Star Trek: Ghost-Walker (1991) – Barbara Hambly

Well, that’s three for three. The past few Trek novels have not wowed me, or even held my interest, though the Human Adventure definitely continues.

This one shouldn’t have been such a surprise for me because I wasn’t a fan of her other Trek novel, Ishmael, and there’s still one more to come. We’ll see what I think of that one when I get there.

There was no hook for me in this story, Hambly kind of creates a Mary-Sue (a term I’m not exactly a fan of) in one of the characters she introduces and despite the occasional reference to episodes from The Original Series which took place before the story, it just didn’t feel like a Trek tale to me.

Set during the original five year mission, the Enterprise arrives to help a species known as Midgwins that refuse to use technology, don’t even rally farm, and have practically exhausted the resources of their home planet. Kirk and company are there to lend aid.

All well and good, but how and why did they even reveal themselves to this species. They aren’t starfaring, haven’t broken the warp barrier, and with no technology at all… the Federation and Starfleet shouldn’t even be there.

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And yet.

As the story unfurls, our heroes have to try to save the planet, and confront a strange alien that seems to have no problem in killing for what it wants, and threatens the Enterprise herself.

I dunno.

For me, it just didn’t work. I couldn’t get into it. While the Midgwins were kind of cool, and made for a unique type of alien for the Trek universe, everything built up around them for the story just felt out of place.

And honestly the more I think about it, the whole lack of Prime Directive compliance in this story really starts to bother me. Not that the Enterprise shouldn’t have lent them aid, but they should have found a way to do it without revealing themselves.

This and the preceding novels came along at a point when I was starting to shy away from Trek books, and I think I know why now. The past few haven’t been great (and I was busy with secondary education, and discovering who I was) but there is a glimmer of excitement and hope on the horizon, because the next tale is the continuing story of the Lost Years saga, as I dive into book two of what happened to our heroes in the years leading up to The Motion Picture.

So I’ll leave this trio of novels behind me, chart it up to ‘not my thing,’ and focus on the future as I boldly go…

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