February 22 2024


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Star Trek S.C.E. #52: Identity Crisis

By Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at August 10, 2005 - 6:57 PM GMT

Title: Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers, #52: Identity Crisis
Author: John J. Ordover
Release Date: June 2005
Format: eBook
ISBN: 0-7434-9684-1

Identity Crisis, the 52nd Starfleet Corps of Engineers eBook title gives a whole new meaning to the idea of needing a vacation to recover from your vacation. Written by John J. Ordover, former executive editor of Star Trek fiction for Pocket Books and the co-developer (with Keith R.A. DeCandido) of the S.C.E. series, Identity Crisis is a simple, no-frills character driven story.

After a week of well deserved shore leave at Recreation Station Hidalgo, Commander Sonya Gomez is awaiting the arrival of the U.S.S. da Vinci when the station begins to experience unexplained malfunctions. With a little time on her hands Gomez agrees to see if she can be of assistance tracking down the source of the breakdowns when she unwittingly trips a computer program that sets in motion a chain of events that leave her trapped in the stations control center and her shipmates suspecting that she has lost her mind.

Although John Ordover developed the S.C.E. concept with the series editor Keith R. A. DeCandido, this is his first time writing for the series. In the previous S.C.E. installment, #51 Lost Time (May 2005), circumstances forced Gomez to once again confront the grief that she has struggled with since the death of Kieran Duffy. The events depicted in Identity Crisis serve as a framework to take the character of Sonya Gomez one step further, to the self-realization that, while it will always be a part of her, she is ready to move past that grief.

By keeping the plot as simple as possible Ordover is able to keep Gomez at the center of the story at almost all times. As you would expect, Sonya Gomez is a character that Ordover knows intimately and his characterization is excellent. Even with the bare bones nature of the plot Ordover's narrative does the job more than adequately, taking the character of Sonya Gomez from point A to point B without becoming maudlin.

The simplicity of the plot, and the light tone, makes the story read as if it is shorter than it actually is. The story flies by and despite the foreseeable resolution Identity Crisis manages to be, not only aptly named, but also very enjoyable.

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Jacqueline Bundy reviews Star Trek books for the Trek Nation, writes monthly columns for the TrekWeb newsletter and the Star Trek Galactic News, and hosts the Yahoo Star Trek Books Group weekly chat.

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