Saturday, March 16, 2013

Back to the New Frontier

Continuing Captain Mackenzie Calhoun and The Excalibur's journey into uncharted Thallonian Space, Martyr sees Calhoun being worshipped as a Saviour thanks to the events of the previous novel, and using that status to try and broker a peace between two warring factions. Of course not everything goes to plan.

Martyr's not quite as strong as the opener, but since that was four books into one I'll allow it. I did like how it shifted the focus of the book to some of the other members of the crew that got a bit of a short straw in the originals.

In fact the whole book uses the aliens excellently. Burgoyne and Janos in particular really get to show how un-human they are. Both coming from a very animal based culture, and they choose to embrace that in order to see the mission through to success. This is something I wish the show or movies got to do, but due to budget never really got too. Starfleet is made up of many races, it's great to see those not only as prominent members of the senior staff, but use the abilities of their race to the fullest.

Also of note, something I didn't mention in my previous review, was the language dealing with Burgoyne. Being a Hermat means s/he is both male and female, and the race have come up with their own version of him, her, she, he etc. But those in the first four novels were rather cumbersome. Here David seems to have realised that, and with a "communication from home" Burgoyne gets some new ones that are much easier to read. It's blatantly an editorial change, but handled well by having the Hermat explain that they just do it for our benefit anyway, so they're fixing a few things.

That said, I also couldn't put the book down and blasted through it in four sittings. I'm definitely onboard for the long haul with New Frontier, especially with the Excalibur's crew being pretty rag tag.
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