S.C.E. #54: SecurityBy Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at September 19, 2005 - 7:07 PM GMT
Title: Starfleet Corps of Engineers: #54, Security
Author: Keith R.A. DeCandido
Release Date: August 2005
There have been a lot of hints dropped in prior S.C.E. stories about the backstory of Lieutenant Commander Domenica Corsi, the U.S.S. da Vinci's security chief. In the 54th eBook, Security, the series co-developer and editor, Keith R.A. DeCandido puts on his author hat and provides a stand-out tale that succeeds in doing a lot more than just enlightening readers about Corsi's personal history.
When a new security guard, Tomozuka Kim, reports for duty as the replacement for the recently deceased Ken Caitano it sets Corsi off in ways that confuse both her staff and her sometime lover Fabian Stevens. When Stevens confronts her, Corsi finally takes Stevens into her confidence and at long last we learn what happened ten years ago on Izar when Corsi was serving on the U.S.S. Roosevelt.
As a regular reader of the S.C.E. books I've often wondered just what Corsi's problem is? That riddle has made Corsi one of the series most intriguing characters. What we learn in Security does help explain the puzzle of Corsi's behavior, as well as her connection to the Enterprise's Christine Vale, but it is how DeCandido imparts that information that makes Security such a rewarding read.
Based on the description of Security as you begin reading you presume that Corsi's disclosure will be the main focus of the story, but the flashback portion of the story is just one small, though crucial, element of the plot. DeCandido sets the stage for Corsi's revelation with great dexterity, allowing the characters to drive the story. This enables readers to feel as if they are immersed in the day to day life aboard the da Vinci over a two-week period of time and brings the events depicted in the last few stories more sharply into focus. It's a simple and effective storytelling technique and exactly what was needed at this point in the series.
Because of the regularity of the Starfleet Corps of Engineers stories it's sometimes tempting to skip one now and then but if you're a regular reader of this series don't make that mistake with Security. There are several ongoing character threads that have seemed a bit neglected over the course of the past few stories, including Gomez's efforts to rein in Tev's arrogant behavior, but Security smoothly restores those to the continuing narrative and leaves the reader anxious to find out where things go from here.
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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.