Home FiresBy Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at March 2, 2003 - 11:07 AM GMT
Title: Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers #25, Home Fires
Authors: Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore
Publication Date: March 2003
In the aftermath of the disastrous and tragic events of Wildfire, the remaining crewmembers of the USS da Vinci are given some much needed leave and readers of this innovative series will be treated to four 'spotlight' stories in the coming months that focus on individual characters. This month's title, Home Fires by Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore, puts that focus on the da Vinci's Security Chief, Lieutenant Commander Domenica Corsi.
Ordered to take a break by Captain Gold, Corsi reluctantly travels to her parents' home on Fahleena III for a visit, accompanied by friend and crewmate Fabian Stevens. Conflicted about her relationship with Stevens and struggling with sorrow and guilt, Corsi is also unsure of her welcome. Aldo Corsi, Domenica's father, has never forgiven her for joining Starfleet and the two have been estranged for several years.
It soon becomes obvious that Aldo, who runs an interstellar freight transport business, is as reluctant to see his daughter as she is to see him. Much to her displeasure, Stevens suggests that he and Corsi accompany Aldo on a cargo run in an attempt to force the two to interact with each other. When engine troubles during the trip offer Domenica the opportunity to learn the sad secret that her father has been harboring, a secret that he has kept for so long that it has left nothing but bitterness and resentment in its wake, the first steps towards understanding and healing can begin for all of them.
Guilt is a powerful emotion and it can be an extremely destructive one too. Home Fires succeeds perfectly in illustrating that understanding in this pleasing tale. This is a much more introspective story than is usual for an S.C.E. novel, and Home Fires is an ideal follow up to its powerful and emotionally charged predecessor, Wildfire.
Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore are extremely adept at weaving unexpected characters and bits of Star Trek lore into the stories they tell and Home Fires is no exception. It never feels forced or out of place. They write about the Star Trek universe with a style and creativity that allows them to effortlessly and naturally draw upon all the series. The flashback portion of the story set in 2355, during a period of high tension between Cardassia and the Federation, is a perfect example of their skill.
The old adage "Time flies when you're having fun" certainly applies to Home Fires. You are able to empathize with the characters, experience what they are to such a degree as you read the story, that I found myself surprised when it was over. Not a "where's the rest of it?" feeling — it certainly is a very complete and satisfying story — but rather an "oh, it's over" feeling. Perhaps because the last two S.C.E. stories have been two-part novels Home Fires seemed shorter by comparison, but Home Fires is average length for an eBook.
It will take a while for regular readers of S.C.E. to come to terms with the recent events in the series but Home Fires is certainly a wonderful way to begin.
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.