Monday, March 31, 2014

Redshirts by John Scalzi SF SCALZI

If you know much about the original series of Star Trek, you know that being a crew member, who was not a member of the main cast, on an away team mission was a very dangerous thing. Usually, it meant that the crew member was not going to make it back to the ship alive. Most of these crew members were wearing "red shirts." Scalzi builds on this concept with the new crew members of Universal Union's flagship, The Intrepid. Ensign Andrew Dahl is excited to begin working in the Xenibiology lab, and he quickly makes friends with the other new ensigns assigned at the same time that he is: Finn, Hester, Hanson, and Duvall. On his first day, though, Dahl starts noticing some very odd things about the Intrepid, such as the miracle "box" that "almost" has all of the answers to really tough problems, the way that all of his fellow crew members seem to disappear when either Captain Abernathy or Chief Science Office Q'eeng enter an area, and finally, the alarmingly large number of crew members that have been lost on away team missions. While digging deeper into these mysterious happenings, Dahl comes across another crew member, Jenkins, who has been hiding from the rest of the crew for years and monitors everything on board. Jenkins has a wild theory that sounds utterly insane, but it might just be exactly what is going on. In order to save their lives, the Ensigns will have to pull together on a crazy mission to stop those forces pulling them to almost certain doom. There are also three "codas" at the end of the story, which wrap up the lose ends left in the story.

I worried, when I started listening to the book, that my level of nerdness (and Star Trek knowledge) might not be be enough to understand all of the little jokes and allusions that Scalzi makes in Redshirts. I soon realized that I am indeed nerdy enough to enjoy them. I really enjoyed all of the main characters in the story, and I found myself really invested in their finding a way to stop the all of the death going on around them. I also found myself laughing out loud many time during the course of the story. I also would not worry much, if you are not a huge Star Trek fan. The story is still an enjoyable one and very funny.

I will warn you, though, that there is strong language all throughout the book, but I found this story very clever and hysterical. I also think the reader, Wil Wheaton (who you may know as Wesley Crusher from Star Trek The Next Generation) does a great job of bringing the story (and all of the sarcasm and wit) to life.

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