BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Monday, March 9, 2015

Bea Reviews Star Trek: The Original Series: Shadow of the Machine by Scott Harrison

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Series: Star Trek: The Original Series
Format Read: eGalley
Challenges: NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge 
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: March 9, 2015
Buying Links: Amazon*  | OmniLit* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

An e-novella set in the Original Series universe—taking place immediately after the events of the 1979 film Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

After its recent encounter with V’ger, the U.S.S. Enterprise has returned to dry dock to finish its refit before commencing its second five-year mission. The crew has been granted a two-week period of shore leave before preparations for their next voyage begins. Shaken by their encounter with V’ger, Kirk, Spock, and Sulu travel to their respective homes and must reflect upon their lives—now forever changed.

Bea's Thoughts:

I'm a long time Star Trek fan and at one time regularly bought and read the books based on and inspired by the series. Then I drifted away and stopped reading. But in the past few months I've been wandering back. I didn't love the first ST movie, heck it was disappointing, but I was intrigued by the idea of what a writer might do with the aftermath of the movie's events.

Not much as it turns out. There are three separate stories, with a slight overlap; Sulu, Kirk, and Spock each get their own story. Kirk and Spock are dealing with the fallout of V'Ger while Sulu has a personal matter. There's a bit of drama in Sulu's and Kirk's stories but not much action; all of the stories are character studies. Unfortunately, the stories add little to what we know about the characters and the stories contain references to characters that appear in later movies. So if you haven't seen all of the movies, you may be confused. This was definitely written for hard core fans and not the casual fan.  

I did enjoy seeing Kirk's nephew Peter again. After the TV episode where his parents are killed, he pretty much disappeared from the Star Trek universe. We also get some nice reminiscences from Kirk about his brother, Peter's father. Other than that, despite my love for the original Star Trek, the book pretty much felt like a waste of time.  Part of the problem was the narrow time frame Harrison was working with. It's a tight timeline and Harrison really can't introduce new events or actions without impacting the official timeline. There just wasn't enough wiggle room for him to develop anything. As character studies, the stories were adequate but didn't add to our knowledge of the characters or illuminate any aspects of their personalities. Unless, you're a hardcore fan, don't bother with the book.  


  1. I'm a hardcore fan, but I'm pretty much satisfied with all the series and movies, even if at a time, I used to read a lot of Star Trek novels :) Thanks for sharing, Bea, live long and prosper !

  2. I love Star Trek. I used to read the books many years ago but stopped somewhere along the way. I think I might like this one.

    1. If you read it, I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on it.


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