The next novel that I picked up on the Star Trek list, was the adaptation of the fifth film, The Final Frontier. The film was much maligned and slighted, and some of it for good cause, though one could argue that there is a Trek story in there, and it does have some of the best interactions between the main trio, Kirk, Spock and McCoy since The Original Series.
In fact, the book probably works a little better than the movie, though, I can’t lie, I kind of dig Trek V, though it is the only one I didn’t see in theaters. The book expands on a number of things, especially character moments, and their hidden pain.
When a renegade Vulcan, Sybok, takes three hostages, a Romulan, Klingon and Terran, all ambassadors on the ‘Planet of Galactic Peace,’ Captain James T. Kirk and his crew, aboard the newly commissioned U.S.S. Enterprise, NCC-1701 A are sent to the Neutral Zone to deal with the situation.
The ship is nowhere near spaceworthy, and with only a skeleton crew aboard, problems will have to be fixed en route, but when they see the hostage tape, and their captor, events take a more personal turn as Spock has a connection with him.
Of all the films and books, this one has the most muddled plot, though it had some solid ideas at its heart, Trek ideas. It is also the most adventure-filled of the film series – those moments don’t always translate to the book so well, but the character moments and extended scenes and dialogue flesh out a lot of what is going on in the backstory.
Kirk and company soon find their starship seized and on a journey to the Great Barrier. No, not the one at the edge of the galaxy, as shown in The Original Series. No, this one is at the center of the galaxy, where Sybok believes they will find Sha Ka Ree, the Source, and there they will find The One… or God.
Things aren’t always what they seem though, and the adventure reveals things about our heroes, and the possiblility of something more beyond the veil. I understand that one of the books in The Next Generation series explained away the being Kirk, Spock, and McCoy encounter as a being imprisoned by the Q Continuum.
It’s a nice idea, and hey, anything to make some of that film, and book a little more palatable. I will say this. The special effects in my head as I read the book were a damned sight better than the ones in the film.
The Human Adventure continues as I journey through more Star Trek novels in the near future.