Amy Caudill’s Reviews : The Unsettling Stars

The Unsettling Stars by Alan Dean Foster

The Unsettling Stars (Star Trek: 2020, #1) by Alan Dean Foster
Amy Caudill‘s review

It has been a very long time since I read any books in the Star Trek universe, but when I came across this newer one based in the “reboot” universe; that was authored by Alan Dean Foster, a well-known writer who has crossed multiple sci-fi world; I had to give it a shot.

For those not in the know, the “reboot” series of three movies, etc., starting with the 2009 release of Star Trek;which stars among others Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto; document the events of a divergent universe spawned due to the intervention of a spaceship full of time-travelling Romulans (an alien race.)  These events, and this new crew, lead different lives and have somewhat different missions than those of the long-running series that began on television and also spawned a series of movies and countless other books that follow the “original” timeline.

The intrepid but still inexperienced crew of the Enterprise, after responding to a distress call, find themselves assisting a previously unknown species that refer to themselves as the Perenoreans.  These aliens’ greatest desires are to ingratiate themselves with their saviors, the federation ship, and their hosts on the new world colony they establish.

Unfortunately the actions of the Perenoreans quickly overwhelm their hosts.  Imagine a species whose benevolent desires to “help” leads to them taking control of other, ignorant, less capable species “for their own good.”  What’s even worse, the Perenoreans decide that the crew of the Enterprise fall into this category when Captain Kirk insists that the Perenoreans adhere to the standard restrictions for guests on access to the ship’s computers.

Things look dire for the ship’s crew,  now under the mind-control of the still friendly but insistent insurgents,  and soon only Spock is immune, until he’s not…  What will happen to the crew of the Enterprise, who are unwittingly guiding their captors to visit Earth?

This is an adventure story, in the grand tradition of a good sci-fi plot that has become the hallmark of the Star Trek franchise.  Foster skillfully navigates the differences in the characters of the reboot, while penning a story that stays true to the style of the original. 

I would recommend this novel to any fans of the series, as well as any reader looking for a good science fiction thriller.  I give this story five stars, and hope to see more books in the “reboot” section soon.

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