down till I had finished it. After finishing this book I realised that I had had the same experience with Swallows book Fear Itself  from The Discovery series. I give this book 3 out of 5 Dragons.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

About the author

James Swallow is a New York Times, Sunday Times and Amazon #1 bestselling author and scriptwriter, a BAFTA nominee, a former journalist and the award-winning writer of over fifty books, along with scripts for video games, comics, radio and television. 

Star Trek Discovery: Dead Endless by Dave Galanter (Review)

Star Trek Discovery: Dead Endless by Dave Galanter

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About the author

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Dave Galanter has authored various Star Trek projects, including Voyager: Battle Lines, The Next Generation duology Maximum Warp, and The Original Series novels Troublesome Minds and Crisis of Consciousness, as well as numerous works of Star Trek short fiction. He lives in Maryland with his wife and family.

Blurb

The U.S.S. Discovery’s specialty is using its spore-based hub drive to jump great distances faster than any warp-faring vessel in Starfleet. To do this, Lieutenant Paul Stamets navigates the ship through the recently revealed mycelial network, a subspace domain Discovery can briefly transit but in which it cannot remain. After responding to a startling distress call originating from within the network, the Discovery crew find themselves trapped in an inescapable realm where they will surely perish unless their missing mycelial fuel is found or restored. Is the seemingly human man found alone and alive inside the network the Starfleet officer he claims to be, or an impostor created by alien intruders who hope to extract themselves from the mycelial plane at the expense of all lives aboard Discovery?

Review

I must admit after the disappointment of The Enterprise War I was thrilled to read this book and could not put it down. I loved the characters and most of all I loved the humorous interactions.

The first thing I really enjoyed was that this novel had scenes for the lesser seen characters like Airiam, Bryce, Pollard and Landry. I particularly liked a beautiful scene between Landry and Airiam. In fact it was wonderful all round to learn more about Airiam’s character. I also found Dr Pollard highly amusing.

The main thing I enjoyed was the development of Stamets’ character through the story though. He started off his usual grumpy, rude self but as the story went through he mellowed, he became thoughtful, caring and funny and less work obsessed. I also loved the friendship between Tilly and Stamets; it was like a perfect brother and sister relationship.

My favourite character though was Ephraim. Ephraim is such a mystery but also very adorable but I won’t say anymore as I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

There is also a surprise new species in the story who were very intriguing and fun.

Fun to be honest is the best way to describe this book, it really made me smile and laugh out loud. I loved this book and highly recommend it, that is why I have given it 5 out of 5 Dragons.

Purchase Links

Book Depository

Waterstones

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March Wrap Up

Hello!

Well March has proven to be a strange month and I imagine April will also be strange but if will all stay home and stay safe hopefully everything will be ok.

Being as I am currently not working I have been busy essay writing but also reading, practising my different instruments and doing jigsaws. Two essays are due on Thursday so hopefully they will be ok. I have been managing to read more which is nice.

 

Books I have read in March (if you click on the picture it will take you to the review)

Star Trek Discovery: The Enterprise War by  John Jackson Miller

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Andromache, Hecuba, Trojan Women by Euripides

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Trojan Women by Seneca

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Star Trek Discovery: Dead Endless by Dave Galanter (review to follow)

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Again only a few books but they did include more pages than last month’s books.

Please drop me a comment if you have read any of these books.

Stay safe everyone.

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Star Trek Discovery: The Enterprise War (Review)

Star Trek Discovery: The Enterprise War by John Jackson Miller

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About the author

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John Jackson Miller is the New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Star Trek: Prey trilogy (Hell’s Heart, The Jackal’s Trick, The Hall of Heroes) and the novels Star Trek: The Next Generation: Takedown; Star Wars: A New Dawn; Star Wars: Kenobi Star Wars: Knight Errant; Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith-The Collected Stories; and fifteen Star Wars graphic novels, as well as the original work Overdraft: The Orion Offensive. He has also written the eNovella Star Trek: Titan: Absent Enemies. A comics industry historian and analyst, he has written for franchises including Halo, Conan, Iron Man, Indiana Jones, Battlestar Galactica, Mass Effect, and The Simpsons. He lives in Wisconsin with his wife, two children, and far too many comic books.

