brabbel123: (Puss in Boots)
A Time to Heal leaves me quite pensive as it deals with the aftermath of the Federation's invasion of Tezwa (even if that invasion was done to prevent worse from the Klingons).

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Not an easy or satisfying place to finish a book - but there's still hope that not all remains as bleak. There's still another part left in the A Time to-series. 6.5/10
brabbel123: (Puss in Boots)
"A Time to Kill" was quite a jump back into almost TV-Trek since it's set before Nemesis and everyone of the main characters of TNG is still on board the Enterprise. Actually, this novel is the 7th in a loosely connected series but apart from rough mentions of previous events you don't really need to have read the others - suffice it to say that Data had to choose between his service in Starfleet and his emotion chip (neatly tying loose ends about him not mentioning the chip in Nemesis) and that Picard fell into disgrace. I admit I read synopses of the mentioned 6 parts, but more to be better acquainted with the character background. The plot itself stands on its own.

So, what do we have here?

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A Time to Kill is just the first part of a duology, so, of course, it ends on a mean cliffhanger. I'm really looking forward to see all the plotthreads resolved - and I really hope Azernal will get what he deserves.

On to "A Time to Heal". 7/10
brabbel123: (Puss in Boots)
Seekers is planned to be an ongoing series featuring alternatingly the Sagittarius and the Endeavour which were first introduced in the Vanguard-series on their ongoing adventures in the Taurus Reach in the aftermath of Vanguard's destruction. Therefore it's recommended to have at least some knowledge of what happened earlier - either by having read the series or by reading some spoilers (if you don't want to read Vanguard). I don't recommend reading Seekers before Vanguard if you plan on diving into the Vanguard-saga because you definitely get spoiled on major events.

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Of course, I'm going to read at least the next part since I can't stand only having half of the story. But after that, much depends on whether the characters evolve beyond what's been shown so far. There is potential there with the crew of the Sagittarius. It remains to be seen whether it will be realized. 5/10
brabbel123: (Puss in Boots)
This was actually my third time reading this book - but the first time I actually felt like writing a review...

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Overall, Harbinger is one hell of a pilot to this new series. It shows a Starfleet that is willing to cross lines in T'Prynn, but also in keeping its operations and findings secret in order to be able to one-up their neighbours, it offers an enemy that's awakened due to the actions of curious scientists, and it shows that actions, however innocently taken, have consequences - on a small scale but also on a broad scale. Quite a colorful and nuanced picture Mack is painting here, perhaps a bit darker than what Star Trek has shown up until now. 9/10
brabbel123: (Puss in Boots)
I have to admit that I don't quite understand the necessity of this little e-book - and the cynic within me wonders if the reasons of its existence have any relations to monetary issues...

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4/10
brabbel123: (Puss in Boots)
So, this is it. The end of the books-only Trek series Vanguard. Is it a worthy ending to this very ambitious project?

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This has become quite a long review because of the vast amount of plotthreads that come together here - some could have been shortened or even dropped to the benefit of the bigger picture perhaps. And that's perhaps my main point of criticism here and the reason why I'm not 100% thrilled with it. 7/10
brabbel123: (Puss in Boots)
As the penultimate book in the Vanguard-series, it falls to What Judgments Come to bring some plotthreads to an end while driving others towards their climax.

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Ultimately, while the characterization is as top-notch as I would expect, I wasn't too happy with Jetanien's part, Starfleet's covert operations and the shortsightedness in experimenting with the Wanderer. But make not mistake: What Judgments Come is still a very good read despite the mentionned downsides. Kudos to the writers and the concept of the whole series... which comes to an end in the next book. 7/10
brabbel123: (Puss in Boots)
Declassified is an anthology of 4 novellas exploring key moments of the Vanguard story.

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The events in this story are again a game changer. Where will the Vanguard-saga go from here? Overall: 8/10
brabbel123: (Puss in Boots)
Although Precipice was an exiting and easy reading experience, it didn't quite meet my expectations. Open Secrets might not have been as fast paced, it was a much more introspective book which I find I prefer. Again, as its predecessor, Precipice is quite neatly divided into a few different plotthreads which only come together at the end. So I am going to follow this division in this review.

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Well, Precipice certainly ups the ante again plotwise. Now that (nearly) everyone is back on Vanguard and the various plotthreads once again intertwine I'm looking forward to a complex and exciting series finale... only 2 novels and 1 anthology left to go after all. 7/10
brabbel123: (Puss in Boots)
Despite the very prominent depiction of Spock on the cover, there's little of him physically in this novel - so don't be deceived by appearances. Rather, Cast No Shadow is on the one hand a rather fast espionage-thriller, featuring Elias Vaughn on his first... well... assignment as a field operative for Starfleet Intelligence is too strong a word since he shouldered himself more or less into this mission, and on the other hand Valeris' journey to reconciliation with who she is and what she's done. Being that the book deals with events between the TOS-movies and TNG, I'd rather have seen it labelled under the "Lost Era"-subtitle.

