While the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise explores a Romulan space station adrift within Federation borders, a Romulan warship arrives, and the Romulan commander accuses Kirk of treachery.
Soon the U.S.S. Enterprise is also inexplicably without power. Captain Kirk and his crew must now solve the mystery of the strange apparitions before the Starship suffers the station's fate.
The situation becomes desperate when a Romulan warship arrives looking for the station, and the Romulan Commander accuses the Federation of treachery. Before Captain Kirk can save the Starship Enterprise from complete destruction, he must avoid becoming drawn into a deadly shell game, a game that will leave no winners and no survivors.
Set in the period, as near as I can tell, between "Star Trek I: The Motion Picture" and "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" (based on the fact that the apparently original Enterprise is intact, and Chekov is security chief rather than navigator), the plot of this story is something of a cross between the original series episode "The Immunity Syndrome", in which the Enterprise encounters a giant, energy-eating space amoeba, and the pilot episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation", in which Picard and crew meet and witness the birth of alien creatures at Farpoint Station. As such, it is pretty standard "Trek" fare, and the characterizations are handled pretty well, but the actual writing itself (and its concommitant editing) gets a bit sloppy at times; never mind the use of "suppose" instead of "supposed" (as in "what's that suppose to mean"); that's such a common error I suppose I should stop bothering to point it out any more. But there are the several points at which the author demonstrates that she is unaware that the verb form of "mold" is "molder", rather than "mold", and so we're told that food is "molding" on tables; unless the food is sentient and sculpting something, she meant "moldering". There's the point at which we are told that the doors "closed quietly as his back" when Kirk walked through them; unless for some reason, Kirk's back is supposed (suppose?) to be the epitome of silence, I must assume this to be a typo meant to say "AT his back".Read more ›
The Enterprise and crew are again on a routine mission like most of the Trek books start, but this time Kirk has to stay behind on the away mission. For Kirk to stay behind chewing at the bit is a hard swallow, but this time it is Spock and McCoy that go on the away mission and find the station and its personell in decay.
Of course, if you have a Romulan spacecraft in your backyard, so to speak, you want to visit it and determine if it can be of use. With a space station, along come the Romulans wanting to know what happened to their station and accuse the Federation of debauchery. Spock and McCoy are wonderfully portrayed in this book and their dilog is spot-on and you feel like they are arguing right in front of you. Kirk is not up to his ininate arrogrance, but is close and you feel the tension build.
Romulans intrigue, mystery, and strange apparitions, the Enterprise falling under the same situation as the space station with no power... whoa Nellie! Romulan accusations, treachery, and suspense, will the Enterprise be destroyed by the Romulans?
This book has ghostly apparitions along with everything else mentioned, but remember this there never is a routine mission for the Flagship of the fleet and her crew... not with James T. Kirk in the Captain's seat.
This is one of the better TREK novels and is worth the money if you can find it.
McCoy's curmudgeon personality is perfectly captured in this story, but Kirk seems a little tired and out of character. One part of the novel that made me absolutely cringe was a spot where Spock and McCoy teamed up unconvincingly against Kirk to persuade him to stay on the Enterprise instead of joining the transport team to the mysterious Romulan space station. Kirk then proceeds to whine and explain himself, then bows to the pressure and stays behind. Right, and the Doomsday Machine simply wanted to engage in a friendly tea and crumpets.
Aside from a few character flaws, Crandall serves up a fine Star Trek novel, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good read.