This week’s Trek novel takes us back to the The Lost Years, those years set between the end of the Enterprise’s original five year mission, and the events of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. While some of the crew are wandering around in their TOS uniforms, the new uniforms are present as well.
This time the story shies away from Admiral Kirk, and allows Sulu, Chekov and Uhura to take the limelight in a thriller that sees both Sulu and Chekov being pursued by Starfleet forces for theft and murder. But perhaps someone is trying to set up Kirk by ruining the reputation of his legendary bridge crew.
Chekov is in training for security and gets recruited to a top secret project working with Klingon disruptors, while Sulu is working as a test pilot with a Wraith II shuttle, that employs a Romulan cloaking device, that has just had its plans stolen.
Uhura is lecturing, and is putting up with a recruiting attempt by a retired Starfleet captain to come work for his company, but she soon finds herself mired in the mystery of her comrades, that features welcome appearances by McCoy, Rand, Chapel, Scotty, an Enterprise under refit, and occasionally Kirk.
It’s pretty easy to figure out who the baddie is in the story, but having said that, it’s still a pretty enjoyable ride. Set during the holiday season of 2269, we join our beloved crew and see what their lives are like after the Enterprise, and see why they took the assignments on Earth instead of other options that were available to them.
Despite the fact that the villain really isn’t a surprise, there’s a fun sense of this book being a thriller, and it moves a long pretty well, while still very much being a Star Trek story. I also like that this one was a really well thought out adventure for Sulu, Chekov and Uhura, and I quite like the moments that demonstrate their friendship and how close they are.
And while not my favourite of The Lost Years books so far, it was nice to leave Kirk behind for a story, and concentrate on the ‘supporting’ characters. The one thing that bothered me throughout, was that the story kept referring to the old uniforms, when we know, thanks to the two previous books, that the uniforms featured in The Motion Picture are the order of the day – I mean Kirk has his wrist communicator…
The Human Adventure continues and there are still so many novels to explore as I continue to boldly go…