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The Trek Nation - Starfleet Corps of Engineers #9-12

Starfleet Corps of Engineers #9-12

By Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at August 7, 2002 - 7:32 PM GMT

Jacqueline Bundy, who is undoubtedly well-known to many readers as The Trekker Newsletter's long-time book reviewer, has agreed to join the Trek Nation reviewing staff. In this installment of The Book Padd, she catches us up on the S.C.E. eBook series #9-12. Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers #10: Here There Be Monsters was reviewed by Michelle Erica Green as part of a Gateways omnibus review, which can be found here.


Title: Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers #9: The Riddled Post
Authors: Aaron Rosenberg
Publication Date: October 2001
Format: eBook
ISBN: 0-7434-2876-5


The Riddled Post is a bit of a mystery. A small remote mining outpost on the inhospitable planet of BorSitu Minor has been attacked, and most of those assigned to station, killed. But who is responsible and why? Itís up to the S.C.E. crew of the USS da Vinci to find out.

The story is fairly simple and straightforward. If you enjoy mysteries, the entertainment in this story is trying to solve one, but the story lacks the tension and suspense of the previous S.C.E. stories. As with all the S.C.E. stories, the short novella length makes for a fast paced plot, but the execution of that plot is just average. If you enjoy action and/or conflict in youíre reading then this oneís not for you.

Half the fun of reading these stories is the character-oriented sub-plots. The characters themselves are some of the most entertaining and interesting yet created for a Star Trek series. The Riddled Post does a satisfying job advancing the characters and regular readers wonít be disappointed, but I wouldnít recommend this title to anyone who wants to try this series for the first time. Other installments are a much better jumping-off point.


Title: Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers #11: Ambush
Authors: Dave Galanter and Greg Brodeur
Publication Date: December 2001
Format: eBook
ISBN: 0-7434-2878-1


If you like an action filled story then Ambush is just your style. This SCE ebook is jammed packed with edge of your seat action from beginning to end. Expectation, anticipation and apprehension, this book has it all and more.

On their way to restock a mining colony and transport back a mineral vital to curing a Horta plague on Janus IV, the USS da Vinci finds itself under attack from the normally reclusive Munqu. Outnumbered and outgunned the da Vinci isnít used to fighting this type of battle. As Sonia Gomez, commander of the crack engineering team points out, SCE ships didnít usually find themselves called into battle-theirs was the type of ship that goes in after the battle to clean up the mess left behind.

Meanwhile the colony of Beta Argola finds itself facing major power problems and containment has been lost on the antimatter blasting charges the miners use. Itís only a matter of time before the colony blows up, taking all the inhabitants with it. The colony may be small, but itís vital to the Federation and the da Vinci is all that stands between it and total disaster. Knowing whatís at stake, Captain Gold must rely on his crew of innovative engineers to find a way to even the odds so that they can defeat the Munqu and reach the colony in time.

Authors Dave Galanter and Greg Brodeur, who have previously written the TNG duology Maximum Warp, have written a story that moves along at breakneck speed making the story seem even shorter than it actually is. The story holds together well and I enjoyed getting to see this series bridge crew, who normally serve as secondary characters, utilized a bit more for a change. Ambush is well worth reading for the action alone, but as with the other SCE books itís the characters that really make this story work.


Title: Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers #12: Some Assembly Required
Authors: Scott Ciencin and Dan Jolley
Publication Date: January 2002
Format: eBook
ISBN: 0-7434-2879-X


The planet Keorga has a culture entirely based on art and creativity. Though technologically advanced, the Keorgan people themselves are quite childlike in many ways. When their request to Starfleet for a planet-running computer is denied, they purchase one from a passing trader but the device soon begins to exhibit unimaginable power and a disaster of cataclysmic proportions on a planetary scale seems imminent.

This is not just another computer running amok story. Itís much better than it sounds. In fact itís downright hilarious at times. Cultural specialist Carol Abramowitz, linguist Bart Faulwell and the Bynar computer expert Solomon are the team sent to assist the Keorgans. While a resolution to the problems presented by the planetary computer are a main focus of the plot, the descriptions of this unique society and the interactions of the characters are what really it worth reading. Itís light, itís amusing and a fun read.


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Jacqueline Bundy reviews Star Trek books for the Trek Nation, writes monthly columns for the TrekWeb newsletter and the Star Trek Galactic News, and hosts the Yahoo Star Trek Books Group weekly chat.