Sunday, 1 July 2018

Star Trek: How Much For Just The Planet? - John M. Ford



Title: How Much For Just The Planet?
Author: John M. Ford
Genre: Science-Fiction
Published: 1987
Formats: Paperback/Ebook

Available at:
Amazon
Amazon UK

Review:
“How Much for Just the Planet” is the second and final Star Trek novel penned by John M. Ford. After reading his other novel, “The Final Reflection” I was really looking forward to this as that novel was one of the best Trek novels I have read so far even if it did contradict what is now accepted as Trek Lore. Unfortunately, as you will discover from reading my review, I ended up being thoroughly disappointed.

The plot follows Captain Kirk and some Klingons who arrive at the planet Direidi to try and secure the planet's dilithium supply. Due to the Organian Peace Treaty both the Federation and Klingon Empire most use diplomacy in order to persuade the rather eccentric colonists who live on the planet to let them have mining rights. The colonists however have their own plan on how to deal with these two antagonistic groups which leads to some rather absurd situations.

The novel is quite simply a silly romp in the Trek Universe, there are people just bursting into song, moments of slapstick and multiple references to Gilbert & Sullivan or classic movies. I am sure if these references mean something to you and you like slapstick comedy like The Three Stooges etc. then you may find it enjoyable but I just found it to be ridiculous rather than funny.

The other issue I had with the novel was that the plot was just too convoluted and there was too much going on for me to keep track of. Maybe I could have managed it if the novel also wasn’t full of absurdity but trying to keep on track of everything in amongst the singing, and chaos was very off putting.

In summary I think that a more focused plot and maybe a level of restraint being put on the attempted comic moments would have probably helped me enjoy this novel much more. Don’t get me wrong, there are some funny moments which did have me smiling but overall it just didn’t work for me, probably because I am not really a fan the reference material which was being utilised. I still think that people should probably read this book however because it is so very different from a regular Trek novel and it is nice to see someone attempt a bit of originality.

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