Review of Star Trek by Alan Dean Foster

November 4, 2009
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Science Fiction Audiobook - Star Trek by Alan Dean FosterStar Trek
By Alan Dean Foster, Based on the movie, written by Roberto Orci and Alex Hurtzman
Read by Zachary Quinto
7 CDs – 8 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9780743598347
Themes: / Science Fiction / Time travel /

|HEAR AN EXCERPT – Kirk on Trial|

Star Trek is dead. Long live Star Trek! Like lots of others, I went to the film expecting to hate it, but came away liking it, even though it was not the Star Trek I knew. In fact, the film pretty much killed Star Trek as I knew it. A bad thing? I’d use the word “unfortunate” because I look at Star Trek and see a huge missed opportunity for intelligent television. I don’t see any thoughtful writing in the franchise’s future – we didn’t see much of it in Voyager and Enterprise either. It had nearly turned into every other show, and this movie just finished the job.

Yet, it wasn’t a bad movie. It was very much a product of the Hollywood Blockbuster machine. Danger, action, sex, witty dialogue, big special effects, some things that make zero sense… it’s all here. It was exciting, it looked great, I liked the actors, and I liked recognizing things that they threw in there from the Original Series. It was fun.

But I’m not here to review the movie. This is Alan Dean Foster’s novelization of the film, read by Zachary Quinto, who portrayed Spock. Back in the 1970’s, Alan Dean Foster wrote one of the best novelizations I’ve run across – Alien. I must’ve read it three or four times as a kid. And he’s no stranger to Star Trek – he wrote the Star Trek Logs which were novelizations of the episodes of the Animated Series. He did a great job with this book, too.

Zachary Quinto also did a great job narrating. The voices are new, even if the characters weren’t. Quinto was an inspired choice to play Mr. Spock, and of course plays that character in the reading as it was on the screen. The others weren’t exactly attempts at mimicry, but rather more subtle changes in cadence. With Chekov and Scotty, he did the accents, and is real good at both of them. An excellent performance, throughout.

In eight hours of unabridged narration there is nothing here that deviates in any significant way from the movie. It just takes longer, but that’s not a bad thing. You come away with what a novel gives you that movies can’t: the inner thoughts and feelings of the characters. Also, there are some scenes from Kirk and Spock’s childhoods that weren’t in the movie, and other things scattered through the book.

So that’s the new Trek. We’ll see what happens from here.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

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