Starfleet Corps of Engineers: HonorBy Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at January 11, 2006 - 10:20 PM GMT
Title: Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers, #58: Honor
Author: Kevin Killiany
Release Date: December 2005
It's frightening how easily information can be twisted to justify actions that most individuals would never dream of condoning. The 58th installment of the Starfleet Corps of Engineers, Honor is Kevin Killiany's second contribution to the series and an enjoyable and thought provoking read that illustrates just how simple it can be.
Forced to the surface of the pre-warp world of Zhatyra II while repairing an orbital observation post P8 Blue (Pattie) and Domenica Corsi find themselves separated and temporarily stranded while the U.S.S. da Vinci is off on another mission. The indigenous culture, the centaur-like K'k'tict, are a peaceful people who abhor violence. Unable to communicate with the Smaunif, a small group of recently arrived humanoids who are determined to establish a colony on the planet, the K'k'tict are ready to let themselves be exterminated. But Corsi and Pattie are unable to stand idly by and watch a slaughter take place deciding instead to risk breaking the Prime Directive in a fight that they may not be able to win.
Killiany seems to have an affinity for Pattie, he used the character very effectively in his previous S.C.E. story Orphans too, and it was a real pleasure to see Pattie get to play a larger role in a story for a change. With Pattie and Corsi each ‘a guest' of one of the relevant alien species the author allows each of them to tell us the story from their perspective quickly and effectively building an image of the two cultures.
I also liked how Killiany reflected the subtle softening of Corsi's hard edges in the most recent stories in his characterization of her. She's come a long way as a character and it's been fun to see her grow.
The one quibble I had with the story is that the B-storyline with Faulwell and Stevens didn't quite work, for me at least. It's not that I disliked the scenes, they are playful and well written, but rather that they seemed unnecessary and didn't really add anything to the main storyline.
Honor leaves you feeling hopeful that clarifying a misconception can be the beginning of positive change for a culture. After all, if a species as narrow minded in their perception of other species as the Smaunif are can begin to understand that knowledge and new ideas are not something to be feared then certainly mankind can someday too.
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.