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The Children of Hamlin

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The Hamlin Massacre – every Starfleet officer knows the tale. The tiny Federation outpost of Hamlin was destroyed, its entire adult population ruthlessly slaughtered, before the first defense shields could be raised. Even worse, the colony's children disappeared without a trace, abducted by the aliens who attacked with a ferocity and speed that outmatched their Starfleet p The Hamlin Massacre – every Starfleet officer knows the tale. The tiny Federation outpost of Hamlin was destroyed, its entire adult population ruthlessly slaughtered, before the first defense shields could be raised. Even worse, the colony's children disappeared without a trace, abducted by the aliens who attacked with a ferocity and speed that outmatched their Starfleet pursuers. Now, fifty years later, the Choraii ships have appeared again. But this time the Federation is ready; this time the Choraii must pay for what they need. The precious metals can only be bought with the Hamlin children still living with their captors. This time the Choraii must face Captain Jean-Luc Picard – and the crew of the starship USS Enterprise-D…


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The Hamlin Massacre – every Starfleet officer knows the tale. The tiny Federation outpost of Hamlin was destroyed, its entire adult population ruthlessly slaughtered, before the first defense shields could be raised. Even worse, the colony's children disappeared without a trace, abducted by the aliens who attacked with a ferocity and speed that outmatched their Starfleet p The Hamlin Massacre – every Starfleet officer knows the tale. The tiny Federation outpost of Hamlin was destroyed, its entire adult population ruthlessly slaughtered, before the first defense shields could be raised. Even worse, the colony's children disappeared without a trace, abducted by the aliens who attacked with a ferocity and speed that outmatched their Starfleet pursuers. Now, fifty years later, the Choraii ships have appeared again. But this time the Federation is ready; this time the Choraii must pay for what they need. The precious metals can only be bought with the Hamlin children still living with their captors. This time the Choraii must face Captain Jean-Luc Picard – and the crew of the starship USS Enterprise-D…

30 review for The Children of Hamlin

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jerry

    More enjoyable space opera.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    With the title and the basic plot as guide (planet is destroyed by music-loving aliens and only the children are saved) this story is an obvious allusion to the nursery rhyme "The Pied Piper of Hamlin." Intertwining the two stories--a 50-yr-old tragedy and the resettlement of a technology-averse people--makes for an interesting narrative on communication. How do vastly different species/ideologies/hierarchies communicate effectively with each other? What happens when language fails to communicat With the title and the basic plot as guide (planet is destroyed by music-loving aliens and only the children are saved) this story is an obvious allusion to the nursery rhyme "The Pied Piper of Hamlin." Intertwining the two stories--a 50-yr-old tragedy and the resettlement of a technology-averse people--makes for an interesting narrative on communication. How do vastly different species/ideologies/hierarchies communicate effectively with each other? What happens when language fails to communicate what the individuals want, not what's best for the group? These are just some of the questions touched on in this story, but I think the real shine comes from the crews interactions with each other. Carmen Carter did a great job capturing the voices of Enterprise crew. She even goes so far as to extend the narrative of miscommunication to them and their relationships with each other--harkening back to Jack Crusher's death as an impediment between Picard and Dr Crusher's friendship and Wesley Crusher's narrative of himself as a boy without a father. Also it's really nice to see Wesley have a friend his own age, even if for a short period of time. In the series he is nearly always alone, the only child in a room of adults. It was nice to see him as just a kid for once. As as side note, I would've loved to see this story as a TOS book. It would've been amazing to see Uhuru, our canon linguist, learning the musical language of the Charaii in order to communicate with them. I can see why TNG was chosen (pretty sure there is already a TOS book the revolves around this idea) and it does work well in the TNG universe. It just fits so well with Uhuru's character that I can't help myself from imagining.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Once again the author messed up with Data: first he said a contraction at the beginning of the book; second the author was trying to give him feelings (which doesn't happen until the movies). The story itself was alright and I know this was set during season 1 so before we know what will happen with the characters of the show. I liked the accuracy of the Crusher family and the descriptive details of everything. I would say yes to read this book if you are a fan of the series, but know that there Once again the author messed up with Data: first he said a contraction at the beginning of the book; second the author was trying to give him feelings (which doesn't happen until the movies). The story itself was alright and I know this was set during season 1 so before we know what will happen with the characters of the show. I liked the accuracy of the Crusher family and the descriptive details of everything. I would say yes to read this book if you are a fan of the series, but know that there are better stories out there.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mary Kelly

    Fast and dramatic it makes you think while still being a good "dime novel". Fast and dramatic it makes you think while still being a good "dime novel".

