S.C.E. #51: Lost TimeBy Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at July 28, 2005 - 9:50 PM GMT
Title: Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers #51, Lost Time
Author: Ilsa J. Bick
Release Date: May 2005
What risks would you take if you had a chance to be reunited with a lost love? That is just one of the questions you may find yourself pondering after you read Lost Time by Ilsa J. Bick, the 51st Starfleet Corps of Engineers eBook. Surprisingly, Lost Time is a pensive story that manages to be both tender and exhilarating at the same time.
In Malefictorum, the Starfleet Corps of Engineers tale that immediately precedes Lost Time, a murder investigation brought the U.S.S. da Vinci to Deep Space Nine. Lost Time is set after that investigation has been completed but before the da Vinci returns to Earth in the epilogue of Malefictorum. Therefore the da Vinci is on hand when spatial ripples begin wrecking havoc in the Bajoran system and the S.C.E. crew jumps right in to assist.
The tale told in Lost Time contains one heck of a plot twist, which I won't spoil by providing the usual short plot synopsis. What I will tell you is that the plot of Lost Time utilizes a lot of what has happened in previous S.C.E. tales and builds on that. Consequently, if you are a regular reader of this series, Lost Time is a pleasure to read. However, if you are not a regular reader of S.C.E., it's likely that you would find the story confusing and Lost Time wouldn't be an ideal introduction to the series.
Lost Time is a Deep Space Nine crossover story and while Bick utilizes some of those familiar characters, only Nog plays a fairly large roll working along side the crew of the U.S.S. da Vinci. As a crossover the author walks a fine line at times in the narrative, but she does so carefully never allowing the DS9 elements to entirely highjack the story.
In Bick's previous Star Trek fiction she has demonstrated the ability to get inside the heads of the characters and with Lost Time, her first contribution to the Starfleet Corps of Engineers; she has done it again, providing new depth to some of the regular characters. This is particularly true with Soloman, the da Vinci's resident Bynar and computer specialist.
Bottom line: Lost Time has an interesting premise, great action scenes and strong characterizations but if you aren't already very familiar with the Starfleet Corps of Engineers series you might want to wait to read Lost Time until you are more familiar with the regular characters and their history.
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.