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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old May 5 2010, 10:23 PM   #31
Ronald Held
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Re: The Children of Kings

Finally got my copy. It is next in the Trek reading queue.
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Old May 6 2010, 10:00 PM   #32
Re: The Children of Kings

Children of Kings is a fast paced read and I've really enjoyed the story so far.It's nice to see Enterprise and the Captains and crews of Excaliber and Hood working together to stop the Orions.I liked how Dr.Boyce is finally getting an important storyline in this book. I also like seeing Number and Spock working together as a team to unravel the mysery about the secret building and the attack on Starbase 18.
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Old May 7 2010, 10:16 PM   #33
Man of Steel
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Re: The Children of the Kings

ClayinCA wrote: View Post
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I see you're in Brooklyn - where did you find the book? I work in Manhattan...
Barnes and Noble.
Cool, thanks. I just found a copy in the Penn Station Borders this morning!

I would have suggested Penn Books but Borders is one of the flagships and they keep new Trek books out in front on that table but sometimes it's just easier to get it shipped and the store will ship directly to you if you ask nicely. (Well they used to I don't know if the still do that)
"Do You Wanna Build A Snowman"----- Anna
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Old May 8 2010, 06:30 AM   #34
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Re: The Children of Kings

Finished the book a couple of days ago... All in all, TCoK was quite good and featured a nice adventure, but something bothered me about it until just this morning.

I didn't "feel" it as being in the pre-TOS era. Other than using different names, it really felt like TOS to me. I would expect using a specific era for a Trek novel would mean capturing the feel of the series/era. For example, a Titan novel feels different to me than a (pre-Relaunch) Voyager or a series-era TNG novel, though all feature exploration stories.

Here I just gpt the feeling that I'm reading a TOS novel, with the names changed for some reason...
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Old May 8 2010, 07:20 AM   #35
Desert Kris
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Re: The Children of the Kings

Christopher wrote: View Post
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ETA: looks like the ref to NCO Colt as an Ensign was a one-off, tho the spelling of Ilyria as "Illyria" and as a colony I suspect was due to an old error at Memory Beta.
Not necessarily. There are a number of clear differences from canon here. Garison is a lieutenant instead of a chief petty officer, Pitcairn is chief engineer instead of transporter chief, the Klingons already have a prototype cloak in the 2250s, and there's even a reference to the Ferengi. Plus it's evidently before "The Cage" yet Colt is already Pike's yeoman, rather than the replacement for the one he lost on Rigel VII immediately before "The Cage." I was confused at first, until I read the author's note at the end, where Stern says that the new film continuity "freed [him] of the need to write specifically to one vision of humanity's future" and that the book shows "the Enterprise as it might have been under Captain Christopher Pike." He calls it a "prequel" to the movie, though it can't be, since the movie showed the Enterprise's maiden voyage. So it's not quite in the Prime universe and it's not quite in the Abramsverse. It's apparently sort of a stealth Myriad Universes tale, an alternate take on Pike's captaincy and on the astropolitical situation of the 2250s.

It's an interesting approach. I'd imagine it's a product of the period when the editors weren't sure how to deal with the new continuity and were developing projects adaptable to either timeline, or at least not specifically bound to either one.
This stuff about taking minor liberties sold me for this book, which I wasn't sure I would spring for at first. I think a major point is that it is not presented as an alternate continuity, but simply as the work of an author who decided to take a few liberties with "established facts." It's definitely a good thing that the author included an explanation of what he was going for (and it was certainly an interesting read) and I like it as a rallying cry for developing Star Trek material in new ways. I also like the fact that he didn't throw in a "Nero" to explain the changes; it's up to the reader to decide why there are differences (this is not meant to be a slam on the new movie, which I like, Nero and all).

All that being said, a glance at the first review on makes me think that maybe that afterword should have been a foreward, that reader went into reading the book without an understanding of Stern's creative philosophical approach, and he's judging the book on it's accuracy to the "Prime" continuity.
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Old May 8 2010, 04:34 PM   #36
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Re: The Children of the Kings

Hmm, this whole possible alternate universe element to the story has me very interested. I've always been a fan of stories that a take things in a different direction like this.
They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance. - Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites
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Old May 11 2010, 02:38 AM   #37
Re: The Children of Kings