  5. 4 out of 5

    David

    A good read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ken B

    4 STARS

  7. 5 out of 5

    John

    A very solid TNG novel that occasionally stumbles in ways that aren't really the author's fault. For example, I never cared for how TNG turned the Enterprise's saucer separation into something fairly routine, nor am I a fan of the holodeck being regularly trotted out to resolve problems. Sure, I enjoy seeing the crew use it for VR entertainment purposes, but it's a technology that all-too-often borders on magic and therefore leads to lazy storytelling. The novel was written back when the show was A very solid TNG novel that occasionally stumbles in ways that aren't really the author's fault. For example, I never cared for how TNG turned the Enterprise's saucer separation into something fairly routine, nor am I a fan of the holodeck being regularly trotted out to resolve problems. Sure, I enjoy seeing the crew use it for VR entertainment purposes, but it's a technology that all-too-often borders on magic and therefore leads to lazy storytelling. The novel was written back when the show was still brand new, so the characters don't feel fully fleshed out yet; rather, they tend to display only one or two major character traits: Yar is tough, Worf is brooding, Riker is dashing, Data is perpetually curious, Crusher is frazzled, Troi is an emotional wreck, etc. Author Carmen Carter never portrays them as one-dimensional, but you can't help but miss the complex relationships these characters would later develop with each other over the course of the series. The alien culture that Carmen Carter introduces is quite fascinating, and it's a real shame no one ever picked up the baton and carried her ideas forward. These aliens are too interesting for me to be content with a "one and done" type of story, so finishing the tale was a bit of a letdown knowing there'd never be a sequel. The author also did a great job with the character of Andrew Deelor, who serves as a clever subversion of the typical STAR TREK villain. The moral quandaries explored in this novel are surprisingly deep and complicated, and that sort of thing is what, to me, makes TREK so great. I'm sure THE CHILDREN OF HAMLIN isn't on many people's "to-read" list at this point, and that's probably as it should be. But if you do pick it up, you might be pleasantly surprised. For a 30-year-old novel based on the first season of a TV show spin-off, the book is an adroit piece of storytelling, especially when you consider that Carmen Carter wrote it in only three months. But perhaps she shouldn't have mentioned that little detail when writing the book's Foreword, since knowing it was a rush job somehow makes it that much easier to dismiss.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Octavia Cade

    A good solid read, although it skims over a few places I think. A four year old who's seen her home and family slaughtered, and who's been kidnapped by the aliens who did the slaughtering, is having so much fun after several days with them that she wants to go back after being rescued? Not buying it, sorry. I'm also not buying that someone as clever as Deelor didn't see Ruthe's final strategy coming a mile off, because I certainly did. Nitpicks like these aside, however, this was a thoughtful and A good solid read, although it skims over a few places I think. A four year old who's seen her home and family slaughtered, and who's been kidnapped by the aliens who did the slaughtering, is having so much fun after several days with them that she wants to go back after being rescued? Not buying it, sorry. I'm also not buying that someone as clever as Deelor didn't see Ruthe's final strategy coming a mile off, because I certainly did. Nitpicks like these aside, however, this was a thoughtful and considered story about alienation, I suppose - about what happens when you're ripped from your culture and raised in another one, and whether or not it's in your interest, after a lifetime of assimilation, to be ripped away once again. And, from the other side, how ethical it is to build diplomatic relationships with those who slaughter and kidnap others. It's a book all about price and compromise is what I'm saying, and some of the prices are very heavy, and some of the compromises are fairly repellent. It's more sad than anything, even more sad than hopeful, and that's an unusual approach for Star Trek, though one I think that has paid off here.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Willis

