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S.C.E.: Wounds

By Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at November 23, 2005 - 2:46 AM GMT

Title: Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers, #55: Wounds Book One
Author: Ilsa J. Bick
Release Date: September 2005
ISBN: 1-4165-0960-7
Format: eBook

Title: Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers, #56: Wounds Book Two
Author: Ilsa J. Bick
Release Date: October 2005
ISBN: 1-4165-0961-5
Format: eBook

What price would you pay for continued existence? What if the price of survival meant sacrificing your humanity? Those are just some of the questions you might find yourself pondering as you read Wounds by Ilsa J. Bick, the latest installment of the Starfleet Corps of Engineers series.

In Wounds Dr. Elizabeth Lense of the U.S.S. da Vinci and Dr. Julian Bashir of Deep Space Nine are traveling together to a medical conference where both have been nominated to receive the distinguished Bentman Prize. When their runabout encounters a strange anomaly that sends it crashing to the surface of an unknown planet, each physician believes the other dead and each winds up trapped with one of the opposing factions of a decades–old conflict between those who want to replace their withering body parts with cybernetics, and those who reject such enhancements.

Trapped, with seemingly no hope of rescue, on an alien world, Dr. Lense finds herself aiding the Jabari freedom fighters as their new medic while unbeknownst to her Bashir is alive and being kept prisoner in a Kornak military facility, where he becomes the focus of a power struggle between the medical and military personnel in the hospital. When the Jabari decide to attack the hospital, Lense and Bashir find themselves on opposite sides of a conflict that can only end in tragedy.

Wounds is a dark and at times a disturbingly graphic story but it also suspenseful and affecting. The events depicted in Wounds take place parallel to those of the last four S.C.E. books and the character focus is entirely on Lense and Bashir, although in many respects the character of Bashir is a means to further the development of Lense. Lense is a complicated character: angry, bitter and full of self-reproach and Bick the perfect author to tackle her.

When you read a story written by Ilsa J. Bick you can be certain of one thing, expect the unexpected. In Wounds, the story Bick tells is startling in several ways. Bick has quietly built up an impressive list of writing credits over the past few years, including the recent S.C.E. story #51 Lost Time and with Wounds Bick has once again crafted an excellent story, a richly detailed tale distinguished by its nuanced prose.

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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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