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Book Reviews: Dark of the Sun + Probe

Dark of the Sun by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
I'd hoped to get hold of 'Darker Jewels' and 'Roman Dusk' but have sadly not been able to. In this novel Saint-Germain is living in China in 536AD when the weather suddenly turns cold and dark. Trade comes to a halt, crops fail, people and livestock die, disease and famine are rampant.

Unbeknown to Saint-Germain is the knowledge that the cold and dark has been caused by a volcanic eruption on Krakatoa, the side effects of which will last for years. Saint-Germain and Roger decide to journey to Saint-Germain's homeland of Transylvania for sanctuary. But their journey will take a long time and people are suspicious of foreigners and troubled by famine.

This is good, a fascinating look at a troubled time. But the stock trope of Saint-Germain trusting the wrong person plays out yet again.

Star Trek: Probe by Margaret Wander Bonanno
From 1993 comes this sequel to 'Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home', it tells of what happened to the mysterious probe after it left the Terran system and explains why it was so interested in communicating with whales.

In an unsubtle allegory to real life events, a moderate Romulan government comes to power and extends an olive branch to the Federation. A diplomatic conference/cultural exchange takes place in the neutral zone. But as the conference begins the probe continues its wandering, this time into Romulan space.

This is a tale of trust, music and archeology. It's good and there's a reference to the Borg (they're not named of course). Apparently Bonanno disowned this novel as it was rewritten by someone else due to publisher conflicts. Plus she titled the book 'The Music of the Spheres' which sounds much cooler. Still issues aside I enjoyed this book, it is far superior to another 1993 Trek novel: the overwritten woman hating 'Imzadi'.


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