Review: the Double Helix series

**Summer Reading, books 2, 6, 10, and 13**

I love Star Trek.

I feel like I gotta start there first and foremost.  I love, love, love it.  The Star Trek universe is definitely my nerd-dom of choice.  It’s not even a contest.

Ok, now that you know, let me tell you about Double Helix.

I was introduced to Star Trek by my older brother probably shortly after I was born.  And I have a vivid memory being probably 6 or 7 at a book store, picking out a Christmas gift to give to my brother.  This was probably one of the first times I picked a gift out myself rather than my mom doing it and just slapping my name on it.  I saw the Double Helix series and was instantly drawn to it, so we got him 2 of those.

Fast forward… what, like 18 years?… to being at Half Price Books looking through the Star Trek books, and what do I see?  ALL SIX BOOKS FROM THE DOUBLE HELIX SERIES.  At first, I couldn’t remember where I’d seen them before, but once it came back to me, I had to buy them.  Partially for nostalgic reasons and mostly because I wanted to read them.

I read the first 2 books right away, but the others were just sitting on my shelf until this summer.  I finally finished the series a couple of days ago!  And here is what I thought.

Overall, I was actually disappointed with the series.  The premise was really cool: at different times throughout Federation history, different forms of an engineered virus appear, and lots of characters from different series come together to try to find a cure and find the culprit.  Super cool!

Execution-wise, I wasn’t crazy about it, though.  For the most part, the books seemed disjointed, and because each one was written by a different author, they all had very different quality and feels.  I also think that the order of the books should have been switched.  The sixth book is actually a prequel to the other five, giving the backstory to the villain (SPOILER: he was caught in the fifth book…).  It definitely shouldn’t have been the first book – maybe the fifth?  I just wasn’t that interested in him by that time.

Here’s my rundown of each of the six books (though I read the first two a couple of years ago):

  • Infection by John Gregory Betancourt
    • I liked this one.  It was a pretty classic Star Trek pocket book.
  • Vectors by Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Katherine Rusch
    • I also liked this one – Bajorans, Cardassians, and some great science.
  • Red Sector by Diane Carey
    • I really didn’t like this one at all.  The prologue was way too long, and even though it had Romulans in it, it just wasn’t for me.  It was kind of boring.
  • Quarantine by John Vornholt
    • I liked this one!  I thought it was well written, and I’m a big fan of the Maquis.  The story was a good one.
  • Double or Nothing by Peter David
    • This one was… okay?  It felt kind of disjointed and weirdly paced, and it didn’t seem to really fit in with the other books.
  • The First Virtue by Michael Jan Friedman and Christie Golden
    • While the book itself was pretty good, I don’t think this should’ve been the sixth book.  It seemed really tangential to the series, only giving backstory to the villain.  It just didn’t seem to fit.

Overall, I felt like each of these books could have been shorter and the series could have been put together more cleanly.  But there were some definite highlights, so I don’t regret walking down memory lanes with these.

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