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Review of The Eugenics Wars: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh, Volume 1
 
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Published Date: April 2, 2002
ISBN: 0743406427
 
tstarnes
April 7, 2017
 
This book takes a look at how the most iconic villain in Star Trek, Khan Noonien Singh, came to be. The first in what eventually became a three part series The Eugenics War Vol 1: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Sing specifically focus on how Singh and his genetically engineered siblings came to be.

Cox manages to really blend classic Star Trek lore with real historical events and his own added dramatizations and changes to create a pretty compelling story. While the book itself is sandwich between a fairly banal story about Kirk visiting a planet known for practicing genetic modifications that really is more of a way to offer framework. The real meat of the book that takes a look at Trek history is really engaging.

One of the problems the Trek universe is events dreamed up in the 60s TV show clash with how history really played out. The thing that Cox does the best is take the brief pieces of information we have from the TV shows and subsequent movies and make a fictional world history that doesnít seem too ridiculous from how history actually played out.

The idea to use Gary Seven, an idea picked up by later authors looking into Star Trekís history, was a really clever one. Seven and his compatriots offer a great vehicle for the sci-fi elements loved by most Trek fans to get into a story set in the 20th century.

Not to say the book is without flaws. There are some notable slow points where the pacing could have used a bit more work. Luckily these donít last too long. The other issue I ran into in this book was the jumping between characters. In much of it Seven and his assistant Roberta were not together. This forced the Cox to have to jump from one event to the other and back over and over. Often I found just as I was getting into what was happening with one character the narrative would leave them behind for a while to show us what the other was up to. While I donít mind this generally it becomes much more taxing if nearly the entire book is written in that way.

You also really have to read the next book in the series to make it work. If read as a single work the ending of volume 1 is somewhat unsatisfying. However paired with volume 2 it really works as a single story and is totally worth reading.

For people looking for a classic Star Trek story featuring the Captain and his (or her for voyager fans) crew this book may be a bit out of left field. However if you are at all interested in delving into the history of the Star Trek then this is a must read.
 
 
 
 
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