“Jim Kirk was aware of sound. The ship roared around him, its gentle vibration magnified by his receptivity. It throbbed through bone and muscle, its pulse his. He thought fleetingly of the computer’s statement he and the ship were joined, and had to admit in some ways it was right, though the joining was on a different level…more his love of an idea.”
Ok, so an epidemic is wiping out the Romulan empire. The only cure is derived from a grain (named gran) that is only found on the planet Canara, a new member of the Federation. Rather than ask the Federation for help, the Romulans stage a fake invasion to cover their real invasion of Canara. An Admiral with a psychotic hatred of Romulans believes the false invasion and is determined to go to war. Meanwhile, the Enterprise computer has fallen in love with Captain Kirk and considers him the only person in the universe.
I don’t find the ‘computer loves Kirk’ subplot at all amusing. Not only is it stupid, but it’s just dropped and never really picked up again. I also don’t understand how someone so obviously mentally unstable is in charge of Starfleet Intelligence. And, it is ridiculous that one crazy individual can hole himself up in auxiliary control and completely take over the entire ship and nobody can do anything about it.
The plot is disjointed and plodding. The women are underrepresented AND misrepresented. The only characterization the author gets close to correct is Spock. It’s like there was a pre-existing story and the Star Trek characters were shoved into it in order to get it published. We spend several chapters on another Starfleet ship with a whole different crew.
Random Thoughts Written Down as I Read:
I don’t know how to pronounce an apostrophe. The lead Romulans are Commander S’Talon and his centurion S’Tarleya. How would one pronounce these names?
There is only one computer programmer on a starbase? I realize this was written in 1983, but really?
The Head of the Federation Defense Council Has a SPY aboard Enterprise? Wha?
Admiral Iota has a secretary named Birdie. I don’t know why we need to know her name; we never see her again.
Why would any military commander—Human, Romulan, Klingon, whatever—put up with any officer on their bridge who constantly questions orders and gives unwanted advice? Or allow anybody to simper around the bridge while not doing his job? Isn’t this insubordination?
For 3 days, Enterprise and the Romulan ship Raptor basically sit and stare at one another. Kirk admires these tactics.
Kevin Riley, working alone in the engine room with his feet up. Where have I seen this image before?
Yeoman Rand, having elevator troubles. Where have I seen this image before?
There’s Mr. Kyle, the Transporter Chief, transportin’. Other cameos: Ensign Garrovick and Angela Martine.
Enterprise has garbage chutes? Wait. How DO they take care of garbage on Enterprise?
Spock finds the Starfleet Special Intelligence bug planted on Enterprise. It also picks up thoughts…
The Romulans get ready to fire on Enterprise…and they get ready…get ready…get ready…set…go! Wait for it, wait for it…MISS! Enterprise fires back and cripples them with one shot.
The secret Romulan fleet reaches Canara and…opens negotiations? Ok…No boots-on-the-ground conquest or bombardment form space, or Dr. Evil-type threats? They attempt to open trade negotiations. Ok.
Now we have 2 fleets of ships staring at each other across The Neutral Zone. Boring. The Romulans tell the Federation to go away. The Feds say, ‘Make me!’ And the Roms say, ‘Nuh-uh! YOU make ME!’ And they sit. While the insane Admiral shrieks for war.
You know what? The Centurion S’Tarleya has fuckin awesome eyelashes! And then she dies. After declaring her undying love for S’Talon. Of course.
An admiral gives Enterprise 2 days to talk with the Romulans and then he will declare war. This is all kinds of WTF. Shouldn’t peace talks be allowed to last however long they need to? Why can one Starfleet admiral declare war?
The Canarans tell the Romulans to GTFO or they will torch their own planet. The Romulans threaten to torch the planet. Which is what the Canarans just threatened to do, so—ooh! Scary!
The insane admiral demands peace be declared or he will start a war.
The Romulan science officer is named S’Tokkr. I can’t even begin to think about how that might be pronounced.
A Romulan Commander and a Starfleet Captain exchange ‘wicked’ barbs but they are all tiresome, stale, and lacking wit.
The Romulans give Starfleet 1 hour to quit shooting at them or they will shoot back.
I give this book ‘til the end to quit being so boring and repetitive or I will quit reading it.
“To fear less than the worst would make us irrepressibly vulnerable—a stellar Pearl Harbor.”