No Time Like the Past
© 2014 Greg Cox
Question: why is the heroic, resolute-looking face of James T. Kirk carved Rushmore-like into a mountainside in the middle of the Delta Quadrant? In search of an answer, Seven of Nine is thrown across space and time into the middle of a firefight, whereupon she rescues Kirk and company from Orion pirates and enlists his and the Enterprise‘s help in returning home Her quest for home won’t be easy, and is made even more difficult by a bureaucrat’s big mouth; after the pirates learn there’s a woman from the future among them, they badger the Enterprise relentlessly, turning a mystery novel into a running battle. No Time Like the Past is a TOS novel with a Voyager twist, a fantastic adventure novel rendered by veteran author Greg Cox.
In the course of sorting out the mystery, Seven and the TOS crew will revisit the battlegrounds of some of the original series’ odder episodes, including “The Apple”. Although some premises stretch plausibility (the planet riven by race war between people who are black on the right side, and white on the left, or the reverse), Cox succeeds in fleshing them out enough for readers to take seriously. Cox has an easier job handling the characters; a veteran Trek author, his Spock/McCoy salvos are right on the mark. The Voyager crew are in character as well. The story is one of a mystery-turned-scavenger hunt punctuated by frequent battle scenes and an explosive finale as the frustrated Orions try to board and seize the Enterprise itself. All this makes for a story that moves speedily along, with plenty of action and time spent with beloved and familiar characters. Their interactions with Seven provide even more to enjoyed. As they have no idea of her backstory, her cybernetic modifications horrify the doctor, but her rational personality and strength impress Kirk and Spock. The big TOS three and Seven have a lot of fun together, the many scenes of peril aside, and so too will the reader.