Set during the five year mission of The Original Series, the next Trek novel I found myself exploring serves as a bit of a sequel to the episode The Lights of Zetar and is notable as the first novel written by the Reeves-Stevens couple of Garfield (referred to as Gar on the cover) and Judith.
This is important as they would later be involved in the writing of actual canon when they were brought on to write for Star Trek: Enterprise, and they also helped William Shatner with his Trek novels – known collectively as the Shatner-verse.
The authors get the characters, their writing sounds like Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the rest of the crew, and that goes a long way for allowing a reader to enjoy their work.
The Enterprise is on milk-run duty much the chagrin of her captain and the crew. They have been asked to ferry the nominees for a series of science prizes to the location of Memory Prime, where the ceremony will take place. But when an attack occurs on board, Spock is the most, logical suspect, and when a Commodore brandishes threats of conspiracy and takes over command of Jim Kirk’s ship, tensions are high.
Who is behind the plan? And will the Federation’s future hang in the balance of Kirk and company can’t discover the true culprit?
There are a few things in the book that have since been contradicted by canon, but that doesn’t detract from one’s enjoyment of the story, and I could totally see the original Enterprise, her uniforms, and her crew in my mind’s eye as I read this tale.
It also sees the return of Mira Romaine, who appeared in the aforementioned episode, as a bit of a love interest for Chief Engineer Scott which is nice.
Consequently, the Reeves-Stevens pay huge nods to continuity, well aware that fans not only appreciate it, but expect it as it helps layer out the reality of this future history.
I didn’t care for all of it, the stuff with the race of mechanical intelligence known as the Pathfinders was a little bothersome but the stuff with the villain hired to carry out the plan was well-penned.
But, honestly, I always wanted them to get back to the Enterprise and their crew, the authors evoked them in a way that some of the other authors to date in the series haven’t been able to.
It’s a very enjoyable story when you’re with your heroes, the rest of it is exposition that needs to be taken in to follow everything, but you just want to hang with the trio, and see how they’ll work their way out if it.
The Human Adventure continues.