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The Trek Nation - Burning Dreams

Burning Dreams

By Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at August 6, 2006 - 5:07 PM GMT

Title: Star Trek: Burning Dreams
Author: Margaret Wander Bonnano
Release Date: August 2006
Format: Mass-Market Paperback
ISBN: 0-7434-9693-0


For most fans Captain Christopher Pike is a tragic figure. What little is known of him from the "The Cage" and the two part episode "The Menagerie" is just enough to form an impression of the character but not enough to satisfy the curiosity of most.

The few novels, comics and short stories that have featured Christopher Pike over the years have added a bit to our knowledge and understanding of the man that sat in the center seat of the U.S.S. Enterprise for two five-year missions prior to Kirk, but in many respects the character has always remained something of a enigma — but no more. In the incredible new novel Burning Dreams by Margaret Wander Bonanno, Captain Christopher Pike's life story is at last laid bare.

To tell her engrossing tale Bonanno has drawn on what has previously been established about Pike and built upon that to paint a portrait that is alternately heartwarming and heartbreaking. Burning Dreams takes us through Pike's childhood and adolescence to his early career in Starfleet, the years commanding the Enterprise and his brief tenure as Fleet Captain, to his time on Talos IV; but Burning Dreams is much more than just a recounting of one man's life.

The uniquely structured character-driven narrative is multilayered, with several recurring themes that all come together to provide a story with a scope you don't often find in a media-tie in novel.

Well known for her strong female characters, Bonanno manages to get inside the head of Christopher Pike to provide an intense and moving account of a unique individual but along the way she doesn't neglect those who, in one way or another, had an impact on his life.

The superb characterizations and the recollections of Vina, Spock and the Magistrate (the Talosian Keeper) intertwine within the story to add depth to our understanding of not just the characters but of the time period they lived in. At the center of it all is Christopher Pike, a man haunted by his past, whose best effort, in his own eyes, is never good enough.

Burning Dreams is certain to become a classic — a title that appeals to both the casual and hard core Star Trek fans the world over.


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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.