12 January 2013

Book Review: "Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Devil's Heart" by Carmen Carter

Author: Carmen Carter
Publisher: Pocket Books
Year Published: 1993
Synopsis: The Devil's Heart. Some say it is a talisman; others say it is an artifact from an extinct society; still others say it gives its possessor the ability to control others' minds, to amass great wealth, raise the dead, or other miraculous acts.  However, the fabled gem has never been actually seen...until now.  Captain Picard and the crew of the Enterprise respond to a distress call, only to find a destroyed outpost and a Vulcan archaeologist who says the Devil's Heart has been found just before she dies.  The captain than takes the Heart for his own...but it ends up affecting him for the worse.  Will Picard's crew convince him to rid himself of it, or will he be under the Heart's influence forever?

Story: 4/5
I have to say, the premise is pretty intriguing, and Carmen Carter seems to make it work rather well.  There's really not much else to say other than that.

Writing: 3/5
Though this book has a great storyline, reading it felt a bit lackluster.  I finished it, but I had to push myself slightly to do so.  Since the Star Trek novels are written by countless different authors, some are bound to be inferior in writing style to others, and this happens to be one of them.  Still, it's not as terrible as some other books that I've read.

Moral Content: 4/5
The Star Trek movies aren't as squeaky clean as the Star Wars films--the former usually have more profanity and sexual content than the latter--so, it's only natural that the books would follow suit.  Still, compared to some other Trek novels, this one is a bit restrained.  No sexual content, just a small amount of blood and gore, and only around ten or so profanities.  I'd recommend this to preteens and teens not only because of the content, but because the concepts would be a bit much for younger kids to understand.

Conclusion: It's been a while since I've read a Star Trek novel, but this one did feel slightly lackluster.  Still, Trekkies will find plenty to like about this one.  If you're looking for an introduction to the Trek novels, though, you should start off with something by Diane Carey, Diane Duane, John Vornholt, or Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, who are--in my opinion--the best writers of Gene Roddenberry's space opera.  Experienced Trek readers will enjoy The Devil's Heart.

Score: 3.5/5

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