Beam this away from me, Scotty…

Star Trek: Picard: The Last Best Hope
by Una McCormack,  Robert Petkoff (Narrator) 

Rating: 2 out of 5.

I am very disappointed. I wonder if I had enjoyed this, if I hadn‘t seen the new series already. As it was, I found this very boring. The plot held no suspense for me. This was a drag.

There is a lot of talk, weak character development and little to no action. It doesn‘t help that I found the TV series to be mediocre at best, regardless of the nostalgia I was experiencing (seeing Patrick Steward back in this beloved role) and that I did not really like Raffi Musiker or Agnes Jurati much.

The story itself is episodic, talking about rescue efforts on various planets. The climax about Mars is tacked to the end without much build-up and is pretty short. Jean-Luc‘s fate in the aftermath is dealt with very briefly.

I am stumped about this utterly boring book. My main issue: there is a lot of planning and talking about things, but you get to experience very little of anything. This book actually (almost) managed something I had never expected to happen: It made me dislike Picard and think of him as a pompous, self-centered ass.

The only part I enjoyed in this: The audiobook narrator. At first I was a little disappointed that Patrick Stewart does not narrate this himself. The actual narrator, Robert Petkoff, does a pretty decent job of sounding like Stewart and also giving distinct personalities to the other characters. He also does a decent Leonard Nimoy imitation.

I personally can not recommend this book. However, lots of people liked it. So you will have to decide for yourself. If you want a positive voice, look at this review.

Something by the author herself:

“On the occasion of The Last Best Hope, the first novel associated with the Star Trek: Picard television series, author Una McCormack muses on Star Trek, the future it imagines, the present we live in today… and how it all comes together.“

And another interesting review, including the comments thread.

It had never occurred to me, how absurd the supernova plot actually is. So much for believable SF and how gullible I am apparently. Anyway, I greatly enjoyed the 2009 Star Trek movie and I am still sad that this particular branch of Star Trek seems to have ground to a halt, especially considering that ST Discovery did not really do it for me.

Boring beard

Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers, #1)
by Penny Reid

Rating: 2 out of 5.

I had expected to enjoy this more. Perhaps my expectations were to high going into this, because it‘s so well liked by several of my romance-loving GR friends. 

The story itself is not bad. Young woman comes back home tp pay off her college debt, wanting to leave afterwards to travel the world. Bumps into the wrong guy without realizing and frenemies become lovers after much dry humping, denial and repetitive internal monologue. Well, I assume they do, because I am at the halfway point after much skimming and they still haven‘t done the deed. Or did I skim too fast and miss it?

Thrown into the mix was a little Sons of Anarchy, presumably to add some suspense. The main drama is of Jess not wanting a committed relationship, as she wants to leave town again and of falling for a guy she doesn‘t want in the first place. He then plays hard to get and comes up with some contrived scheme that you can see blowing up in his face from a mile away.

I am willing to put up with quite a lot of silliness and unnecessary drama in my romance, if the dynamic between the characters is good and there is some humour. But this wasn‘t working for me. I didn‘t emphasize with Jess or Duane. She was a silly, immature girl with the aforementioned internal dialogue full of repetetive fluff, soft porn and juvenile humour. Duane was just flat and not very likable in a chest-thumping sort of way. Someone should show him what it means to go for a nice dinner. 

I am struggling to put a finger on it. The characters were not believable enough, I guess. I just did not buy them, their motivators or their emotions. They lacked depth and were not developed enough to make me care. Everybody sounded the same. 

Pretty much the only detail I did like was the POV switching between Jessica and Duane.

Bummer, I had really hoped to like this series. Oh well. DNF at 48%, with skimming. I read (most of) the last two chapters for some closure. The sneak peak of the next book was identical in tone, so I guess I will give the rest of this series a pass.


Eternal Flame by the Bangles

Dreamweaver by Gary Wright

Creep by Radiohead

Touch Me by The Doors

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by Roberta Flack

Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones (I wish!)