Firestorm by L.A. Graf (1994)
The author L.A. Graf is really the housename for three writers: Julia Ecklar, Karen Rose Cercone, and Melissa Crandell. Their group name stands for Let’s All Get Rich and Famous which is clever enough in itself. They primarily focus on Star Trek pro-novels and are the few Star Trek novels I keep on my reread shelf. I always enjoy them. Primarily, because the trio focus on the secondary Star Trek characters of Uhura, Sulu, and Checkov. Full disclosure here: I have been a big Uhura fan since the series was primetime.
In Firestorm, the Big Three (Kirk, Spock, and McCoy) are there, but its basically the other three who have to prevent an all-out war on a planet of volcanoes.
Commander Uhura is large and in charge when the Elans (remember The Elan of Troyius, the aliens whose tears subjugated Kirk?) stake a claim on the volcano planet and will only talk to the superior female. Obviously, that is our own fetching communications officer. With Chekov and Sulu as her “consorts,” she’s tasked with creating world peace on a hostile planet.
The new Dohlman is an arrogant teenager and sees Uhura and her teammates as a threat in their mining of dilithium crystals. Kirk’s Dohlman apparently tried to stab her husband on their wedding night (as predicted), but instead of killing her and starting a war, her husband made her the admiral of the Troyan space navy where she served far away from her husband until she died, leaving the obnoxious teenager in charge.
Uhura tries to determine who has true ownership of the fiery planet and why the Elans have Klingon weapons while Kirk and company deal with the meddling scientists onboard the Enterprise. The question of jurisdiction becomes moot when they discover life-signs inside the planet’s largest volcano. Perhaps no one can claim the mineral rights on Firestorm.
Not only is the adventure familiar and exciting, but I also love the camaraderie between Uhura, Sulu, and Chekov. They act as if they’ve lived and worked together for a decade, teasing one another and finishing one anothers’ sentences. I like the writing, and I like how they write these characters.