reviewed by Marten van Wier
The premise of No Time Like the Past basically reads like a fan fiction story; Seven of Nine from Star Trek: Voyager meets captain Kirk and the crew from the original Star Trek. But fan fiction does not automatically say that it is bad, and it doesn't always mean a reader must know other mentioned shows in order to enjoy the book.
The story starts out very promising, opening with a mystery in the future during Voyager's time period with a connection to the past in the Alpha Quadrant and soon moves to that time. Unfortunately, the plot starts to fall apart after a while and never lives up to the interesting-sounding setup, and comes to a rather unsatisfying conclusion.
Early on, the story
moves from mystery to a quest in which the crew has to look for pieces of a time machine
that are scattered over planets that the crew has visited during episodes of the classic
series; Gamma Trianguli from The Apple, Cheron from Let That Be Your
Last Battlefield and Sarpeidon from All Our Yesterdays, with characters
going into the past of each respective world.
While the Cheron-in-the-past segment was interesting, showing what the people on it were like before they destroyed themselves, the other segments were basically forgettable, and the time travel mystery never adds to much.
There is a subplot in which Orion pirates are after Seven of Nine for her future knowledge, but these are more action intervals to break up the regular story and stretch out the chapters.
Basically all Star
Trek novels involving the main crews end up with everything resolved and basically
forgotten, but at the end of this story, this was literally done through the use of
'breaking' the time paradox: except in the memories of Seven and Kirk, the events of the
book never took place.
If Greg Cox was going to do that anyway in the story he might as well have thrown in the Borg Collective doggedly pursuing Kirk and crew when it detected Seven of Nine on board as the Orions were basically ridiculous pirate swashbucklers, with a cybernetic hand instead of a hook.
What could have been a very entertaining Star Trek crossover for fans of both series sadly never really lives up to the premise, the result being a story that doesn't really do anything to make it memorable. Best to skip this one.
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