Set during The Original Series, this week’s Trek book is fairly run of the mill and doesn’t do anything exceptional with our characters, but it makes for what would feel like a fairly solid two-part episode.
The Enterprise is pursuing a pirate through uncharted space, and when it enters the atmosphere of a planet known, mysteriously, as Sanctuary, Kirk, Spock and McCoy take a shuttle to pursue – there is shielding and disruption preventing the use of transporters.
With Scotty in charge of the Enterprise, the trio take off in pursuit, only to come down hard on the planet surface and discover that they will never be able to leave. Sanctuary is given to criminals and the accused (justly or not) of all types and species, and they are protected there. There’s no beaming off, and the planet’s inhabitants, the Sensites, disable any craft so it is unable to achieve spaceflight.
And that isn’t the only secret they are keeping.
Kirk, Spock and McCoy find themselves on a bit of a quest story, travelling to point a to be to c, while dealing with the problems that come up during those travels.
There’s not a lot going on here that we haven’t had in previous Trek tales or episodes, except for the reveal of McCoy’s knowledge and love of hot air ballooning. But for all that, author Vornholt moves the story along at an enjoyable pace, and has some nice banter between our heroes, though there are times when it’s obvious he would rather be writing solely about McCoy or Scotty.
There are some fun moments in it, but you also know that not a lot can happen before things will get back to exactly how they are supposed to be by story’s end. It makes reading the books a bit of a letdown, though I know the deeper I get into the series the more solid the storytelling, and the embracing of, and working within, canon they become.
Still, this was a light, fun read that keeps my love of the Human Adventure alive and allows me to boldly go in my imagination alongside characters who are amongst my oldest friends.
I could never leave them behind, and love the moments I get to share with them as I walk the decks and bridge of my beloved Enterprise, and travel alongside Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Scotty, Sulu and Chekov as we journey through space, the final frontier.
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