Spoilers KEL: The Unsettling Stars by Alan Dean Foster Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Avro Arrow, Apr 15, 2020.

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Rate KEL: The Unsettling Stars

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  1. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Vice Admiral Moderator

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    [​IMG]

    Blurb:
    An original novel based on the thrilling Star Trek movies directed by J.J. Abrams!


    Taking place in an alternate timeline created when the Starship Kelvin was destroyed by a Romulan invader from the future, this bold new novel follows Captain James T. Kirk and an inexperienced crew commandeering a repaired U.S.S. Enterprise out of spacedock for a simple shakedown cruise. When a distress call comes in, the Enterprise must aid a large colony ship of alien refugees known as the Perenorean, who are under siege by an unknown enemy. But Kirk and his crew will find that the situation with the peaceful Perenorean is far more complicated than they bargained for, and the answers as to why they were attacked in the first place unfold in the most insidious of ways…

    About the Author:
    Alan Dean Foster’s work to date includes excursions into hard science fiction, fantasy, horror, detective, western, historical, and contemporary fiction. He has also written numerous nonfiction articles on film, science, and scuba diving and produced the novel versions of many films, including such well-known productions as Star Wars, the first three Alien films, Alien Nation, and The Chronicles of Riddick. Other works include scripts for talking records, radio, computer games, and the story for the first Star Trek movie. His novel Shadowkeep was the first ever book adaptation of an original computer game. In addition to publication in English his work has been translated into more than fifty languages and has won awards in Spain and Russia. His novel Cyber Way won the Southwest Book Award for Fiction in 1990, the first work of science fiction ever to do so.

    https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/The-Unsettling-Stars/Alan-Dean-Foster/Star-Trek/9781982140601

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    People have apparently been getting this book, so it must be time for a review thread!

    I actually don't know when I am going to be able to get this one. I much prefer to purchase my Star Trek books in-store, and of course all the Indigo/Chapters stores are closed until further notice.

    A note on the abbreviation:
    I was originally planning to use either KT or KT-TOS for this one, however, after some research, I ended up going with ALT for consistency. If anyone feels strongly that it should be changed to something else, feel free to let me know!
     
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  2. historypeats

    historypeats Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Just received my copy!

    * The cover's done with a matte finish save for the titling/series designation, which omits the typical "The Original Series" on both the cover and the spine.

    * It's definitely on the short side for a Star Trek trade paperback - not quite cracking the 300-page mark, and with some fairly generous margins/font sizing. I'm guessing there wasn't a lot of attention devoted to expanding the original manuscript, which would've been aimed at filling a MMPB.

    * One chapter in, Foster's doing a ton of telling, not showing - going beyond simple exposition in a manner that can feel distracting. I hope that's not going to persist.

    On the plus side, each of the Core Seven gets a little bit of "screen time" in the early going, something that can be surprisingly tough to do organically (see The Shocks of Adversity for an example of how to feature everyone effectively). Scotty's shoehorned in a bit, but the way the narrative camera "pivots" to an exchange between Sulu and Chekov before returning to the scene's main action felt smooth.

    Should make for a decently swift read.
     
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  3. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

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    Personally, I've always preferred "Abramsverse."

    And "historypeats," I should think you ought to be aware that ADF tends to start slow, and to reward patience.
     
  4. thribs

    thribs Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    JJVerse sounded better off the tongue to me. Kelvin Timeline is too much of a mouthful. Plus that’s the in-Prime Universe name for it; as Daniels calls it that in STO.
     
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  5. thribs

    thribs Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Can you tell from reading it that it’s the JJ version of the characters than the Prime ones? Can you imagine the story with the TOS crew?
     
  6. Desert Kris

    Desert Kris Captain Captain

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    @Avro Arrow I like the ALT designation, it's a simple three-letter combination that works just as well as, say, TOS or TAS.
    And often rushes endings! But I like his writing fine, for the most part.
    This is an interesting question. A reader posted on the Doctor Who fan forum that he felt that the book could read as a regular, early-days TOS novel, with the Spock/Uhura relationship as being the only aspect that made it a Kelvin-timeline story. I skim-read some of the dialogue from the first chapter, and I could at times hear both actors for each character, but I sometimes had to make more effort to remind myself of the voice of a Kelvin-timeline actor, while TOS actors' voices intrude more readily because of long familiarity.

    For fun, I also listened to the audiobook sample on Amazon. It's the same narrator who has done TOS audiobooks, Robert Petkoff. It kind of sounded like he was differentiating his performance, but I wasn't sure. It seemed like he wasn't deepening his voice as much for Spock, and wasn't interpreting Kirk with Shatner's influence. But it was only a small sample, so I can't speak for the whole audiobook.
     
  7. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'd have gone with AOS (Alternate Original Series), since that's what fanfic has been using to differentiate them for a decade.
     
  8. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Personally, I'd go with KEL for "Kelvin Timeline." I think it fits with the three-letter abbreviation theme nicely:
    • TOS
    • TNG
    • DS9
    • VOY
    • ENT
    • KEL
    • DIS
    • PIC
     
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  9. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I usually skip 5ym stories; I'm very curious if this is unique enough to be worth the read. I'm interested to read reviews.
     
  10. thribs

    thribs Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Didn’t they start their 5 year mission after Into Darkness?
     
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  11. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I preordered this book but it hasn't come in the mail yet.
     
  12. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    This one sounds like it's set between ST09 and Into Darkness.
     
  13. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Got it yesterday. Will try to start it by the weekend.
     
  14. Desert Kris

    Desert Kris Captain Captain

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    The bridge crew are all anxious not to mess up, because they are all still newly risen in rank by way of battlefield promotion. It reads as taking place right after the first movie.
     
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  15. thribs

    thribs Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Don’t get started with that. Only Spock and Scotty are at the rank. The rest are still cadets. :)
     
  16. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Admiral Admiral

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    Sulu is also at rank, Uhura is addressed as Lieutenant, Chekov at Ensign, and Kirk has an on screen designation of Lieutenant.
     
  17. thribs

    thribs Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It’s all very confusing. There is no way Kirk will be a Lieutenant after only 3 years.
     
  18. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    "Four years? I'll do it in three." Best of the best of the best of the best!

    Also I just noticed the cover says "based on the thrilling new Star Trek movies!"

    ...new?:lol:
     
  19. thribs

    thribs Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    They were supposed to come out in 2009. Surprised they didn’t change “new” to “defunct”.
     
  20. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Hey, never say never. Star Trek: The Next Generation was as defunct as it gets from 2002-2019. They'll come back together to reboot The Undiscovered Country in 2034!
     
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