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Book Reviews: Savage Trade + Four Sisters + Black Wings Of Cthulhu 3, part 1

Star Trek The Original Series: Savage Trade by Tony Daniel
This travesty is a sequel to the TOS ep ‘The Savage Curtain’. Various aliens show up to be incandescently annoying, having derived dynamics from their earlier encounter with Kirk and his gang. A Vulcan is horny for Kirk, there are inconsistencies, odd segues, bad writing and this was boring. I’ve read better on AOOO. I cannot denigrate this enough, take an aversion to this.

Best Lines:
“Kirk had plenty of room for his pacing.”

“McCoy had nearly ended the history of the known galaxy at one point.”

“The last time I saw you, you were a steaming lump of magma with multiple eyes.”

~
Four Sisters: The Lost Lives Of The Romanov Grand Duchesses by Helen Rappaport
This is a biography of Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia, the beloved yet unwanted daughters of the last Tsar who along with their family were brutally murdered in 1918.

Tsar Nicholas regarded ruling as an annoying distraction from his family. His wife the profoundly pathological Alexandra was a hypochondriac, an emotional abuser and full of the toxic air of self importance. Her withdrawal from society and smothering of her children created disillusionment and discontent with Tsarism. Alexandra and Nicholas ignored the shifting social topography and their oncoming obsolescence while their mutable ‘girlies’ grew to young womanhood under the suffocating ambience of Alexandra’s mother love.

From what can be discerned of their personalities: Olga had emotional masochism, Tatiana was sonorous, Maria was a dream burier and Anastasia was rambunctious. They were badly educated yet survived a truly shocking number of illnesses (typhoid, measles and diphtheria) to be overlooked in favour of their exasperating, spoilt, perpetually unwell brother. If not for their strangely morbid mother, useless father and the mass retaliatory spite of the Reds who knows what they would have become. This was good, despite their alleged ‘sparse’ upbringing the luxury they lived in was something to behold.

Best Lines:
“Alexandra seemed to be perpetually ill or pregnant - or both.”

“It discontents everyone.”

“Sent to ‘beat the forest and search every copse and thicket’ for undesirables.”

“This ill-fated reign.”

“The staggering indifference of her class.”

“Alexandra’s morbid personality.”

~
Black Wings Of Cthulhu 3 edited by S.T. Joshi, part 1
The third in the series does not start out well.

Houdini Fish
A man digs something up and the world changes around him. Not good.

Dimply Dolly Doofy
Two meth heads have a baby. A right wrong un. Terrible.

The Hag Stone
A woman looks and sees and everything goes wrong. Okay.
Tags: book review, star trek
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