Well, I hadn’t been in much mood to read for a number of days, which explains why it’s taken my 10 days to
complete another book not written by Tolstoy or Hugo. Instead, to get myself back into the game, I picked up
one of the Star Trek novels I bought at some time in the past en masse; the others include the
novelizations of the first few movies.
Now, I’m not the Star Trek book guy, so this was my first dose of that part of the canon (the Blish short
stories based on the series episodes are a different thing entirely; see also Star
Trek 5, Star Trek 6, and Star Trek
10 among others).
The book was written after the first and second series (I count TAS!) had ended, the first two films were
released, and appeared about the same time as the third movie; ergo, it’s historical in its canon. Since it’s
a book and has no special effects budget, we get a lot of alien races serving on Federation starships and some
descriptions of them. We also get insight into the Romulan way (a sequel to this book, I assume, is called
But the main thrust of the book is like a television episode with a lot of exposition. The first half of the
book details the plot: a Romulan commander, exiled for unpopular views, is set to die in a mission that will
foment a Klingon-Federation War. She learns of the existence of a secret Romulan plan to give Romulans the
same mentalist abilities that Vulcans have and knows that this will destroy not only the Federation, but the
soul of the Romulan empire. She convinces Kirk, on patrol in the Neutral Zone, to act as though she’s taken
the Enterprise prisoner so they can go to the research facility and destroy it to save the universe.
I don’t want to ruin it for you, but in the last 80 pages, they do. It reads like a filmography and relies on
the normal tricks of the showm pseudo deus ex machina and timely reversals, to climax and then a film-friendly
I mean, it’s not a bad book, but it’s not high art; one wonders if the authors of these books write these like
movies in hopes of getting the extra dough out of having a movie adapted from it or if that’s just the way they
imagine the stories. Or maybe I’m generalizing based on a single data point.
I’ll read the rest of what I’ve got and won’t purposefully avoid the series, but jeez, lots of tentacles and an
awful lot of characters laughing uproariously at only partially humorous lines don’t compel me to read more
Books mentioned in this review: