Star Trek: Review: No Time Like the Past

notime-coverBy Greg Cox

Pocket Books, out now

The discovery of a rather unusual memorial to James T. Kirk in the Delta Quadrant is the catalyst for Seven of Nine to have a much closer encounter with the legendary Starfleet captain than she would ever have thought possible…

Greg Cox’s most recent addition to the Star Trek saga brings Voyager’s resident Borg back to the original USS Enterprise towards the end of its five-year mission, as Seven follows a trail which takes her and the ship to various points from Kirk and co.’s historic mission. This “treasure hunt” quest element gives Cox plenty of opportunities to revisit old stories, incorporating some intriguing theories about the backgrounds to them (particularly in the case of The Apple and Let That Be Your Last Battlefield) and retconning certain elements. (There’s also a lovely tribute to the late Ann Crispin’s Yesterday Saga.) Along the way the Enterprise encounters perfidious Orions, some new races, and the usual races against time, including a very well told chase through the Enterprise itself.

Cox plays the “fish out of water” card enough without pushing it too far, although of course there are various sides who want Seven for their own purposes. Ambassador Santiago is a bit of a pain, but I’m glad his intelligence is redeemed in the closing section of the book. It’s also good that the identity of a spy is revealed earlier so we can concentrate of the effects of the spy’s actions, rather than their identity.

The characterisation of the leads is spot on, in particular the reminder that, contrary to the impression you might get from the reboot, the “Big Seven” are not all equal and automatically included in every command decision.

My only gripe is with the cover: it’s a nice piece by Alan Dingman, but there is an incredibly visual scene on pages 28/29 which would incorporate the same characters in a more unusual way. Either way, there’s no excuse for Seven being in the wrong uniform!

Verdict: Doing the sort of crossover that can only be achieved in print form, this is a fun ride with some appropriate timey-wimey shenanigans. 8/10

Paul Simpson

Click here to order No Time Like the Past from Amazon.co.uk

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