Book Reviews: Here’s Another Four

Star Trek Volume Nine: The Q Gambit
Yes, here’s another compilation of a series of comic books. Unlike the Previous “City On the Edge of Forever,” this is a completely new story featuring Q and the new movies Kirk and Spock and etc. Also here are Picard, most if not all of the characters from Deep Space Nine, the Cardassians, the Dominion, and most adorably Keiko O’Brien being a badass; I was dreading the appearance of Archer, but neither that show nor Voyager made the cut, which is probably a good thing, as Kirk would have been far too distracted by 7 of 9. What basically starts as an attempt by Q to take Kirk down a peg goes into a fight for the future of the universe—albeit in an alternate timeline—between the last remaining Prophet and the Pah-Wraiths. The final solution, I will admit, was quite elegant, but in general the writing and plot didn’t do much for me; there’s one point where Kirk gets beaten by a rifle butt to the jaw and all he says is “Ow.” The artwork, on the other hand, is well done, though it’s weird seeing Q in original series uniform. . . 3/5

Path of No Resistance
A self-help book by Garret Kramer, it espouses the philosophy that looking from within is more important than living your life according to outside criterion. It’s intriguing when he notes “There is no connection between performance and positive thinking,” which will no doubt set some people howling. There are examples from sports as well as real life, things everyone can relate to. Plenty to think about here—though that’s exactly what he doesn’t want you to do—with some ideas that might work, but I’m not convinced. . . yet. 3.5/5

Brave Girls
A tome on female empowerment by Stacey Radin, Psy.D. {Doctorate of Psychology? Never seen that}. It postulates that the best age for women to learn how to succeed is the middle-school years, or I guess what’s now referred to as “tweens.” Being a male in his 40s with no kids, I am the ultimate outsider here, but on the other hand, as someone who has many more female friends than male, I found some of the ideas fascinating. I am, on the other hand, somewhat of an expert on dog training, and to find that having girls take care and, more importantly, advocate for puppies is a glorious idea. I would also imagine there’s quite a degree of satisfaction for everyone involved when they realize how much they are advocating for themselves as well. I found it opened my eyes to things I’ve never thought about, and I enjoyed it so much I might look for a way to help Unleashed, especially if there’s a chapter here in El Lay. 4/5

Mark of Cain
A police novel by Marcus Hünnebeck.
It seems there are a lot of female police detectives in Germany, according to the books I’ve read recently, and all of them are emotionally damaged. For some it’s divorce, others lost their families in some way or other, and most are self-destructive. This book is a prime example of that. The writing is enjoyable enough, but there’s absolutely no attempt at anything new here; it’s completely by the numbers. The plot “twist” at the end makes me think more soap opera than mystery, as that’s where it had been used and overused. In the end I was left dissatisfied. 2.5/5



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