Fun, but it could've been funner; funny, but it shouldn't have been so funny.
I graduated from high school in 1966. So I was pretty young when the original Star Trek television series played out. Sometimes I feel I'm just as young and naïve now.
This science fiction novel depended upon knowledge of the series, the fact that crewmembers unimportant to the continuing television saga got killed off in dramatic ways in the Enterprise's weekly exploitations. Scalzi plays on that "flaw" and builds his story from there.
So the main dynamic is set in the future with a spaceship named Intrepid and its "secondary" characters. The main characters of the novel, those secondary characters, figure out that essentially the same dynamic is happening to them.
Satire raises its head for savvy readers. Characterization is wanting. The dialogue seemed unnecessarily strained. The narrative focuses on the underlying mechanics and physicality of the scenario. The codas that follow the basic narrative play stronger, addressing such issues as life, choice, duty.
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