Published by Pocket Books/Star Trek on September 5th 2016
Genres: Science Fiction
As Star Trek novels (or, in this case, novellas) go, Time Lock was a very different sort of read. It’s set in the original timeline, within the extended universe that has continued beyond TNG, DS9, and Voyager, but aside from a few instances of name-dropping, it has nothing to do with the characters with which readers are most familiar. Instead, this is a sort of side series, dealing with the Department of Temporal Investigations.
Christopher L. Bennett had his work cut out for him here, not only telling a story without the most famous characters or starships, but one that’s entirely dependent on the intricacies of time travel. In lesser hands, this could have been a confusing, convoluted mess. Not only do we have time travel, but there’s the paradox of viewing the present/future at the same time, and the added complication of time moving slower/faster for different characters.
Even as a seasoned fan, I found it a bit challenging to maintain a sense of time inside and outside the facility, but that was part of the fun.
The characters here really don’t get enough time to really develop or stand out as truly memorable, but they do a serviceable job of keeping us engaged and entertained. The action moves along at a decent pace, and the warring time travel artifacts make for some truly original threats and opportunities. All told, a fun diversion that looks beyond the excitement of Starfleet to explore the little guys who protect the future and keep the timeline safe.