I have a quick question. Does this book go before or after "Inception" chronologically?
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Old May 11 2010, 03:28 AM   #38
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Re: The Children of Kings

indianatrekker26 wrote: View Post
I have a quick question. Does this book go before or after "Inception" chronologically?
Well, they're not quite in the same continuity, apparently, but The Children of Kings purports that Spock has been under Pike's command for only three months, which would make it the early 2250s by either the Prime or Abrams version of Spock's career. Inception is in 2261.
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Old May 14 2010, 12:55 PM   #39
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Re: The Children of Kings

This book is ok but it bugs me how the
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Old May 14 2010, 05:59 PM   #40
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Re: The Children of Kings

JoeZhang wrote: View Post
This book is ok but it bugs me how the
Have to agree with you Joe Zhang. The book kind of stops with some definite threads still unresolved.
"If we're going to be damned, let's be damned for what we really are." - Jean-Luc Picard, "Encounter at Farpoint"
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Old May 15 2010, 06:25 PM   #41
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Re: The Children of Kings

I'm not sure what more we could have seen in the denouement of this novel about Starfleet Intelligence. There will be repercussions for Pike, but the main thing is that the cloaking specs did not make it back to SI.

I honestly did not notice any of the deviations from the Prime continuity. The characters of Pike, Boyce, Number One, and Spock were written well and felt like the same people from "The Cage" a little earlier in their careers. I especially like the way the book ends with a twist on a classic moment from that pilot.

The book itself is riveting. Each of the plotlines is interesting, and they blend together sweetly by the end. I would agree with the poster who gave this a 4/5, although it's an 8/10 on my scale. It is worthy of being read more than once.

One of my only complaints is the Russian captain. I get that we were supposed to hear the stereotypical Russian accent in his dialogue, but the frequent word-dropping did not seem in character for such an intelligent man. I would expect him to either speak in complete sentences in English or speak Russian with the UT activated.
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Old May 17 2010, 07:37 PM   #42
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Re: The Children of Kings

Smiley wrote: View Post
I honestly did not notice any of the deviations from the Prime continuity. The characters of Pike, Boyce, Number One, and Spock were written well and felt like the same people from "The Cage" a little earlier in their careers.
I definitely agree. The only two things I noticed that differed from 'The Cage' were (as others have noted) the presence of Colt as Pike's Yeoman and the usage of phasers instead of lasers as weaponry. The former didn't bother me, as I figured Colt might have been a secondary yeoman or something, who moved up to full-time service after the Rigel VII incident, and as for the latter, I just assumed it was a technological ret-conning on the basis of what we now know about what lasers can do.

My favorite small character bit, which I'd actually like to see followed up on in any future Dave Stern-penned Pike-era novels, is the comment from the female captain (sorry, I've forgotten her name), "Don't talk to me about Robert April." I laughed out loud at that.
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Old May 18 2010, 05:12 AM   #43
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Re: The Children of Kings


I hate it when Trek books go through all the rigamarole of establishing a long-dead aspect of the history of some culture, only to totally destroy it and have it not matter at all in the end. ("Oh shit all the priceless historical artifacts got blown out the hull breach! Guess we won't be learning anything from that!") This book at least leaves part of the ending (the serum/Orion leadership) ambiguous, but unless this chick shows up leading the Orions again in Vanguard or something, it pretty much has to be a non-starter.

Plus, for being a novel set in such a big gap in Trek history, it did basically dick-all to give us any new information about either galactic affairs or particular characterizations. Spock's tendency towards run-on sentences was a joke more than a character trait and kind of dumb, and no one else exhibited any real characteristics of any kind. Even Boyce was sort of McCoy-lite. The Lost Era novels gave an incredible sense of the many decades of history through which they ran; this told me nothing at all.

All in all, the alternate universe aspects of it weren't interesting enough to be worthwhile, it also didn't tell us anything new about the prime universe, and the story was a giant dead end with some false ambiguity added on. I'm not the biggest fan of standalones in general, but even still I think this was a pretty bad one.

Inception, Unspoken Truth, and this have been a pretty uninspiring run of TOS novels. I am not very impressed.
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Old May 18 2010, 01:43 PM   #44
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Re: The Children of Kings

There was a mention of the Ferengi when Number One was doing her research. That pretty much rules out the prime universe.
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Old May 18 2010, 03:50 PM   #45
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Re: The Children of Kings

The ferengi were known since Enterprise - by name Ent: Dear Doctor and appearance.
Little contact does not mean unknown.
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kirk, orions, spock, tos

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