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Cast No Shadow, in any case, had an exceptional premise with its first very exciting 100 or so pages, then it tapered off a bit. I was sad to see Miller go but it was necessary to throw Vaughn into the deep end - being a mentor certainly doesn't bode well for a character... And, of course, the IMO overemotionalization of Valeris' motivations did not quite meet my expectations. In the end, what remains is a fun ride, sprinkled with Klingon politics, conspiracies and a bit of a glimpse behind the facade. Entertaining - but not outstanding. 7/10
brabbel123: (Puss in Boots)
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Great book - definitely the turning point in this to me so far lackluster series. 8/10
brabbel123: (Puss in Boots)
Okay, it appears as though I'm back to reading Star Trek. What's strange is that I read the first part of this book-only series, Harbinger, years ago... and didn't really like it. Then I reread it... I guess, 2 years? ago and was reasonably entertained. I picked up part 2, Summon the Thunder, which again was rather underwhelming. But then, something happened. The first contributing factor is that I can't stand not completing a series. So on with part 3, Reap the Whirlwind, which really picked up the pace and rectified some of the more questionable events that happened in the first parts. So I was hooked and started to read Open Secrets which finally offered a bit of a breathing room and a glimpse into the aftermath of events. This is my review.

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8.5/10
brabbel123: (Puss in Boots)
And here the one I posted at the trekbbs-board:

Spoiler-Alert! )

8/10
brabbel123: (Puss in Boots)
What follows is my German review of the latest TNG-novel by Jeffrey Lang.

Spoiler-Alert! )
brabbel123: (Puss in Boots)
Finished the novel a while ago, but so far neglected to post my review here on my lj. Consider that mistake rectified. *g*

Overall I enjoyed this book, but it felt a bit unfinished - which is okay, given that it's apparently the first in a trilogy from what I understand.

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I'm looking forward to part 2 in just another 4 months. 6.5/10
brabbel123: (Puss in Boots)
After quite some time I finished another ST-novel...

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Next, I'm going to immerse myself in the continuing duology Plagues of Night/Raise the Dawn - perhaps some of my questions will be answered there. 6/10
brabbel123: (Puss in Boots)
Trying to keep up with [livejournal.com profile] trobadora's Vorkosigan-reread on lj I finished Shards yesterday. I loved that novel (and its continuation "Barrayar" - see my earlier entry in this journal) when I first read it about 10 years ago, and I still love it today. But there are some points that, while not distracting from my enjoying it, still keep me thinking afterwards.

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These are just a few rambling thoughts - on to Barrayar. :)
brabbel123: (Default)
I just finished this final part of David Mack's trilogy. Good thing I finished my Christmas preparations early this year. *g*

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On another note, I loved "The Hobbit". I was a bit wary because of the 3d, but was really stunned by the effects. Freeman is the embodiment of a hobbit to me. He was really great - as was his scene with Gollum. I expected this movie to drag on quite a bit, but while it could have been shortened of course, I never felt bored. And despite all the jokes on the dwarves' customs, I never had the impression they were ridiculed or just used for comedic relief. Granted, the movie doesn't have the depth of the LotR, but it doesn't aspire to, either. I don't know the book, so I can't say if Jackson changed much. But I really enjoyed the parallels to the Fellowship, even though the nods to the LotR got a bit much (the ring that just lands on Bilbo's finger...) at times. Thumbs up for this one. 7/10
brabbel123: (Default)
Star Trek: TNG hasn't been on my reading list for quite some time, actually since David Mack's "Destiny"-trilogy, but when I saw the cover of this first part ofhis new trilogy, celebrating the 25th anniversary of TNG, I knew I had to pick it up.

Review - Cave: Spoilers! )

In other news, I'm eagerly looking forward to "Star Trek: Into Darkness". I adored the teaser-trailer... and almost melted listening to Cumberbatch's voice-over. The only downside is that it's in 3d, and I hate 3d!
brabbel123: (Default)
Surfing on the internet and reading a positive review on amazon just now, I was just reminded that the new Vorkosigan book called "Cryoburn" already hit the shelves... and, if everything works out right, I'll be holding it in my hands in just a little over a week!! If that isn't reason enough for happy squealing, I don't know what is. *g* I can tell you it's been quite some time I've been looking forward to my birthday present as much as this year. :)

I'm a little concerned that it's a story that takes place off Barrayar since I usually prefer the books set on Barrayar - but nonetheless, I'm simply looking foward to finally reading more about one of my favourite book heroes of all time. I just hope Miles' voice still rings true, after all, it's been quite some time since Diplomatic Immunity resp Winterfair Gifts... and it's been known to happen that authors just lost the touch for their characters. *sighs*

I think that calls for a scream of frustration here. Patience has never been my strong suit. But I'm going to make it... it's just 11 days after all. And then a whole 3 days-weekend to savour the reading experience. If it were here already... ;)

And now I've got that frustration scream out of my system I'll go back to my squealing happily.

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