Sunday, June 16, 2013

Star Trek: The Visual Dictionary by Paul Ruditis

DK is celebrating Father's Day with some discounts on books in its Father's Day Boutique. I'm really late in posting this and I don't know how long the sale is for, so if you are interested hop over there right now and see what they have. Even if it's too late to get Dad the book for today, you could always order it and give it to him another day. Anyway, here's my review of one of the books:
Star Trek: The Visual Dictionary includes material from the 5 Star Trek TV series as well as 10 of the movies. It features labelled photographs and information on many of the things in the Star Trek world.

This is such a cool book. I'm not an avid Trekkie, but I am a fan of the franchise. While I didn't watch Deep Space Nine at all, I did see almost every episode in the other series and all of the movies. Even though I was familiar with much of the stuff in the book, there was lots of new-to-me information. It was all pretty interesting. I loved the little known (at least to me) information on characters, ships and other items. I knew next to nothing about the aliens that the crews encountered, so all of that was new for me. Very cool.

The book features tons of large photographs, many of them annotated. There's photographs and information on: captains, ships, crews, aliens, some technical items (i.e. Klingon Tricorder) and weapons (i.e. Type-2 Phaser). My favourite parts were about the captains and their respective ships. My least favourite were the sections on the aliens. I did like the information on the alien crew members, though, as well as information on the Klingons.

I think it's pretty awesome that the book is presented chronologically in Star Trek years. Rather than start with Captain Kirk and the U.S.S Enterprise NCC-1701, the books begins with Captain Archer and the Enterprise NX-01.

Even though I really liked this book, it is a bit odd. The dust jacket flaps mention the TV series and movies, but after that the book mostly treats this as "real" life. Like these things really exist. No mention of actors, costumes, sets, props, etc. I would have appreciated some "behind-the-scenes" information, but perhaps that wouldn't have fit in with the "dictionary" idea.

Star Trek is a huge franchise, so I was expecting this book to be much longer. With 5 TV series and at least 10 movies, there's so much more that could have and should have gone into this book. Sure, they hit the basics, but hardcore Trekkies are more than likely going to be disappointed that the book is so short.

The table of contents is pretty good, but there's no index. A book like this could use one, so I'm not sure why it's missing.

Highly recommended for fans.

For more information about this book or to browse inside, please visit DK's website.

I'd like to thank those nice people at DK Canada for this review copy.

Star Trek: The Visual Dictionary by Paul Ruditis, Dorling Kindersley (DK), ©2013. ISBN 9781465403377(Hardcover), 95p.

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