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July 12 2024


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Star Trek Titan: Orion's Hounds

By Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at January 22, 2006 - 12:08 AM GMT

Title: Star Trek Titan: Orion's Hounds
Author: Christopher L. Bennett
Release Date: January 2006
Format: Mass-Market Paperback
ISBN: 1-4165-0950-X

Great science fiction opens your mind to new possibilities, ideas and concepts. The third novel in the Star Trek Titan series Orion's Hounds by Christopher L. Bennett is outstanding science fiction. Ingenious and enthralling, Orion's Hounds balances scientific theory with character driven adventure in a vibrant story that challenges the Star Trek mythos.

As the U.S.S. Titan ventures beyond the outermost reaches of known space, the telepaths in her crew - including Diplomatic Officer Deanna Troi - are overwhelmed by an alien cry of distress, leading the ship to the scene of a shocking act of carnage: a civilization of interstellar "whalers" preying upon and exploiting a familiar species of sentient spaceborne giants.

Appalled but reluctant to rush to judgment, Captain William Riker and his crew investigate, discovering a cosmic spawning ground in a region of active star formation - the ecosystem for a bewildering array of diverse but similarly vast life-forms. While attempting to negotiate an end to the victimization of these creatures, Riker's crew inadvertently grants them the means to defeat their hunters' purpose... only to learn that things are not exactly as they seem.

Now that the Romulan storyline necessitated by Star Trek: Nemesis has been wrapped up with the previous Titan novel The Red King, in Orion's Hounds the series can boldly go forward with original new adventures and Christopher L. Bennett has crafted the perfect story to do just that. His writing style complements that of Mangels and Martin (authors of Taking Wing and The Red King) perfectly.

Bennett's prose is spellbinding. The rich narrative enables the reader to clearly visualize some of the more bizarre alien species that populate Titan's crew and I really liked how the author took full advantage of character interactions to help build up a portrait of the varied cultures of the characters. The story allows you to feel as if you're really beginning to know the characters and consequently you care more about them.

As satisfying as the character development is, it is the authors extremely vivid descriptions of the cosmozoans and the region of space in which they thrive that makes Orion's Hounds really stand out. Bennett's first novel Ex Machina demonstrated his talent for creating alien species and in Orion's Hounds he lets his ample imagination loose with the Pa'haquel, the species that hunt the star-jellies.

That the author found several ways to effortlessly pay tribute to Star Trek: The Next Generation is just an added bonus when you're reading Orion's Hounds but best of all, on top of everything else, you're left feeling like you can't wait to meet up with these folks again.

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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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