My second Star Trek book in almost twenty years was also the first Star Trek hardcover book ever.
And that was the only reason why I finished this one.
Waaaay back a million light years ago, the Star Trek book people kept putting out what they called giant sized novels, all because they did not think the fans would buy the more costly hardcovers. This “logic” meant that stories like Enterprise: The First Adventure and Vendetta would not get the proper treatment they deserve.
When they finally pulled the trigger, it was with Spock’s World, and it became a huge hit. And notice the studio had them not call it Vulcan.
Spock’s World was written by Diane Duane, who had penned several previous novels, including the very good Dark Mirror which featured The Next Generation in the Mirrorverse.
The story has the Federation in turmoil because a secession movement has taken hold of Spock’s homeworld Vulcan. The Enterprise goes their, all in order to argue against Vulcan leaving, in a multi day planet wide debate before a big vote. During this time, Kirk and company realize there is of course a conspiracy involved as well. Meanwhile, every other chapter tells us the history of Vulcan from primal goo to space faring race.
These chapters are long and mostly boring and help make this book waaaay too long. Even with showcasing how Vulcan mind powers were discovered, or how this eventually became a political issue and used in war, I found it went on and on and on. Sometimes I wondered if these were originally separate short stories that Duane recycled into this.
As for the modern day political issues and intrigue that Spock, Kirk, McCoy, and Sarek face, they don’t really grab my attention.
The political philosophies debated feel like high school level, with only the humour making them readable to me. I really expected more from Vulcans, but this is systemic for Star Trek in various media, where writers simply have a hard time getting them right. Much as people malign Star Trek Enterprise, T’Pol was quite often a very very good example of what this race is like. Despite my misgivings over most of the average Vulcan’s arguements, I do give credit to how stateswoman like T’Pau is. Her logic is sound and wise and has a greater long term purpose, but we all figured she would.
I do give Duane some credit for parts of the ending, which are touching and poignant and very filmic. And despite some annoying continuity gaffes, she gets the character voices right. But I only really finished this one because it was the first Star Trek hardcover.
…is currently reading Distant Early Warning by Elizabeth Hirst.