📚 River of Blood by Kevin Ryan

65/2022 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

A strong conclusion to the trilogy, culminating in an all-out battle between invading Klingons and Starfleet defenders on a starbase that takes up the majority of the book. Something of the literary equivalent of the final act CGI battle of any given Marvel movie. The threads wrap up satisfyingly well, with a few nicely placed ties to future events and characters. Though I rated each standalone book at three stars, taken together, the trilogy as a whole is definitely above average for Trek novels. (Though all books do suffer from occasional typos missed in the editing passes; in this one, the starbase’s first mention is given the designation Starbase 43, but in the next paragraph it becomes Starbase 42 and remains there for the rest of the book.) Also, keep an eye out on the character names — many throughout the series are named for notable people in Trek’s real-world past.

Michael holding River of Blood

📚 Killing Blow by Kevin Ryan

64/2022 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

As with many mid-points of trilogies, not quite as strong as the first, though still better than average. Some flashback scenes are written in with the main narrative and occasionally mildly confusing when scenes switch between present and past battles, and there are a few unfortunate typos swapping similarly named characters. Once those are accounted for, though, a decent enough middle chapter.

Michael holding Killing Blow.

📚 The Edge of the Sword by Kevin Ryan

63/2022 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

TOS events as seen trough the eyes of a disguised Klingon operative serving as part of the Enterprise’s security crew. On the one hand, it’s a combination of common tropes: the outsider/enemy coming to understand humanity through living among them and a “lower decks” view of life on a starship. On the other hand, it’s done quite well, without being too “wink-wink, nudge-nudge, remember this bit?” when the book’s events intersect with known missions. A good start to the trilogy (or hexology, I suppose, as there is another trilogy following the events of this one).

Michael holding The Edge of the Sword.