Star Trek: Probe (1992) – Margaret Wander Bonanno

Supposedly set a few weeks after the events of The Voyage Home, Probe is the next book in PocketBooks Star Trek series. I personally like to push it to just after The Final Frontier, because the Enterprise seems to be working without any real problems.

The probe after reestablishing contact with the cetacean lifeforms on Earth is travelling again, and is drawing close to the Neutral Zone, and the Romulan border. While Spock is still puzzling over the transmissions, the probe was making, Captain James T. Kirk and company are handed their next assignment. A preliminary peace talk with the Romulan Star Empire.

But there are caveats and addendum that lead Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the rest that the Romulans are looking for any opportunity for this overture to fail. They refuse to accept the best ambassador for the job, Sarek, but agree to one of his proteges, Kevin Reilly, who moved to the Diplomatic Corps, after his time as Kirk’s assistant during The Lost Years.

The conference is not only for talks, but a cultural exchange, taking place at a site of archaeological importance. But even here, the Romulans have stacked the deck for failure.

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What they don’t expect is a pair of civilians travelling with them to defect to the Federation, or that the probe could be anything other than a Federation ruse.

Alliances, and friendships are formed but the threat from the probe increases, made all the more problematic by the machinations of a faction within the Romulan forces.

The book is solid, and very entertaining, and you can tell from the way the characters interact that this tale is very much set in the movie era. Having said that, Bonanno has said that this is not the book she turned in, it received an uncredited rewrite by Gene De Weese.

There was no conflict between the writers, everyone wanted the best story possible, and this is what was delivered. It’s definitely not bad, is entertaining, and works so well within the era.

Unlike some of the other Trek books I didn’t see all of this one in my head like I’ve been able to lately. A lot of it yes, but then I would just be reading words again. So that tells me it’s not my favourite Trek book I’ve read, but it is very good.

The Human Adventure will continue as I explore more Star Trek novels and continue to explore strange new worlds, as I boldly go…

Refit-Enterprise-by-Andrew-Probert

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