Pocket eBook, out now
Worried about Jim Kirk’s reaction to his birthday gift and general demeanour, Dr McCoy regales Spock with the tale of his first encounter with the Capellans…
Although many of the Pocket Star Trek ebooks tie in to the ongoing 24th Century saga, those linked to the original series stand alone, and Mike Martin’s story of Bones’ early days in Starfleet (he’s only been a member for a very short time when the main part of this tale picks up) is a well thought through extrapolation of some of the factors that go to making McCoy the ornery cuss he is so much of the time.
The framing device begins and ends with novelisations of scenes from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, but Martin takes the story further, suggesting that a worried McCoy seeks Spock’s counsel and help after his encounter with Jim. The new material flows seamlessly from the scripted portion, and you can hear Kelley and Nimoy in those scenes.
The main story features a younger, brasher McCoy, who still has a lot to learn – and this is, in part, about one of those lessons. We see what sets McCoy apart from some of the other Starfleet doctors we meet over the years and understand the bond between him and Kirk more fully in the light of it.
Martin doesn’t waste a word in unnecessary description: every paragraph moves the story forward in some sense, making for a lean but satisfying read.
Verdict: An interesting insight into McCoy’s past. 8/10