As Star Trek fans might recall, "The Janus Gate" (LA Graf) and "Errand of Vengeance" (Kevin Ryan) trilogies were part of a Pocket Books experiment in 2002 to supposedly "relaunch" the "original series" Star Trek novels with a deeper look into, and weaving between, known TOS episodes via Kirk's Enterprise's "lower decks" crew - based, I guess, on the popularity of the episode "Lower Decks" in TNG, where viewers got to see a new perspective on day-to-day Enterprise-D ship life.
LA Graf set their adventure just after "The Naked Time" and before "Charlie X". They used several characters who would soon suffer tragedy in "Balance of Terror". Ryan then set his first trilogy just after "Balance of Terror", with some of the action taking place simultaneously with "What Are Little Girls Made Of?" but before "Dagger of the Mind". He also used the surname-less Sam from "Charlie X" and rounded out that character. Following "production order", readers might realise that the unresolved brewing Klingon war theme would ultimately be revisited in the TV episode "Errand of Mercy".
When the first six books' resulting stories turned out to be not all that different in style to most other TOS novels, Pocket's ST editors decided to absorb them back into the usual run of TOS fiction. Out of the blue, or so it seemed, came 2005's new Ryan instalment, the first of a sequel set of novels called "Errand of Fury". The new action in "Seeds of Rage" picks up just after the events of the episode "The Devil in the Dark" (thus "Errand of Mercy" is almost upon us).
"Seeds of Rage", and the next books, promise to reveal exciting stuff about Sam [Fuller]'s vengeful father, Michael, and the fate of original Kevin Ryan character, Leslie Parrish. "Seeds of Rage" is a great read! It moves at such a fast pace that noone should have trouble finding the time to read "Errand of Fury: Seeds of Rage" all over again, if they need a memory boost, when the next instalment, "Demands of Honor", comes out in 2006.
What I really love about both the "Errand of Vengeance" trilogy, and this first book in "Errand of Fury", are the high concept, out-of-left field, what-ifs Kevin Ryan throws into the mix. In the first trilogy it was "What if a minor redshirt we saw in 'What Are Little Girls Made Of?' was a Klingon agent, and what if there were others?" and in this one it's "What if an Enterprise redshirt fell pregnant to such an agent?" Doing this makes the stories compelling, and adds to their page-turner nature. Even though we think we know how the events of the TV episodes turn out, Ryan puts a unique spin on our expectations, as his stories weave throughout the action of existing episodes.
It doesn't matter that you haven't seen episodes such as "A Taste of Armageddon" (to know Ambassador Fox better) or "Errand of Mercy" (which introduces Kor and the Klingons to TOS audiences) but, if you have, you are in for many additional treats when reading "Seeds of Rage".