Honor BoundBy Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at December 14, 2003 - 5:35 PM GMT
Title: Star Trek: I.K.S. Gorkon, Book Two: Honor Bound
Author: Keith R.A. DeCandido
Release Date: December 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
There are some authors you can have so much confidence in that before you even read the first chapter of a new book they have written, you already feel assured that you are about to read a very entertaining tale, Keith R.A. DeCandido is such an author. With Honor Bound, book two in his all-new Klingon series I.K.S. Gorkon, DeCandido once again delivers a rousing tale you won’t soon forget.
Honor Bound follows up immediately on the events of last month’s novel A Good Day to Die when Captain Klag of the I.K.S. Gorkon, defeated in honorable combat, agreed to leave the world of San-Tarah in peace. Ordered to go back on his word by General Talak, Klag instead chooses to make a stand to preserve the integrity of the Empire and he calls on his fellow members of the Order of the Bat’leth to rally to his call. It is Klingon against Klingon in an epic battle that pits honor against an apparently superior foe.
The first 100 pages of Honor Bound are almost a prelude as step-by-step DeCandido methodically builds up the tension before the story explodes into action as Talak’s fleet and those who have answered Klag’s call engage in fierce battle. Then all hell breaks loose. The action shifts back and forth between the brutal and extremely graphic scenes of the engagements on the surface of San-Tarah, and the clash of the ships battling it out in the skies above. Honor Bound is most definitely a tale of warfare -- good old-fashioned action-adventure, Klingon-style.
Despite the attention the author has given to the details of describing all the hand-to-hand combat and the deadly dance being performed by the massive ships above, Honor Bound still manages to be a story about the characters that are doing all the fighting. DeCandido is able to expand and advance the reader’s knowledge of his familiar characters without overshadowing the other characters that inhabit this particular story. There may not be a human in the bunch but each character has his or her own unique voice, and a point of view you can understand, even if you cannot agree with it.
Among other things we learn more about Klag’s past and gain a better understanding of Kurak’s bitterness by experiencing her family situation. One of the things I most appreciated was getting to see the bekks of the 15th squad in action once again; you’ve simply got to love the grunts. My only frustration was that while the story is most definitely concluded, DeCandido manages to drop in a few teases about what might be yet to come for a couple of the characters and that I will not get to find out where that all might be going until the next Gorkon book.
The entire novel is carefully and skillfully plotted, building to highlight after highlight, with more than one surprise along the way, before finally culminating in a climax that might just have you cheering along with the characters. But even if you are not inclined to cheer, Honor Bound is definitely one invigorating and extremely fun read.
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.