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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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05/31/2004 Archived Entry: "Trek book review: Last Roundup"

Star Trek: The Last Roundup

By Christie Golden
Published by Star Trek Books
326 pages, $6.99
ISBN: 074344910X

Reviewed By Laurel Sutton

Plot Summary: Kirk, Chekov, and Scotty go off to some new colony founded by Kirk's boneheaded nephews. Things are not as idyllic as they seem, and soon Our Gang (aided by Spock et al aboard a Klingon ship) have to save the galaxy from blowing up. They do, and everyone breathes a sigh of relief until the next book is published, thirty minutes later.

Review: I knew this was going to happen. We just start reviewing these Trek books, right? The first one I pick is Catalyst of Sorrows, which happens to be a really good book by an author I like. Yay! I am happy! I pick up the next one in the queue and what do I get? An implausible plot, characters doing the Stupid Dance, and a deus ex machina in the form of Azetbur, who wants to pay back a debt to Kirk for saving everyone's hash in STIV.

Oh, and a new alien who's really, really annoying. In fact, I was wondering exactly why she annoyed me so much - until I realized that she is Mary Sue in disguise! Yes, in a pro novel, published by ST Books and everything. Cadet Skalli, the first of her race to join Starfleet beautiful (except she's purple and has horse ears), smart (an eidetic memory, no less), ambitious (she wants to be an ambassador), terribly emotional (crying at the drop of a communicator); she gets to have Kirk as her personal advisor, cutting in line ahead of the thousands of other cadets who've waited their turn through 6 movies; and so devoted to JTK that she quits the Fleet to follow him to this colony and ends up helping him save everything! She convinces the bad guy to not be so bad and to destroy his Ultimate Weapon! Hurray for Skalli!

It was amusing to read a book that featured the three Trek characters whose portrayors hated each other the most. (Sulu's in there for a little bit, so you get some bonus bitterness.) In Chapter 5, Kirk decides, for no other reason than it's summer vacation at the Academy, that he will throw away everything and leave Earth and Starfleet forever and join his nephews in a little colony they're setting up in some far corner of the quadrant. And he invites Chekov and Scotty to join him. And they do, because Chekov's bored and Scotty doesn't like the rain in Scotland. Huh? Oh sure, no friends, no responsibilities, we'll just take off and have fun ploughing the fields on Sanctuary (now there's a fresh name for a colony). The stuff with Spock and McCoy and Uhura palling around with the Klingons is fun, but it doesn't make up for the ridiculousness of Kirk's being in the middle of the mess on Sanctuary.

The science-fictiony plot stuff aliens wanting to retake a planet, nanoviruses implanted in dilithium crystals, the Orions acting all Sopranos is fine and would probably make a much better story featuring someone else that isn't Kirk. This isn't a bad book, just a dopey one; I hope the writer got enough money out of this one to go write some original fiction, because minus the Mary Sue she seems better than writing to spec for the Trek factory.

You may also want to know that you get a free Trek crossword puzzle in the back of this book, along with thirteen pages listing all the Trek books available from Pocket Books. At this rate, Stephen King will be hard-pressed to stay ahead.

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