First, let me be totally honest … I did not read this book from cover to cover. Who would? It would be like reading a volume of the Encyclopedia Britannica from cover to cover. Who does that?
Ultimately this isn’t really a “travel read” but it is a very good, well-researched reference work on the novels associated with the characters from the original 1960s Star Trek TV show.
This is volume six of a series of reference works about the Star Trek novels that retired professor Alva Underwood has been working diligently on since the 1980s. It is intricately researched and written is easy to understand English.
What Worked for Me
Underwood’s attention to detail is impressive. Her prose is lucid and coherent. Entries are easy to understand and comprehensive. Her forward explains the parameters of the work clearly … the reference is focused on novels that use the characters from the original 1960s series and its offspring films.
What Didn’t Work for Me
I think Underwood has something against paragraph breaks. Even The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction uses them. Why doesn’t she? Longer entries are mind-numbingly hard to read because there are no breaks. In fact, the entry on Spock is about five pages — yes, I said pages — of unbroken text. And the size of the book, 8.25″ x 11″, just exacerbates the issue.
If you are a die-hard Star Trek fan who must know how all the novels fit into the overall Star Trek universe, this is a must-have reference. Why do the research yourself when Underwood has already done the heavy lifting? As she suggests, this reference is also good for those who write in this universe.
SCORE: 4 out of 5 Palm Trees Possible
NOTE: Although I received this book free to review, that did not affect my opinion of the book. Read past reviews of books Iâ€™ve received for free and youâ€™ll know I donâ€™t hold my punches.