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on April 1, 2002
I always look forward to reading Trek books that feature the well known alien races in the Trek universe (Klingons, Romulans, Ferengi, Cardassians). Its very rare for the publishers to commission a Trek book featuring the non-human races. But when they do they are usually quite good. A STITCH IN TIME and THE 39th RULE are two good examples.
MY ENEMY MY ALLY on the other hand is okay. Just okay, in my opinion. Not Wow, Great or Amazing. Perhaps because it did not reveal much on how and why the Romulans think and behave they way they do. It does offer a brief glimpse of their political structure though. A structure based on cronyism, favours and mutual interests and not one based on merit. In other words, just like 20th century Earth! Also, author Diane Duane breathes life into the Romulan language which is perhaps far more taxing on the tounge than Klingon. D. Duane's talent has always been character development and it shows here.
The characterisations of the Kirk and co. are also spot on. The cunning Kirk, grouchy Bones, unflappable Spock. Its all there. There is a particularly amusing scene where the good Doctor beat Spock in 4D chess. The Vulcan was so surprised he almost showed an expression. Almost. The scenes featuring the Horta ensign were nicely written as well.
The plot itself comes in second after the interesting vignettes one gets to read in both the Romulan and Federation chapters. It is basically about an out of favour Romulan commander who decides to turn traitor because she is disgusted with the Empire's new secret project:- harnessing the mind powers of the Vulcans. Imagine a secretive race like the Romulans with strong almost psychic capabilities of the Vulcans. They could rule the Alpha quadrant in no time. With the help of Kirk, the Romulan commander intends to foil the project.
If you like Trek, you will no doubt like MY ENEMY MY ALLY. Its a quick fast read. If you have never read Trek but would like to start somewhere, this book is good place to start.
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on December 7, 2001
This is the second Star Trek novel that Ms. Duane wrote, with "The Wounded Sky" being the first. While there are some carryover themes from her first work to this terrific story, this book stands on its own as a complete adventure in its own right.
Once again, we are treated to the inner workings of the Starship Enterprise, and are priviliged to see how the main characters interact with each other when they are away from the Bridge. Each of the characters are treated as real people, with real backgrounds, interests and personalities -- something that the original TV seried was unable to demonstrate. It makes the book highly enjoyable, and interesting to both die hard Star Trek fans and those who may have never seen the original show.
Originally published back in the early eighties, this book established a completely different Romulan-Federation relationship than would ultimately unfold through Star Trek: The Next Generation. However, I find Ms. Duane's portrayal of the "Rihannsu" as she calls them to be every bit as dramatic, if not far more interesting and complicated. (Someone else must agree with me on that: recently, Ms. Duane has written two more novels that roughly serve as sequels to the action in this novel. If you want to read those, you'll really need to have this one first in order to follow the action!)
Looking for a real page turner, filled with twists and turns that will keep you guessing until almost the very end? This will fit your needs quite nicely.
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on August 7, 2000
I did not read this book the first time it came out, but after learning that two new Rihannsu books were coming out, meeting the Romulan commander (so memorably portrayed by Joanne Linville) again in Vulcan's Heart, & buying & rewatching The Enterprise Incident again, I knew I had to read it. I was a bit disappointed that Ael was not the Romulan Commander of TEI, but she was an unforgettable character (and the aunt of the original Romulan commander, which does figure into the plot). The book offers great insights into the Romulan character and their views of honor which appear to be similar to those of the Federation & the Klingons. I don't really care for battle scenes, which is the only reason I deducted a star. But it was a great read, & I could not put it down. I'd love to hear more about Ael and some of her crew members that I came to know & admire. The Horta ensign is a nicely done character, as well.
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on September 18, 2000
This book, along with "The Romulan Way", is one of the best Star Trek books I've read. It is also pretty good Science Fiction in general. The story is about a Romulan Starship Commander who defects to the Federation with her ship and crew in order to fight an injustice being done to Vulcans by her government. Duane is a good writer, her style is flowing and easy to read. Her stories are generally good, but her real strength is character development. She makes the Romulans and living breathing race, with their own language and culture. If you like Star Trek, chances are good you'll enjoy reading this book. I also highly recommend "The Romulan Way", by the same author.
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on July 26, 2000
I have reread this novel several times over the last few years and I am impressed with every read. Diane Duane manages to bring forth a witty and entertaining star trek adventure while lending further depth and understanding to the Romulan culture only hinted at in the TV Series. For those of you who enjoyed learning about Vulcan history, you will surely find this book "fascinating". The character development and dialogue of this book was not disappointing. Diane continues painting Romulan history in the novel that follows this first.."The Romulan Way". I highly recommend this novel for Star Trek fans!
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on August 27, 2000
Diane Duane puts the Romulans in a new light as she skillfully describes how the Rihannsu are slowly being replaced by the conniving, honorless, dogs that the name "Romulan" implies in its human conotation. The sadness that Duane powerfully prescribes clearly and compassionately throws the reader into an adventurous roller coaster of emotions as portrayed by the lead Romulan commander Ael, an "old school" Rihannsu who, in a near Klingon style, values honor and "human" life above all else. An absolute must read for those who truly wish to understand the development of the TREK universe.
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on November 29, 2000
There are a few minor quibbles, mostly about consistency of character and plausibility of plot device, but to go into detail about them, I'd have to reveal too much of the plot, and that would be a shame because this book is too suspenseful to spoil. The plot moves extremely well, the characters are delightful, the concept is good, and in general it is just a fine piece of writing. Unless you just really hate Star Trek (in which case, why are you reading this?) this book is highly recommended.
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on November 10, 2000
Duane wrote this book before ST:TNG re-established the Romulans and took them in a different direction (although one of the episodes does somewhat mirror this book). It focuses around the Romulan Commander Ael t'Rllaillieu, who decides that in the name of honor (or, in Rihannsu (their name for Romulan), _mhnei'sahe_), she must betray her government.
Ael is such a compelling and honorable character that I ended up naming my daughter for her.
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on October 7, 2000
One of the better Star Trek books, this one has strong, well-developed characters, and an intense plot. Ael and her people were became very real to me throughout the course of the story, and I found myself missing them when it was over. The book also contains an excellent description of a Vulcan mind-meld (between Spock and Ael), as well as a good history of the Romulan movement. I would recommend this to any Vulcan or Romulan fans.
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on November 17, 2002
I think this has to rate as one of the best Star Trek stories ever! I was so excited when it was released again! A must read for every Star Trek fan!!!
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