Blurb

Hearing of the outbreak of hostilities between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire, Captain Christopher Pike attempts to bring the U.S.S. Enterprise home to join in the fight. But in the hellish nebula known as the Pergamum, the stalwart commander instead finds an epic battle of his own, pitting ancient enemies against one another – with not just the Enterprise but also her crew as the spoils of war.

Lost and out of contact with Earth for an entire year, Pike and his trusted first officer, Number One, struggle to find and reunite the ship’s crew – all while Science Officer Spock confronts a mystery that puts even his exceptional skills to the test… with more than their own survival possibly riding on the outcome…

Review

I will be honest I struggled with this book, the first half just dragged but thankfully the second half improved otherwise I’m not sure I would have lasted. The book just felt like it had a load of irrelevant scenes that did nothing to add to the storyline and the book could have been a lot shorter in my opinion.

I did enjoy the storyline of the two battling alien races and the Enterprise stuck in the middle of the war. My favourite character in the book wasn’t actually a member of the Enterprise but one of aliens called Baladon. I really enjoyed his humour and the way he adapted into the way of life of his kidnappers, it was like he had never found anywhere where he truly belonged and he had finally found that place even if it was in a war zone. I also liked the character of Connolly and the friendship between him and Baladon, their interactions were very funny.

Sadly, I did not like Una i.e Number One and just struggled with her character and I found Christopher Pike a little bit dull. They just both seemed to be lacking for me. I did enjoy the character of Spock and found that his experience made a lot of sense with the TV series and I was pleased to see it all linking together and I did feel really sorry for poor Spock and the suffering he was going through.

Out of all the Discovery books so far I found this one my least favourite and I really hope the next one is better as I have loved the series so far. If this book had been shorter I think I would have enjoyed it more so I have given this book 3 out of 5 Dragons.

Purchase Links

Amazon

Book Depository

Waterstones

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Star Trek The Next Generation Cats by Jenny Parks (Review)

Star Trek The Next Generation Cats by Jenny Parks

About the author

Jenny Parks is a scientific illustrator that also happens to be a shameless nerd, with a penchant for drawing animals, dinosaurs, imaginary creatures… and occasionally, people as cats. Somehow, she found herself with a bit of internet fame with the illustration ‘Doctor Mew’, and has been baffled ever since. With a BFA in illustration from the California College of the Arts, and a graduate degree in Science Illustration from UC Santa Cruz, she now resides in Denver, CO as a freelance illustrator, fulfilling her destiny to make a living drawing cute, fuzzy things.

Blurb

The cats are back in their continuing mission: to boldly go where no one has gone before. This companion to the bestselling Star Trek Cats brings the many adventures of Star Trek: The Next Generation to life in a faithfully feline homage to the hit series. From encounters with the Borg to adventures on the holodeck, Captain Picard and the rest of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D crew are reimagined as cats with lovingly detailed and eyebrow-raising scenes from throughout the award-winning series, perfect for Star Trek fans across the Galaxy.

Review

I was so excited to see there was a sequel to the Star Trek Cats and that this book was just as good as the previous one. The first thing I loved was the choice of cats for the characters especially the choice of cat for Captain Picard.

The book is like the previous book where it does not follow a story but instead has snapshots from different episodes. I have some favourite scenes which include Relics where the cats are kittens. My ultimate favourite is where the cats are playing poker and I must admit I would love to have it as a picture on my wall. However, I must admit the Borg cats are a little bit scary.

I love this book and I highly recommend it to other Star Trek and cat fans. I give this book a big 5 out of 5 Dragons and I thoroughly hope Jenny Parks does Star Trek Voyager soon!

Lyra loves the book as well!

Purchase Links

Waterstones

Book Depository

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Star Trek Cats by Jenny Parks (Review)

Star Trek Cats by Jenny Parks

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About the author

Jenny Parks is a scientific illustrator that also happens to be a shameless nerd, with a penchant for drawing animals, dinosaurs, imaginary creatures… and occasionally, people as cats. Somehow, she found herself with a bit of internet fame with the illustration ‘Doctor Mew’, and has been baffled ever since. With a BFA in illustration from the California College of the Arts, and a graduate degree in Science Illustration from UC Santa Cruz, she now resides in Denver, CO as a freelance illustrator, fulfilling her destiny to make a living drawing cute, fuzzy things.