    Still not certain what to make of this one yet. The antagonists brutally massacred a colony of adults and kidnapped the children, who now live in the alien's literally womb-like ships as pets, having all needs met. Federation bargains for them back, and most of the rescued soon die, never adjusting back to "normal" human existence. Humans are better off fat, dumb, and happy? Also, furthering a TNG trend, anyone who dares to eschew technology is portrayed as a backwards intolerant religious cultis Still not certain what to make of this one yet. The antagonists brutally massacred a colony of adults and kidnapped the children, who now live in the alien's literally womb-like ships as pets, having all needs met. Federation bargains for them back, and most of the rescued soon die, never adjusting back to "normal" human existence. Humans are better off fat, dumb, and happy? Also, furthering a TNG trend, anyone who dares to eschew technology is portrayed as a backwards intolerant religious cultist, like the Farmers (read Amish) are here. Don't question the "scientists", they know what's best for you? Maybe I'm just expecting too much from these books. To me sci/fi should creatively make a point (even if, and especially if, I don't agree with it) to challenge my thinking. Didn't get that here. However, the story, action and pacing were good. As others commented, would make a decent TV episode.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Plume

    As far as Trek books go, this one isn't tops. Even for Sci-fi a good bit of it isn't believable, and the parts that are believable are predictable from the very early stages. It still manages to be a semi-fun read, though. As far as Trek books go, this one isn't tops. Even for Sci-fi a good bit of it isn't believable, and the parts that are believable are predictable from the very early stages. It still manages to be a semi-fun read, though.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sean Whelan

    Not bad for an early entry into TNG novels. This could have been a successful TV episode. Characters seem on point and the story moves along well.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tyler Michael Jonsson

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was an enjoyable book that raised many interesting "Trekkie" moral and ethical dillemas. The "villains" of the book, the Choraii, flew around in spaceships that were literally giant clumps of bubbles full of breathable liquid that smells like cinnamon. Lol, but totally unique and interesting. Most interestingly was the issue of Stockholm Syndrome, as the Enterprise was tasked with recovering "The Children of Hamlin." Children who were kidnapped by the Choraii 50+ years ago and are now SO ac This was an enjoyable book that raised many interesting "Trekkie" moral and ethical dillemas. The "villains" of the book, the Choraii, flew around in spaceships that were literally giant clumps of bubbles full of breathable liquid that smells like cinnamon. Lol, but totally unique and interesting. Most interestingly was the issue of Stockholm Syndrome, as the Enterprise was tasked with recovering "The Children of Hamlin." Children who were kidnapped by the Choraii 50+ years ago and are now SO accustomed to their new (literal and figurative) atmosphere/environment, that almost all of the recovered prisoners die shortly after being taken aboard Federation vessels. Lots of other good stuff too. The "Farmers" from New Oregon, which has some cool Wesley stuff. And a very interesting dynamic between Picard and Deelor, a Federation diplomat who has authority to override Picard's command. Not to mention Ruthe, a Choraii translator who it turns out in the end WAS a captive herself. She ends up scheming her way BACK to the Choraii ship she was born on of her own free will. Stockholm Syndrome, or not? Overall: 7.5/10 - Lots of interesting plot lines and a fascinatingly unique villain. Good stuff!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Colin Peck

    After reading the first two Star Trek: The Next Generation numbered books, I didn't have high expectations for this one. The first two were rather boring compared to the TV show, and the characters didn't act the way I have become accustomed to on the show. However, this book, The Children of Hamlin, was much better! There were multiple storylines that eventually intertwined, making the story dynamic and entertaining. I wanted to keep reading this book so I could find out what would happen next. After reading the first two Star Trek: The Next Generation numbered books, I didn't have high expectations for this one. The first two were rather boring compared to the TV show, and the characters didn't act the way I have become accustomed to on the show. However, this book, The Children of Hamlin, was much better! There were multiple storylines that eventually intertwined, making the story dynamic and entertaining. I wanted to keep reading this book so I could find out what would happen next. While the characters weren't exactly how they are in the show, they were a lot closer than the previous two books. The Choraii were equal parts mysterious and frightening, which made them a good antagonist. The New Oregon Farmers made for an interesting background story. I wish we could have learned more about the Farmers, but that's really my only complaint about this book. I wanted to know why they used the term "Uncle" so much instead of "Father".

