Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Starfleet Academy: The Delta Anomaly - Rick Barba



Title: The Delta Anomaly
Author: Rick Barba
Genre: Sci-Fi
Published: 2010
Formats: Hardback/Paperback/Ebook

Available at:
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“The Delta Anomaly” by Rick Barba was the first novel released in the Starfleet Academy series of novels which are set in the JJ Abrams’ alternative version of Star Trek. However, it actually takes place after the events that occurred in the 2nd novel to be released which was entitled “The Edge” and therefore I read that book first.

The main plotline is based around the investigation of a rather strange serial killer who seems able to kill people without leaving a single mark on the bodies. Kirk, McCoy and Uhura get dragged into the investigation when one of Uhura’s friends is attacked and Kirk manages to step in an save her. Of course, before long the cadet’s themselves are at risk when the killer appears to make a move on them.

In addition, the book also delves into some of activities and tests that the cadets are undertaking as well as taking an interesting look at the growing relationship between Uhura and Spock. If you think this all sounds a little bit busy for such a short book, I can confirm that you would be right. Barba has crammed a lot into the book which results in a breakneck pace with actions and thrills aplenty. However, I did find that this attempt to include a lot in the book meant that at times both the details were lacking and it could feel a little bit rushed.

I am happy to say that the main characters did feel correct compared to how they have been portrayed recently on the screen. What I really liked though was seeing how beneath Kirk’s youthful and rebellious exterior lies a good man with the potential to be a great leader. This was visible in the other characters as well to an extent, but it was Kirk whose potential you could really see.

One thing I would like to note is that whilst this book is set after “The Edge” there isn’t any particular advantage in reading that book first as the stories are pretty much self-contained so don’t worry if you read this one first. However, there are a few inconsistencies I noticed when reading this book that may have occurred due to the books being written out of order. For example, in “The Delta Anomaly” there is a Doctor present at the Academy as an instructor who I believe would have been thrown out following certain events that occurred during “The Edge”. There are few other little niggles like this that didn’t affect my enjoyment of the novel but were noticeable.

Overall, this was a solidly enjoyable Star Trek novel that shoul appeal to any teens out there who enjoyed the JJ Abrams movie. It could be a little bit light on details and rushed at times, but the fast pace and thrill packed storyline should more than appeal to the books intended audience.