Star Trek

The Covenant of the Crown

The Covenant of the Crown

The Covenant of the Crown

I finished The Covenant of the Crown, a Star Trek novel. It was published in 1981 and written by Howard Weinstein.

At first, when I read the first and second chapters, I was pretty unenthused. I really didn’t want to read about a political situation on some distant minor planet. I especially was disinterested because of the “flashbacks” or memories of Kirk who had played some role in the reign of the King of Shad some years previous.  All of this was quite uninteresting, and I shelved the reading of this novel for a few months.

However, I finally picked it up again and forced myself to move past the part where I had previously stopped.  I am glad I did. This wasn’t as good a novel as the two previous Star Trek novels that I read (“The Entropy Effect” and “The Klingon Gambit”).  However, The Entropy Effect was a 5 star read that I really don’t think most novels will compete with.

So the thing is, the King and his daughter, Kailyn, have been living in exile from their planet Shad – the result of the King and Kirk’s manipulations years ago.  Now, the Klingon’s have made some power plays to take over Shad indirectly. Starfleet decides its time to return the King to Shad. However, the King is very ill. In fact, he dies during the trip to Shad.

The King’s daughter, Kailyn, is next in line for the crown. She has a severe case of a disease called Choriocytosis.  It  is a virus affecting the ability of blood cells to carry oxygen to the body’s organs.

The Enterprise is involved in continuing Starfleet’s official mission, dealing with the King’s death and the Klingon threat, and also, with uniting Kailyn with the actual crown (which the King hid on the planet Sigma 1212 when he was exiled).  However, she cannot simply don the crown, Kailyn also has to prove herself worthy by showing that she can turn crystals that are embedded in the crown clear (they are normally swirled and foggy).

En route to Sigma 1212, Kailyn falls in love with McCoy – who is undergoing some psychological issues with having had his birthday.  He feels old, and he continually doubts his intentions and relationship with Kailyn.  Is this real love? Is it a crisis of feeling old?  McCoy is merely supposed to be educating the girl on how to treat her disease and give herself injections for treatment. Eventually, Spock, McCoy, and Kailyn shuttle to Sigma 1212, a planet much like Hoth, to retrieve the crown. They meet a variety of natives and environmental challenges there, but they persevere as Kailyn learns some clues as to how to be a leader of people.

I originally thought the novel was going to focus on Kirk and his relationship with the King. Thankfully that ended up  being a minor role. I liked learning more about McCoy and Spock – their exploits on Sigma 1212 develop their characters and are more interesting than the stuff going on with Kirk.

Overall, I have to give this novel 3 stars because I disliked the relationship nonsense between McCoy and Kailyn.  Also, the storyline was okay, but I feel a bit strained. For example, what the hell is the issue with Kailyn giving herself injections? Diabetics do it all the time. The girl was in exile on a wasteland planet for her whole life. Also, she’s the Queen-to-be… Are you telling me that in the year 2276 injections are that complicated and painful or whatever? I doubt. I really dislike Kailyn.

On a side note, I really got a tickle out of the “about the author” at the end of the book. It reads:

“He spends his spare time playing guitar; writing songs; and watching television, seeing movies, and reading books (all to check up in the competition).  Among his friends are a large collection of stuffed creatures (who also watch television, see movies, and read books – but not to check up on the competition.).”

3 stars

The Klingon Gambit

The Klingon Gambit

The Klingon Gambit

I finished “The Klingon Gambit” by Robert E. Vardeman.  Its the third novel in the Star Trek series by Pocket Books.  My edition is not the Timescape edition, but it also features the cover art by Andy Lackow.

This story was fair.   I suspect that several chapters could have been omitted without damaging the story.  It seems at times the author wanted to build suspense and really express the conundrum of the Enterprise’s crew.  Unfortunately, it felt to me that the story was repetitive and not moving forward.

Clearly, the story is a bit “dated” because all of the depictions of the Klingons are negative.  They are brute savages, operating on a self-gain, Machiavellian ideal, and their snarls and harsh tones only emphasize their animalistic nature. The Kirk, McCoy, and Sulu in this story could never handle a Lieutenant Worf, for example. After all, Klingons are very clearly bad guys, simple, predictable, and baaad.

3 stars

The Entropy Effect

The Entropy Effect cover

The Entropy Effect

Today I finished a Star Trek novel:  The Entropy Effect by Vonda McIntyre.  It was excellent. Unlike many spin-off novelizations, this story was neither simplistic, nor formulaic.  There was “scientific” content, a real plot, and a good development of characters.  I was very pleased.

Its number two in the somewhat confusing series of Star Trek novels. It was originally published in 1981, but it doesn’t read like its dated.  The so-called first novel is a novelization of the Motion Picture – and unnecessary to read if you want to read this book.

The main characters are Spock and Sulu, which is cool because one so typically expected Kirk and McCoy.  This is not to say that those characters are not present in a strong fashion, but the plot revolves around Sulu and Spock. I don’t feel that Sulu ever has the fanbase that the others do, and so it was really interesting to get some of this background and story about him.  This is Star Trek at its best and Trekkies and non-Trekkies should enjoy it.

4 stars