  14. 4 out of 5

    Solitudes

    Finally! the third book of TNG related novels is the first one who feels like TNG. Where Picard is finally Picard, Riker is the galaxy's lovebo..sorry, acting as Riker should act and almost everyone is what is supposed or needed to be. Really enjoyed it and appreciated to see Shut up Wesley in a such out of the tv series style and being as close of a normal teenage as Wesley can be. Worf and Geordi are unfortunately under-developed characters but quite understandable considering the plot and spe Finally! the third book of TNG related novels is the first one who feels like TNG. Where Picard is finally Picard, Riker is the galaxy's lovebo..sorry, acting as Riker should act and almost everyone is what is supposed or needed to be. Really enjoyed it and appreciated to see Shut up Wesley in a such out of the tv series style and being as close of a normal teenage as Wesley can be. Worf and Geordi are unfortunately under-developed characters but quite understandable considering the plot and speaking of plot, a very smart and trekkish one, with emphasis not so much on space battles but human dilemmas and ethical choices. I am pretty sure it could have been a great TNG episode, not as good as Drumstick or Measure of a Man, but not very far from those 2 iconic episodes. Really enjoyed this one and yes, we have humor ( a lot of it ) and deamn me, Beverly is cursing? and she's not the only one? wow. never though of that :)) Strongly recommended to any ST- TNG fan.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mark R.

    “The Children of Hamlin,” by Carmen Carter, is the third, and so far best, of the “Star Trek: the Next Generation” novels. There’s a lot going on, and many characters, and as a result the action moves fairly quickly. This is a great improvement on book #2, “The Peacekeepers.” The Enterprise is transporting families of farmers to their colony base on New Oregon, when they encounter a decimated ship. They bring on an ambassador named Deelor, who asserts his authority almost immediately, much to Cap “The Children of Hamlin,” by Carmen Carter, is the third, and so far best, of the “Star Trek: the Next Generation” novels. There’s a lot going on, and many characters, and as a result the action moves fairly quickly. This is a great improvement on book #2, “The Peacekeepers.” The Enterprise is transporting families of farmers to their colony base on New Oregon, when they encounter a decimated ship. They bring on an ambassador named Deelor, who asserts his authority almost immediately, much to Captain Picard’s chagrin. The ambassador is working on a deal with the murderous Choraii race, who years ago wiped out a peaceful colony and stole their children. Some of the missing kids have shown up, and Ambassador Deelor is eager to trade with the Choraii for their return. To say there’s some tension between Deelor and Picard (and first officer Riker) would be a great understatement.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Appsbyaaron

    I love Star Trek TNG and last summer I found 42 books at a garage sale for $15. Score! I know! But I'm just now getting around to reading them. I don't have 1-99 but I do have a lot and I'm trying to read them in order for some reason. This was a joy to read. It felt like I was watching a tv episode. Carmen Carter got it all RIGHT. The story wasn't mind-blowing but it felt like I was "home" again if that makes sense. All the characters have rolls and are engaging. The plot was fun but not overly I love Star Trek TNG and last summer I found 42 books at a garage sale for $15. Score! I know! But I'm just now getting around to reading them. I don't have 1-99 but I do have a lot and I'm trying to read them in order for some reason. This was a joy to read. It felt like I was watching a tv episode. Carmen Carter got it all RIGHT. The story wasn't mind-blowing but it felt like I was "home" again if that makes sense. All the characters have rolls and are engaging. The plot was fun but not overly complex. What's most impressive is that author Carmen Carter wrote this in 3 months...on a Macintosh...in 1988. The only thing I can't work out is who the woman on the left on the cover is. She doesn't feel like any of the characters in the book. Would recommend to any TNG fans!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Michel Siskoid Albert

    While the farmer/Wesley subplot is distracting (and not uncoincidental), the story has some good elements, surprising for one of the early TNG novels. The aliens ships are very alien (and the aliens themselves so mysterious we never see them), and that's something I like the novels to explore. The Choraii communicate with music, have organic, globular ships and little knowledge of smelting, and use humans as "bonding gifts", holding them in an honored, yet servile, place. Not very fast-paced, Th While the farmer/Wesley subplot is distracting (and not uncoincidental), the story has some good elements, surprising for one of the early TNG novels. The aliens ships are very alien (and the aliens themselves so mysterious we never see them), and that's something I like the novels to explore. The Choraii communicate with music, have organic, globular ships and little knowledge of smelting, and use humans as "bonding gifts", holding them in an honored, yet servile, place. Not very fast-paced, The Children of Hamlin is nonetheless a thoughtful moral play, like many Star Trek efforts. Do humans need to be freed? Or should we respect this imposed, but legitimate, new culture? And Carter uses Tasha better than the show's makers.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Joel

