So I’ve seen this book floating around the SF/F community for years now, but I wasn’t quite sure about it. Don’t get me wrong I like Star Trek, and have laughed at many redshirt jokes over the years, but can you really make a compelling novel about said jokes? I wasn’t sure, and have passed on this book many times as a result. I finally picked it up at my library this week after reading a blurb by Patrick Rothfuss saying it was the funniest book he’d ever read, ever. So of course I had I’d give it a try!
For whatever reason the humor just wasn’t the LOL hilarity that I was led to believe it would be. That’s twice now Rothfuss! (The other time being a blurb he did about The Last Unicorn which when I read I didn’t really enjoy much.) I mean I could see the jokes, and having watched many the different iterations of Star Trek I could even appreciate them, but they just didn’t make me laugh. Maybe I was too focused on the characters themselves to appreciate the fourth wallish humor. Or maybe I was just Mr. Grumpy Pants at the time. Who knows.
The story itself was okay, but a bit shallow. There just isn’t much there to sink your teeth in. Given that it is a book basically built on a long running joke I kind of counted on that. I was hoping to be pleasantly surprised, but no biggie.
It was also a short book. It weighs in at 320 pages, but the actual story is more like 200 pages. After that it cuts away from our Redshirts, never to return, and does a separate thing altogether. Basically there are three short stories which close some threads introduced at the end of the actual story. Each of these stories is written in a different POV style – first, second, and third. That part was cool, but again it wasn’t really part of our Redshirt adventure.
Overall it was okay. Redshirts was pretty much what I expected when I first started hearing about the book, but not what I had hoped it might be. Definitely worth a read if you are a Star Trek fan, and who knows you might enjoy it far more than I did.
My Rating: ☆☆☆
P.S. In related fandom news.. Who else is excited about Star Trek: Discovery?!