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Mere Anarchy, Book 1: Things Fall Apart

By Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at November 11, 2006 - 10:02 PM GMT

Title: Star Trek: Mere Anarchy, Book 1: Things Fall Apart
Authors: Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore
Release Date: September 2006
Format: eBook
ISBN : 1-4165-3437-7

Sometimes your best just isn't good enough. That harsh reality is one of the central themes of the new six-part mini series, Star Trek: Mere Anarchy. Mere Anarchy, Book One, Things Fall Apart by Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore starts things off in fine fashion with a riveting tale that is a nice balance of nail biting moments and poignant insights.

The Payav of Mestiko have been under covert observation by a small team of Starfleet cultural specialists for several months when a rogue pulsar is detected approaching their star system. The pulsar's lethal radiation will destroy all life on Mestiko, leaving the planet a barren wasteland unless the Federation steps in to help.

When direct intervention is deemed unworkable, the U.S.S. Enterprise, under its new captain James T. Kirk, is dispatched to attempt a risky, hastily conceived plan to deflect the worst of the radiation. But despite their best efforts "the Pulse" still has catastrophic consequences: consequences that will haunt the Payav, the Federation, and the crew of the Enterprise for a very long time.

Set before "Where No Man Has Gone Before", in Things Fall Apart the authors enable the reader to experience the unfolding crisis from both the point of view of the planet's inhabitants and the crew of the Enterprise. This approach works wonderfully and it doesn't take long before you start to identify with the native characters, particularly Raya elMora, a young woman suddenly thrust into a leadership position she did not seek.

It's not easy to develop a concept strong enough to sustain a six-part story that will ultimately span a period of thirty years but Ward and Dilmore have done an outstanding job of laying the foundation for the Mere Anarchy series in Things Fall Apart. They perfectly capture the feel of the original series era. Even without the familiar characters you have no doubt of the 23rd century setting as you read.

Things Fall Apart has set the stage for Mere Anarchy in a highly satisfactory way but more importantly it leaves you wanting to find out where the story goes from here.

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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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