    This was the first early TNG book that I've felt that captured the characters and the feel of the series right, in the sense that as I could believe that this was an episode of ST:TNG. Obviously it's not the greatest writing out there, but it was an enjoyable read overall. The interesting thing for me was that the plot of the book seemed to mirror the plot of several TNG episodes which came out before or just after this book was published in January 1988 - The Big Goodbye (Before the book), Up th This was the first early TNG book that I've felt that captured the characters and the feel of the series right, in the sense that as I could believe that this was an episode of ST:TNG. Obviously it's not the greatest writing out there, but it was an enjoyable read overall. The interesting thing for me was that the plot of the book seemed to mirror the plot of several TNG episodes which came out before or just after this book was published in January 1988 - The Big Goodbye (Before the book), Up the Long Ladder (after the book), and The Ensigns of Command (after the book).

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kieran McAndrew

    Over fifty years ago, the Hamlin colony was destroyed and all colonists believed dead in a massacre that shook the Federation. The 'Enterprise' is commandeered by an ambassador who has some chilling news. There were survivors. All the children are still alive and their captors are willing to trade for their return. Far more tied into the first season, Carter's novel name checks previous missions and has described an adversary as intriguing as it is ruthless. Over fifty years ago, the Hamlin colony was destroyed and all colonists believed dead in a massacre that shook the Federation. The 'Enterprise' is commandeered by an ambassador who has some chilling news. There were survivors. All the children are still alive and their captors are willing to trade for their return. Far more tied into the first season, Carter's novel name checks previous missions and has described an adversary as intriguing as it is ruthless.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michael Hanscom

    Decent for early TNG, though more than a bit on-the-nose with the Pied Piper connections (children abducted from a place called Hamlin by aliens whose language is music). 🖖 Most interestingly, I’d say there’s an argument to be made that one of the characters (Deelor) could be an early glimpse of Section 31, given his tactics and motives (though obviously, this was written long before Section 31 was introduced to the Trek universe).

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lynne

    The premise was very imaginative. I do not want to give it away. It involves a sphere-ish ship and communicating through music. The characters were true to form of the first season. Quite formal but still enjoyable. This was my first STNG paperback. It was worth my time. I look forward to reading through the whole series.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    Another great "episode" featuring an interesting and unique alien race as well as tackling the serious question of whether it is more humane to rescue and rehabilitate or to leave well enough alone. Only complaint is that it took otherwise intelligent characters a little too long to figure out something that seemed blatantly obvious to me, but such lapses happen in many otherwise good stories. Another great "episode" featuring an interesting and unique alien race as well as tackling the serious question of whether it is more humane to rescue and rehabilitate or to leave well enough alone. Only complaint is that it took otherwise intelligent characters a little too long to figure out something that seemed blatantly obvious to me, but such lapses happen in many otherwise good stories.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Joe Sullivan

    Well fleshed-out characters, no "Wesley saves the day" like most first season stories were. Alien class that would not have been doable with the limited budget and effects of the series at the time. This is what the books were made for. Well fleshed-out characters, no "Wesley saves the day" like most first season stories were. Alien class that would not have been doable with the limited budget and effects of the series at the time. This is what the books were made for.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    Once I started this book I just couldn't put it down. I was absorbed from the first page. The twists and turns were very predictable but no less thrilling. Once I started this book I just couldn't put it down. I was absorbed from the first page. The twists and turns were very predictable but no less thrilling.

  25. 4 out of 5

    MWT

    The cover on my copy is purple, but it's the same ISBN. Hmm. The cover on my copy is purple, but it's the same ISBN. Hmm.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Louisa

    Loved this book! Excellent writing! Definitely one of my favorites!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Caiden

    A very average story.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jesse Booth

    Great novel that was a bit predictable at times, but enjoyable all the same.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Adeann

    3.5 stars

  30. 5 out of 5

    Travis

    Just like watching an episode.

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