Pocket Books, out now
The Enterprise comes to the assistance of the survivors of a crashed Starfleet vessel, caught in a very unusual phenomenon – and they’re not the only ones interested in it…
Dayton Ward’s sequel to the original Trek story That Which Survives (it’s the third season story with the woman who claims she’s “for” you then kills you) is a neat standalone tale set a year or so later, in the fourth season chronicled in the animated series of the show – so, without any fuss being made about it, M’Ress and Arex are included in the roster, and there’s a more important role for Kyle. Ward also introduces a very different sort of ambassador to the ones we’re used to seeing in the classic series: not someone with whom Kirk is necessarily going to be bumping heads in his usual fashion, shall we say, and certainly a lady who is very capable of looking after herself.
Ward knows the original series characters and their universe well, and the central trio of Kirk, Spock and McCoy are portrayed accurately to their TV versions, rather than the older people we’re familiar with from the movies. We also get a chance to catch up with The Galileo Seven’s Boma who is perhaps inevitably teamed with Spock for quite a bit of the story.
There’s a mystery at the heart of the tale, some of which is perhaps unfortunately given away by the story’s title, which brings to mind the original episode too quickly. The problems are compounded by the arrival of the Romulans, who are given some depth – we spend time with the grunts and the lower deck characters, as well as with a commander who seems almost fascinated by the prospect of encountering Jim Kirk… because of what he’s done to the Romulan Empire in the past, of course!
Verdict: With a couple of new characters who it would be interesting to meet again, this is a good story, well told. 8/10