Spoilers TOS: The Face of the Unknown by Christopher L. Bennett Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Defcon, Dec 28, 2016.

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Rate The Face of the Unknown

  1. Outstanding

    17 vote(s)
    48.6%
  2. Above Average

    12 vote(s)
    34.3%
  3. Average

    4 vote(s)
    11.4%
  4. Below Average

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Poor

    2 vote(s)
    5.7%
  1. Defcon

    Defcon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    [​IMG]

    Blurb:
    Investigating a series of violent raids by a mysterious predatory species, Captain James T. Kirk discovers that these events share a startling connection with the First Federation, a friendly but secretive civilization contacted early in the USS Enterprise’s five-year mission. Traveling to the First Federation in search of answers, the Enterprise suddenly comes under attack from these strange marauders. Seeking refuge, the starship finds its way to the true home of the First Federation, an astonishing collection of worlds hidden from the galaxy beyond. The inhabitants of this isolated realm are wary of outsiders, and some accuse Kirk and his crew for bringing the wrath of their ancient enemy down upon them. When an attempt to stave off disaster goes tragically wrong, Kirk is held fully accountable, and Commander Spock learns there are even deeper forces that threaten this civilization. If Kirk and Spock cannot convince the First Federation's leaders to overcome their fears, the resulting catastrophe could doom them all!


    About the Author:
    Christopher L. Bennett is a lifelong resident of Cincinnati, Ohio, with bachelor’s degrees in physics and history from the University of Cincinnati. He has written such critically acclaimed Star Trek novels as Ex Machina, The Buried Age, the Titan novels Orion’s Hounds and Over a Torrent Sea, the two Department of Temporal Investigations novels Watching the Clock and Forgotten History, and the Enterprise novels Rise of the Federation: A Choice of Futures, Tower of Babel, Uncertain Logic, and Live By the Code, as well as shorter works including stories in the anniversary anthologies Constellations, The Sky’s the Limit, Prophecy and Change, and Distant Shores. Beyond Star Trek, he has penned the novels X Men: Watchers on the Walls and Spider Man: Drowned in Thunder. His original work includes the hard science fiction superhero novel Only Superhuman, as well as several novelettes in Analog and other science fiction magazines.


    AN excerpt can be found here (just scroll down to the bottom of the page).
     
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  2. Odona Kirk

    Odona Kirk Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    My copy arrived from Amazon yesterday. I always enjoy Christopher's work, and I look forward to reading this book.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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  4. Leto_II

    Leto_II Captain Captain

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    For some weird reason I skipped ahead to the "Acknowledgements" section at the very end last night, and caught several cool things, not the least of which being
    the very last pages of the novel leading directly into James Swallow's recent TOS novel The Latter Fire, with the Enterprise preparing to rendezvous with Arex's ship, and Chekov getting ready to depart.

    Also quite dug the storyline-connections to Alan Dean Foster's TAS novelizations and Dave Galanter's Troublesome Minds (an absolute all-timer in my book).

    Enjoyed reading that article, Christopher -- looking forward to the annotations.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
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  5. Cyfa

    Cyfa Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I started reading this last night, and I'm already hooked (although, sleepiness prevented reading more than a couple of chapters). Something that I really like is that it's Sulu who manages to identify the initial attackers, and not Spock - It's not "The Big Three Show". This is one of the reasons that I enjoy Christopher's TOS stories - the whole cast are used, rather than just the stars.
     
  6. E-DUB

    E-DUB Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I voted "outstanding" as well. Christopher has knocked it out of the park with this one. It is not merely a great "Star Trek" story, but a great story period. I'm frankly amazed that in decades of ST lit that no one as addressed this little corner of Trek history in depth before.
     
  7. Leto_II

    Leto_II Captain Captain

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    ^ Yeah, finished reading a couple more chapters this morning (up to Chapter 5 now), and have simply been blown away so far. Christopher totally crushed this thing; you can tell he's enthusiastic about the storyline (as well as the TOS episode from which it originates), which has been an absolute feast.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    For that, I was sort of presaging Sulu's relationship with a character of that species in my post-TMP tales -- showing where that connection came from, basically. Plus it was a chance to shed some light on Sulu's early Starfleet career, something that's apparently been addressed quite rarely if at all.
     
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  9. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Might get my copy next week....
     
  10. Kilana2

    Kilana2 Commodore Commodore

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    I'll order it along with a bunch of German Trek novels (New Frontier, COE, Section 31).
     
  11. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    I've got the audiobook version, it will be next on my list.
     
  12. ryan123450

    ryan123450 Commodore Commodore

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    Glad I was already planning on reading this soon. I usually pass on 5YM books, but this one looks great, and all the story connections are something I really want to see.
     
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  13. Cyfa

    Cyfa Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I've managed to squeeze in a couple more chapters and, at the risk of gushing*, the Enterprise's discovery of the Web of Worlds was just wonderful! The images my mind conjured as I read about the Enterprise's descent and the landing party's greeting and tour, needed no effort or force of will. The history of the First Federation was easily read and absorbed, and I appreciated the touches that enabled this (something that Christopher has talked about in relation to much maligned "infodumps" in other threads).
    The last sentence of chapter four did elicit a grin from me though (more with, than at): The previous description of the storms raging (both inside and outside the domes) was still with me, and I imagined a crack of lightning and a suppressed evil laugh from Tirak as he agreed with the other triumvirs! :D
    Also, I did wonder if the briefly mentioned avians in one of the domes could be the Xindi Avians?

    * Full disclosure (and likely TMI) - I was reading this in a hot bath (as is my wont) which I find heightens my imaginitive processes. Although, to be fair, descriptions of a similar nature by Christopher in other books have brought on the same response, even when I'm not wallowing in hot water :)
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Nope. Just keep reading.
     
  15. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    I usually don't pick up 5YM books, but with Christopher writing, I'm in! Picked it up yesterday. Hoping to start it soon :)
     
  16. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Looking to start it after I am done with Prey 3. Christopher, how much depth of technical explanations are there in this novel?
     
  17. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The Bogosrin are horned ursinoids. Is that a tip of the hat to Disney's Beast (Beauty and the Beast)?
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2017
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Not even slightly. I don't think I've ever even seen that movie, except maybe partly on TV. I just wanted to come up with a large nonhumanoid species, something intimidating but not carnivorous. Besides, the Bogosrin's horns are described as slim, conical, and vertical, more like those of an antelope or gazelle.

    Besides, Disney's Beast isn't particularly ursinoid, is he? I never got that impression from the images I've seen. The Disney Wiki says he has "the head structure and horns of a buffalo, the arms and body of a bear, the eyebrows of a gorilla, the jaws, teeth, and mane of a lion, the tusks of a wild boar and the legs and tail of a wolf."

    I will admit that the Tessegri are loosely inspired by XLR8 from Ben 10, though.
     
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  19. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Just picked this one up last night! Looking forward to starting it... but first, I have to finish Prey Book 3, since I was only about 100 pages in before Christmas prep took away all my time available for reading! ;)
     
  20. DS9_Klingon

    DS9_Klingon Ensign Newbie

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    Just picked up my copy as well. I'm excited for it!! I'm new, but I also find it a treat that we have the author on the board to touch base with us on the regular!! :)