Star Trek: Twilight’s End (1996) – Jerry Oltion

It’s a lot of fun getting back into classic Star Trek books, check out the awesome library available from Simon & Schuster to feed that need. The next book in The Original Series run is Twilight’s End.

The story feels like it’s set at some point during the third season of the series, it makes reference to a couple of events from earlier in the Enterprise’s voyages and while there are some solid moments, this one didn’t engage me as much as the previous entry, The Captain’s Daughter.

The Enterprise is summoned to a tidally locked world whose civilization can only live along what they call The Edge, a strip of twilight land that has become incredibly crowded and resources have been squandered.

Not quite diving into an eco-theme, more brushing against it, Captain James T. Kirk has to walk the fine line of the Prime Directive, the planet isn’t a member of the Federation, while still helping as much as he and his crew can.

The planetary government has a plan of using impulse engines secured in the surface of the planet to generate an increased planetary spin. Yes, this will cause quakes, storms and more but this is the plan they have come up with.

Well, at least some of them. There are a number of factions that are either seeking other options or pushing the agenda that the population should reap what they sow, and perhaps they need to die off.

So while Kirk deals with the government, kidnapping, and possible revolution, Scotty has to come up with a way to make sure the impulse engines fire on time, and for the right length of time to spin the planet up.

McCoy and Sulu, indulging his botany hobby, work on resequencing some of the planet’s tree’s DNA to find a way to generate more oxygen, and help replenish the destroyed resources.

But all of it is running against a ticking clock, which may bring insurmountable violence on the planet.

It’s a good read, but not quite as fun as it could have been. There are some interesting moments, and it sometimes feels like Classic Trek, and other times it just feels like a story with Trek characters.

But let’s remember this was written in 1996, there were a lot of changes coming for Trek, a lot of things happening, and the writing, stories, and continuity would all improve, and there are so many stories to come.

Much like The Original Series (or any of those that came after it) not all of the stories are great, but at least we get to spend time with characters we love.

So check out some of the classic titles that Simon & Schuster carry, find a voyage to go on, and boldly go!


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