A.C. Crispin, who delivered the wonderful Yesterday’s Son saga early in the Pocket Books series cranked out a giant Trek novel for 1994 that gave us insight into Spock’s father, Sarek. While also continuing the story of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701A.
This adventure takes place shortly after the events of The Undiscovered Country, so despite the Enterprise’s order to return to dock to be decommissioned and command crew retired, it seems like she still served for a while yet.
Sarek has been dealing with a reclusive world within the Federation, Freelan, and he’s grown suspicious of the people there, and their possible effect not only on an earth first organisation on, well, Earth, but also of causing problems and issues with the Klingons, who sued for peace at Khitomer.
Sarek, the leading ambassador of the Federation is hard at work putting out diplomatic fires, and following his logical deductions about the situation, all while his wife, Spock’s mother, is suffering from ill health, and her passing is imminent.
This in itself makes for an interesting story because we know Amanda Grayson passes, but not when and what happened to Sarek and Spock before, during and after.
Now we get to find out.
But those aren’t the only characters we follow, because this story is about family, Captain Kirk’s last surviving family member, Peter Kirk is at the Academy and preparing for his Kobayashi Maru test when he gets caught up investigating the earth first sentiments and finds himself kidnapped and delivered to the Klingon Ambassador (seen in Trek IV saying ‘There will be no peace as long as Kirk lives!’ – and apparently he was related to Captain Kruge!).
He has a niece he’s been tending to and while she’s assigned to guard Peter sparks fly… He’s a Kirk after all.
Now the ambassador is being spurred on to take revenge against Kirk by the Freelans, whose secret could cause intergalactic war, with the Romulans coming out on top.
Interspersed throughout the tale are entries in Amanda’s journal, she’s asked Sarek to read it after she’s passed, and we encounter moments familiar, from series and film, and new but always seen from Amanda’s perspective.
There are lots of callbacks, tie-ins, and moments that really tie this story into the Trek universe, and it was really enjoyable. Having said that, it took me a little while to actually get into the story, say a quarter of the way through the book, but then I was hooked, loved how Crispin doled the tale out, and loved that despite Kirk, Spock and McCoy being necessary to the story, Sarek and the characters brought in for this tale held their own as well.
I really enjoyed this one.
The Human Adventure continues though, and I will boldly go with more Star Trek novels yet to come!