Blurb

Captain’s log: We have entered a galaxy where beloved illustrator Jenny Parks has conjured an astonishingly vivid homage to the original Star Trek series with an unexpected twist: a cast of cats. Featuring a hilarious new take on iconic characters and scenes—from Kirk in the Captain’s chair to Spock offering his Vulcan wisdom—this eye-opening adventure stays true to the tone of the classic TV show. Playful, loving, and from a strange new world, Star Trek Cats is the perfect gift for fans of, well, Star Trek and cats.

Review

I could not believe my eyes when I accidentally discovered this book and I immediately bought it for my husband for Valentine’s Day, obviously I had to read it myself. I love Star Trek and I have seen every episode of the original series and I am now working my way through the films so I was overjoyed to read this book.

The book doesn’t follow a story and is instead snapshots from different well known episodes of the series. The book doesn’t have a lot to read as it is mainly the amazing illustrations but that does not matter as the book is a joy to behold. Every scene is brilliantly done but a few are my favourites. One is Scotty holding his bottle of Scotch Milk and the other is a scene from the episode The Trouble with Tribbles.

This book is brilliant for Star Trek fans and cat fans alike. The illustrations are amazing and very cleverly done as the cats have been chosen to reflect the Star Trek characters perfectly. I will never see Scotty the same way again after seeing his cat version. I highly recommend this book to everyone who enjoys a giggle and a quick read to brighten up their day. I give this book a massive 5 out of 5 Dragons.

P.s. Lyra my cat likes the book as well.

Purchase Links

Waterstones

Book Depository

 

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New Books 18/02/2020

I have bought my first fun books for 2020! I have bought a lot of books this year but they have all been for my Masters, but I have given in and treated myself a little.

 

Star Trek Picard: The Last Best Hope by Una McCormack

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I am so excited about this book even if to be honest the TV series is painfully slow and in certain places annoying beyond belief. This book is written by Una McCormack and her previous Star Trek novels are just amazing so I am looking forward to her take on the new series.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Cats by Jenny Parks

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This one I could not resist, I bought the first one in the series for my husband as he loves Star Trek and cats and after reading it I immediately bought the second one.

 

So only two books as I am trying to be well behaved this year as I have so many books to read already and I know I won’t get to read many non study related books.

 

Happy reading

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Star Trek Discovery: Fear Itself by James Swallow (Review)

Star Trek Discovery: Fear Itself by James Swallow

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About the author

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James Swallow is a British author who is a BAFTA nominee, a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller. He is also the only British author to work on the Star Trek television series. He has written several Star Trek books, scripted the video game Star Trek  Invasion and over four hundred articles in Star Trek magazines. He currently lives in London.

Blurb

Lieutenant Saru is a Kelpian, a member of prey species born on a world overrun by monstrous predators… and a being who very intimately understands the nature of fear. Challenged on all sides, he is determined to surpass his origins and succeed as a Starfleet officer aboard the U. S. S. Shenzhou.

But when Saru breaks protocol in order to prove himself to his crew mates, what begins as a vital rescue mission to save a vessel in distress soon escalates out of control. Forced into a command role he may not be ready for, Saru is caught between his duty and conflicting agendas of two antagonistic alien races. To survive, he will need to seek a path of peace against all odds, and risk compromising the very ideals he has sworn to uphold…

Review

I found this book a really hard read, I struggled to get into it and kept forgetting what I had read and had to re read certain parts. I am pleased I stuck with it though as towards the end I began to enjoy it and got into it. I am not sure whether it was the writing style I struggled with or just the general storyline but I just couldn’t gel with the story.

This was an interesting story focusing on Saru and it helped me understand him a bit more, as so far watching his character in the TV series and reading about him in the previous two books I have not liked his character and found him unfeeling to others and a bit of a wet blanket. This book however showed that he did have feelings towards others and that he can be brave, decisive and commanding. 

