David R. George III

It's a little known fact, and I'm sometimes afraid to admit it, but I've read every Star Trek book ever published.  Some more than thrice, no less.  This doesn't include the countless magazine articles, "technical manuals", map books, and slew of fan-fic stories that have been released since I could first read and get my hands on the reams of printed paper.

Over the years as my command of the English language progressed and matured I have enjoyed a slew of authors from this enjoyable escape of reality.  Peter David and Keith R.A. DeCandido are among my favourite authors, and after reading his latest trilogy in tribute to 40 Years of Trek, David R. George III is in this list as well.

The first book I read from this author was from the Deep Space 9:Mission Gama series entitled "Twilight".  What I liked most about this book was the way the story played on the characters.  We were still becoming accustomed to the new players in the DS9 field and learned quite a bit about them as the story progressed.  Unlike 95% of all other Trek books, this one focused more on the people than action.  I'll admit that every book needs a little action, either with massive star ships trading paint, or some sort of away mission happenstance, but David George managed to bring the characters to life and giving the story that much more perspective.

One of the sorry habits I've noticed with many Trek authors (especially with TNG) is that either too much is left to the reader's imagination or things happen due to sheer dumb luck.  This creates for a very dull book, or a story where you're left scratching your head saying "WTF?" so often that you consider asking for some money back.  You won't find that with these books.

The next book was part of "The Lost Era" saga.  Book two (Serpents Among the Ruins) takes us on some of the missions carried out by Captain Harriman on the Enterprise-B.  This was a book that just couldn't be put down.  From the slight glimpse of Captain Harriman that we see in Generations, I was expecting a sub-par performance from the centre seat.  Instead we are introduced to a strong leader and a dynamic crew.  The action was well sequenced and the character growth was superb.  I've read this series twice, and in both cases, this was my favourite book of the series (not just because of the Romulan involvement).

Then, of course, comes this author's latest (and I think best) work so far.  The Crucible trilogy.

During the course of reading these three books, I had actually considered calling in sick at work so that I could keep reading.  Each book focused on a different character in the Original Series of Star Trek.  We were able to learn an incredible amount about McCoy, some of the missing pieces in Spock's life, as well as why Kirk ended the way he did.  All three stories have a central pivotal moment and everything goes from there.  There were several times while reading McCoy's story that I was quite upset with how things turned out (I won't get into spoilers, but anyone who's read every book will see a few alterations of the Trek history … again), but after everything was said and done, the story unfolds beautifully and things manage to smooth out for most of the other works … aside from J.M. Dillard's "The Lost Years".

Of course, David R. George III has done quite a bit of work elsewhere in the Star Trek universe and this little entry really doesn't do his work justice, but I would strongly recommend to any Trek fan that has not yet read any of his books to get on it.  The story lines are rich and intelligent, the characters are three dimensional and believable, and dammit, they're just plain fun to read.