Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (1982) – Vonda N. McIntyre


Vonda N. McIntyre who had previously written the Trek tale, The Entropy Effect, which is given a bit of a reference in this one, adapts the screenplay for the second film, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan into novel form. There are some nice differences, changes in dialogue and expanded scenes and characters that flesh out what is quite possibly the best Star Trek film to be created yet.

Admiral Kirk is suffering from regrets, and age, locked into a desk job instead of out exploring the galaxy. The Enterprise is being used as a training ship for the next generation of cadets, seen over and taught by her crew, under the command of Captain Spock.

Across the galaxy, the U.S.S. Reliant, with Pavel Chekov amongst her crew, is working on finding a desolate planet for an experiment known as Genesis. And they may have found the perfect site, Alpha Ceti V (Ceti Alpha V in the film), but an old enemy of Kirk’s is there, marooned there for twenty years… Khan Noonien Singh.

Twenty years is a long time to brew in hatred and desire for revenge, and now that he has a ship and the potential to destroy the universe with Genesis, Khan is coming for Kirk…

I like some of the expanded stuff in the book, we get some more time with Saavik, who is struggling with her half-Romulan, half-Vulcan ancestry, and also has a bit of a friendship with Scotty’s young nephew, Peter Preston, whom she is tutoring, and who in turn has a bit of a crush on her.

We also get a bit more with the Genesis crew on Regulus I (Regula I in the movie) including their ‘interrogation’ by Khan…


I’ve seen the film countless times, literally, but I hadn’t read the novel since it first came out, so it was rather interesting to come at it from this format again, because, of course, I could see it all in my head, I could hear the music, the effects, the dialogue, so the differences stood out, and those extra moments that aren’t in the film stand out in a good way.

I especially like the scene that has Saavik sitting with the coffins of those who lost their lives, including Peter and Spock (is that still a spoiler 33 years later?). It’s an emotional moment, one that she lets herself experience, and by extension the reader, and it was like it was all fresh all over again.

Spock was dead.

There may have been something in my eye at that moment. I’m just saying.

It’s cool to see how things are translated to the novel format, and from a pure curiosity point, I love seeing where someone decides to place chapter breaks, because they definitely are not the same as act breaks…

So far, I’m enjoying the trips I’m taking with the Enterprise crew in the Pocketbook universe, I’ll be curious to see if I still like them the further along I go…

I can’t believe Spock is dead…




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