Well, here comes to second (Star Trek) book of 2006 for me and I have to say, it was quite a positive suprise. Originally, I ordered this book simply because I was a little bit curious but also because I needed another yet another book ;)
First of all: What is this book all about? It’s basically a collection of more or less key events in the life of the Dax symbiont and its hosts starting with Ezri but then going back to the begin with Lela, the politician, straight to Toban, then scientist. The next host then reader gets to know a little bit more is sporty Emony followed by Audrid, who was a former directory of the TSC. Next comes Torias, the test pilot, followed by the black sheap Joran. The last two hosts are Curzon and Jadzia.
Most of these events also involve some people you may or may not recognize from other stories of the Star Trek universe including (but not limited to) Capt. Christopher Pike (Enterprise (before Kirk got that job)), Leonard McCoy, Capt. Styls of the U.S.S. Excelsior (yeah, the one who couldn’t keep up with the 20 year old Enterprise ;)) and Benjamin Sisko.
All of the hosts are introduced in a short story each written by a different author which gives each story a completely different style which is my reasoon why I normally prefer short stories in anthologies over a whole novel spanning 300 pages with just one single author. It simply never gets boring this way and this is exactly what suprised me with this book. Actually the only other books, that I’ve finished so quickly are all the SCE books and “The Articles of the Federation”.
Honestly, I think this one of the best Star Trek books I’ve read so far. One of the greatest, because I somehow can’t compare it that easily with books the “The Articles of the Federation” or the DS9 Millenium series. But all the short stories in there are really thrilling and none of them gets boring. Sure, not all of them really are that interesting when it comes to explaining things and filling gaps you noticed when reading other books or watching the shows, but they all do a great job of putting even more life into the whole Star Trek universe and simply making it more complex by leaving the usual paths of the Federation or Starfleet and going basically after just a few people and only highlighting one event in their respective lives.
Normally I wouldn’t do something like telling you about the details of a book’s plot, but in this case I simply found some timeline problems. So if you’ve not read this book yet, please stop reading here, or be warned, that reading this might take some fun out of reading the book afterwards :)
In the Toban story Toban and other scientists are developing basically the matter transporter. The story takes place after the end of the Earth-Romulan war which must have happened somewhere around 2155 according to Memory-Alpha. Problem: This war happened after the missions of the NX-01 which actually already had a working transporter.
Another possible problem is the whole “Romulans want Earth-type Warp-Engines”-thing, but this was perhaps just a strange idea :) (1) Boarding a ship that can warp from a ship that can’t is … difficult ;) (2) Fighting a war against someone who has warp technology without having it is … more difficult.