I enjoyed the character of Captain Georgiou. She is fast becoming a favourite and I would have liked her to feature a little bit more in the story. I also liked how Saru found her an inspiration and always thought of what Georgiou would do when trying to decide his next course of action. Michael Burnham also started to show her human side in the book which was nice to see.

The character I did not enjoy and was pleased that he did not feature greatly in the book was the Shenzhou’s first officer Commander ch’Theloh. I found him bad tempered, grumpy and way too hard on his underlings.

The storyline was a good storyline and I enjoyed meeting the Gorlans and Peliars and would have liked to have found out a bit more about both species and what happened to them.

Overall I found this book to be quite a let down after Drastic Measures, and I did not enjoy the book nearly as much. It was hard work to read and follow and at times rather boring. Sadly this book only got 2 out of 5 Dragons. It has not put me off the series though and I am looking forward to reading the next.

To buy this book from Waterstones click here.

Lady Book Dragon

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Star Trek Discovery: Drastic Measures by Dayton Ward (Review)

Star Trek Discovery: Drastic Measures by Dayton Ward

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About the author

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Born in 1967 Dayton Ward is primarily known as a Science fiction author who writes Star Trek novels and short stories. Before Ward became an author he served for eleven years in the United States Marine Corps. He currently lives in Kansas City, Missouri and is a software developer when not writing.

Blurb

It is 2246, ten years prior to the “Battle at the Binary Star,” and an aggressive contagion is ravaging the food supplies of the remote Federation colony Tarsus IV and the eight thousand people who call it home. Distress signals have been sent, but any meaningful assistance is weeks away. Lieutenant Commander Gabriel Lorca and a small team assigned to a Starfleet monitoring outpost are caught up in the escalating crisis, and bear witness as the colony’s governor, Adrian Kodos, employs an unimaginable solution in order to prevent mass starvation.

While awaiting transfer to her next assignment, Commander Philippa Georgiou is tasked with leading to Tarsus IV a small, hastily assembled group of first responders. It’s hoped this advance party can help stabilise the situation until more aid arrives, but Georgiou and her team discover that they’re too late – Governor Kodos has already implemented his heinous strategy for extending the colony’s besieged food stores and safeguarding the community’s long-term survival.

In the midst of their rescue mission, Georgiou and Lorca must now hunt for the architect of this horrific tragedy and the man whom history will one day brand “Kodos the Executioner.”

Review

My reaction to this book is just wow. I’m not even sure if I should even use the word ‘wow’ to describe a book but I am going to. The more I have thought about this book since finishing it the more it has made its mark on my mind.

The storyline of this book is shocking but the way the characters deal with the situations and the horrifying circumstances is fantastic. There are so many intertwining storylines and that just adds to the story and makes it addictive. I also really enjoyed how the book gives you more background information on Lorca and Georgiou, it was really good to see a part of their lives early in their respective careers in Starfleet that will affect them for the rest of their lives.

There are so many emotions in this book and it does not hold back or sugar coat anything which is another element I enjoyed. There is anger, grief, fear, denial, cowardice, love and much more. The amount packed into this book is fantastic and was a real surprise to me. I really enjoyed the first book in the series Desperate Hours but it does not have the edge like this one, mainly due to the pace of this book, there was no dull, dragged out moments where I lost interest and it constantly had my attention hooked. I think this just shows that Dayton Ward is an experienced author of the genre and knows what the reader wants to read.

This story also contained a lot of twists and turns and so you never knew what could happen next and that really kept you on your toes. The characters we know so well from the TV series Lorca and Georgiou were brilliantly portrayed in the book and in my mind perfectly linked in with the TV series. The other character I was intrigued by and I really hope we see more of in future books is Captain Robert April, the eccentric captain who likes to wear cardigans over his uniform seems like a real character and I would love to see him featured in a story.

However, my favourite thing about this book is the very last section called Elsewhere. This section has had me thinking a lot since finishing the book and I absolutely loved the idea it is putting across but I will not say more as I do not want to spoil the surprise for you.

So as you might have guessed I love this book and so I rate it 5 Dragons out of 5 Dragons. For all you Trekkie fans out there it is a must read and even if you are not a Trekkie fan but adore a good Sci-fi set in space or on another planet I can not recommend it enough.

Lady Book Dragon

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