© 1994 A.C. Crisipin
Memorial Day weekend postponed my usual trip to the library, and so over the weekend my attention turned to books I own but have not yet read — which is more that one might imagine. One such book is Sarek, a novel set immediately after The Undiscovered Country and developing on certain plot elements therein. As you might surmise, the principle character of the book is Ambassador Sarek, otherwise known as Spock’s father. His investigation into a possible conspiracy to incite war between the Klingon Empire and the Federation — and perhaps to drive Vulcan out of the Federation, as it is a rather versatile conspiracy — drives the plot forward, although the passing away of his human wife — Amanda, Spock’s mother — leads him to reading through her journals and thus revisiting his, Amanda’s, and Spock’s shared life together. The result is to give the reader greater insight into the lives of their family and into Vulcan rituals at the same time.
The second principle character of the novel is Peter Kirk, the Kirk’s nephew. Trekkies might remember him from Operation — Annihilate! in which his father (Kirk’s brother) and mother were killed by the terrifying electric pancakes. Peter Kirk, approaching his thirties, is finally about to graduate from Starfleet Academy and while fretting about the dreaded Kobayashi Maru scenario, must give thought to the future he wants to pursue. How on Earth can he live up to his uncle’s reputation? Kirk’s life will accidently involve him in Sarek’s investigation — landing him inside the dungeon of a renegade Klingon warlord who is vowing revenge against the Kirk for his actions in The Search for Spock, which –as you may nor not recall — involved tricking an entire crew of Klingons onto the doomed Enterprise and blowing it up while simultaneously stealing their ship to go time-traveling to the 1980s to borrow some humpback whales.
The four-fifths mark is quite busy: while Peter Kirk is trying to escape from the Klingon compound and the TOS trio is sneaking into the Klingon capital system to rescue him themselves, cloaked ships are darting across the Neutral Zone and Klingon fleets are on the move — can the good guys pull off a victory? Pleasantly, after the matter is concluded, the book continues on to focus on Peter Kirk’s self-discovery and his Kobayashi Maru experience. Can he be the second Kirk to beat the no-win scenario?
The book is well-written and fits smartly into the canon. Crispin manages to expand characters without betraying their essences, and Crispin builds on events in the third, fifth, and seventh Star Trek movies — adding depth to them. A nice finishing touch is that she directs the plot toward The Next Generation’s “Unification” episodes. Overall, a very worthy contribution to Star Trek literature.