The Human Adventure continues, but they aren’t always outstanding. Sure, of late, there has definitely been an uptick in the quality of stories in the series of late. Unfortunately, Enemy Unseen by V.E. Mitchell didn’t do it for me.
Originally written to be part of the five year mission, Paramount and Pocket Books changed the timeline by placing the story after The Motion Picture because they didn’t think Deltans were in the Federation at the time of The Original Series.
That I like, because I like the era of The Motion Picture, I kind of dig the uniforms, and everything that the crew are trying to reconnect again after their separation and re-teaming for the V’ger mission.
The Enterprise is assigned a diplomatic mission and Captain James T. Kirk is troubled to see that one of the ambassadors has brought his wife, a woman that has a connection to Kirk, and wants to fire it up again.
Kirk and McCoy soon find themselves embroiled in diplomatic affairs that take a dark twist as murders occur, and a strange doppelganger is trying to change the ship’s course.
Spock is noticeably absent, having gone to Vulcan for a conference. There’s no real reason, it just allows Mitchell to slip in a couple of author-created characters that do the same thing as Spock, but to behave as the author sees fit.
The story is actually kind of dull, and as much as I enjoy some of the character moments you can tell that the story got blurred between The Original Series and The Motion Picture, and doesn’t quite tie in as well some of the stories that have come before it.
The stuff with the ambassador’s wife, Cecilia Simons, just doesn’t feel like it works. Kirk is a strong enough character to not succumb to her manipulative charms (which he does not do) and is comfortable enough as the captain to not be put off by her, no matter what she does.
There isn’t any real surprising reveals, all of the twists are predictable, because you know none of the main characters can be the culprit, so that leaves a small cast of suspects, it’s very easy to sort through them and come up with the real villain.
So this one felt like a bit of a misfire, but hey, after a pretty solid run of stories, one of them was bound to disappoint sooner or later. We’ll see what the next one brings, because there are always more Trek novels coming. And I look forward to see what comes next.
I will boldly go…