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The Trek Nation - 'No Surrender' and 'Caveat Emptor'

'No Surrender' and 'Caveat Emptor'

By Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at August 15, 2002 - 7:07 AM GMT

Jacqueline Bundy catches readers up on the Starfleet Corps of Engineers eBook series, reviewing #13-14, leading up to the S.C.E.: Foundations trilogy.


Title: Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers #13: No Surrender
Author: Jeff Mariotte
Publication Date: February 2001
Format: eBook
ISBN: 0-7434-2880-3


What motivates a man to sacrifice everything he's ever believed in for a cause? Can the events in people's lives lead them to radically change their fundamental beliefs? How well can we ever truly know another human being? No Surrender ponders those themes and takes this series another step forward in its development.

The Plat -- a high-security prison facility orbiting the non-aligned world of Kursican -- is spinning out of control, threatening not only the lives of those on board the station but also the inhabitants of the planet below as its orbit slowly decays. When the Kursican authorities seem unable or unwilling to handle the potential disaster, Starfleet sends in the USS da Vinci to try to bring the space station under control.

The crew of the da Vinci gets a lot more than they bargained for as they find themselves caught up in the middle of a revolt. They soon discover that a group opposed to Kursican's petition to join the Federation has sabotaged from the station within. The saboteurs have fled, taking both Kursican and Federation citizens as hostages. Leading the revolt is David Gold's oldest friend, former Starfleet officer Augustus Bradford.

No Surrender is a well balanced, affecting story that gives the character of Captain David Gold a chance to standout. Jeff Mariotte manages to evoke palpable tension in the interactions between the characters while at the same time providing plenty of action. The only disappointing aspect of this book is that it is too short to truly delve into the weighty issues it touches upon. Despite that, No Surrender still manages to pack quite a punch into a small package and to entertain the reader with one of the best offerings yet in this series.


Title: Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers #14: Caveat Emptor
Authors: Ian Edginton and Mike Collins
Publication Date: March 2002
Format: eBook
ISBN: 0-7434-2874-9


Where do old computers go to die in the 24th century? Do they have scrap heaps? They certainly have junk dealers. Apparently at least one 23rd century computer found itself recycled, with very humorous consequences.

Once upon a time, James T. Kirk talked a computer by the name of Landru into shutting itself down. Unfortunately, no one seems to have made sure that it was either disassembled or destroyed. In this SCE outing, the Landru computer has made its way to the ship of a Ferengi merchantman vessel, and the Ferengi may never be the same again.

After the USS da Vinci picks up a faint distress call, the crew intercepts a Ferengi escape pod. The lone passenger, Daimon Phug, claims that his ship was destroyed by a warp core breach and that he is the only survivor of the disaster. But when the da Vinci backtracks the pod's route, they find themselves trapped and held by the Ferengi ship. It seems that Phug recently picked up a real bargain -- a second-hand computer system -- but has taken control of his ship and crew, absorbing them for the good of the whole.

Caveat Emptor is a hilarious story. Nice, generous, docile Ferengi…the very idea is enough to generate a smile, but the wonderful execution of the writing in this excellent story transforms it from amusing to laugh out loud funny. Ian Edginton and Mike Collins demonstrate a light, deft touch with the characters, perfectly capturing the casual but respectful interaction of the da Vinci crew.

The action is well-timed and complements the numerous comical scenes perfectly. Even if you don't regularly read this series, give this one a try. Everybody needs a good laugh now and then, and if the scene with Grand Nagus Rom trying to calm the populous of Ferenginar doesn't make you laugh, then nothing will.


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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.