“Well,’ Kirk said. ‘Mysteriouser and mysteriouser.’ He glanced at Spock, expecting a curious gaze in response to his poor grammar. But then Spock said, straight-faced, ‘Curious, sir. Most curious, sir.”
I am delighted by this book! I love it! I do, and I have since the first time I read it, back in 1981. I don’t care if the science doesn’t hold up even by Star Trek standards. I don’t care if it’s another convoluted SF time travel story. I love it!
The Enterprise is called to transport a brilliant but insane physicist, Dr. Georges Mordreaux, to a rehabilitation facility. The doctor escapes his onboard detention and kills Captain Kirk. Spock and McCoy realize the doctor’s experiments with a time travel device have increased the entropy of the universe and if he is not stopped before he has started, the universe will end in less than a century. Spock chases Dr. Mordreaux through time attempting to set things right, preventing Capt. Kirk’s death in the process.
If there is something I really just don’t like about the novel, it is the characterization of Scotty. He is paranoid and whiny and too easily swayed into thinking Spock and McCoy are up to no good. There is an attempt to explain his behavior as being caused by severe exhaustion, but this Scotty is difficult to believe.
Random Thoughts Written Down as I Read:
A well-written coherent story with a believable plot and good pacing? Characters who behave as they ought to? Realistic real-time romance? Are you SURE this is a Star Trek novel?
Sulu doesn’t know Judo and I find that refreshing.
Scotty’s brogue gets worse when he’s yadayadayada
McCoy’s drawl gets worse when he’s drunk and/or angry.
Kirk has a wonderful day: shore leave with an old friend, dinner with his bridge crew.
There is a very sweet and discreet love scene between Sulu and Security Chief Mandala Flynn. At the end of the story, he gets to keep the girl.
A touching death scene for Kirk, one he deserved. Better than the one he eventually got.
Chekov and Uhura remain at their posts after Cpt. Kirk dies, even though they are crying.
McCoy is devastated by Jim’s death and tries to strike Spock.
Christine Chapel is compassionate and calm while everyone else is overreacting from grief.
New crew members are introduced. They are engaging and interesting and help fill out the ship.
“A security guard lounged at the front desk. Spock made no comment when she quickly put aside her pocket computer; he had no interest in her activities on duty, whether it was to read some fictional nonsense of the sort humans spent so much time with, or to game with the machine.” Smart phone? iPad?