Only Serious Trekkies Need Apply

Redshirts by John Scalzi

First Look:

Bright, eye-catching, clear Star Trek connotations (without violating copyright).  I like it!

Jacket Copy:

Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It’s a prestige posting, and Andrew is thrilled all the more to be assigned to the ship’s Xenobiology laboratory.

Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the fact that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces, (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations, and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

Not surprisingly, a great deal of energy below decks is expended on avoiding, at all costs, being assigned to an Away Mission. Then Andrew stumbles on information that completely transforms his and his colleagues’ understanding of what the starship Intrepid really is…and offers them a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives.

Sequel?

Not to my knowledge, and I couldn’t handle another one.  I was exhausted by the end of this one.

Worth Reading?

Depends on how much of a Trekkie (and probably what kind of Trekkie) you are.  If you are someone who loves reading/writing lots of Trek fanfic, you probably love this book.  If you just like the show and collectibles, maybe.  For a newly minted Trek fan like me, it was half awesome and half annoying.

Notable Things:

Extreme Nerdiness!  Whether this is a positive or a negative, I leave to your own personal preference. I have no problem with nerdy things, in theory (I can also be a nerdy thing), but sometimes…

Satirical Writing!  Scalzi’s writing is quite funny, and he’s writing from a place of real affection for Star Trek, which is a good place to start a satire.

Too long.  There’s the main body of the story, which I enjoyed, then not one, not two, but three codas.  That is too many, no matter the quality of said codas.  And I only really enjoyed one of them.

Elaboration:

As I said, I liked the main body of the book.  It was funny and snappy in pace, with only a few serious moments, everything clicked together, the day was saved (which isn’t really a spoiler, since this kind of comedy always ends happily).  The first coda was long, dull, and just not as special as it thinks it is.  It could have been creepy, but wasn’t.  The second coda was fine, but nothing special, but the third coda was a lovely piece of writing that didn’t deserve to have the other two codas precede it.  If you read this book, do yourself a favor and skip right from the main book to the third coda.

Disclosure:

Borrowed from work.

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