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July 22 2024


An archive of Star Trek News

S.C.E.'s 'Past Life' and 'Oaths'

By Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at September 8, 2002 - 2:12 AM GMT

Jacqueline Bundy catches up on the S.C.E. novels leading up to the recent Foundations trilogy. She'll get to those after finishing Mission Gamma, which she's enjoying too much to put down!

Title: Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers #15: Past Life
Author: Robert Greenberger
Publication Date: April 2002
Format: eBook
ISBN: 0-7434-2882-1

Remember the Evora -- the slightly reptilian-looking, very short round aliens who appeared in Insurrection? In this S.C.E. story, the Evora have a problem, and they turn to Starfleet for help.

When an ancient device of unknown origin is uncovered during an archeological dig on Evora, it creates a bit of a dilemma. The device obviously predates their civilization and would seem to imply that aliens visited their world in the distant past. The U.S.S. da Vinci is sent to investigate the device and find out its true nature.

Trouble stems, not from the device itself, but from what it represents to the Evoran population: a challenge to their belief system. When the Onlith, a group opposed to Evora having contact with other species, decide to take matters into their own hands, Commander Sonia Gomez finds herself in a race against time to save the planet and the Evoran relationship with the Federation.

Past Life has all the elements to be a solid story. And that is exactly what you get -- an enjoyable, light, fast-paced read. The predictability of the plot is more than compensated for by the wonderful characterizations and the glimpses into the culture of the Evora. It won't "wow" you, but it will entertain you.

Title: Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers #16: Oaths
Author: Glenn Hauman
Publication Date: May 2002
Format: eBook
ISBN: 0-7434-5671-8

Captain David Gold of the USS da Vinci is worried about his CMO, Dr. Elizabeth Lense. She's been listless, stressed, and delegating most of her responsibilities to the EMH. So the captain decides to take matters into his own hands and attempt to help Dr. Lense resolve her malaise before her career is ruined. Goldís terms for allowing her to retain her duties are mandatory counseling sessions with him.

Elizabeth Lense is at a crossroads in her life and career. The Dominion War has left her emotionally numb and disillusioned. But when a deadly plague breaks out on Shermanís Planet, millions of people are in dire need of Dr. Lense at her best. Can Lense pull herself together and find a cure in time?

Oaths is not your average Star Trek book. Told in large part in first person through log entries, the story of the plague is secondary to the struggle between Dr. Lense and Captain Gold as he fights to help her find the passion she once had for her work. The book is absorbing, the characterizations outstanding. One wonderful touch is a tribute to the firefighters lost on September 11th. It is inserted so seamlessly into the story that it almost slips by.

You definitely donít need to be a regular reader to enjoy this installment of S.C.E. The story and the obvious skill with which it is executed make Oaths the perfect short novel for anyone to enjoy.

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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.

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