Friday, March 20, 2015

James Review -- Star Trek: The Original Series: Savage Trade

This week I decided to review Star Trek: The Original Series: Savage Trade by Tony Daniel. The story opens with the Enterprise approaching Zeta Gibraltar, a Federation science outpost which hasn’t been responding to communications for a week. While examining the base and narrowly avoiding a land mine, it is determined that the outpost had been raided by the L’rah’hane, a species known for working as slavers and pirates, whose fleet had been smashed by the Federation in the late twenty-second century, or about ninety years before the book takes place.  The Enterprise plunges into the nearby Vara Nebula hunting for the raiders eventually finding a small task force. A battle ensues, and during the engagement the prisoners held by the L’rah’hane revolt, led by what appears to be George Washington. After the battle, it is revealed that Washington is one of a number of Excalibian refugees on the run from their homeworld’s government and seeking asylum in the Federation. They had been on Zeta Gibraltar awaiting the Federation’s council’s decision when the raid occurred. Soon Valek, a Vulcan special repersentive, aide to Spock’s father who is tied to some of the unpleasant episodes of Spock’s childhood, arrives armed with orders granting her full authority over the situation. She and Kirk soon join forces to interrogate the Excalibians, trying to determine their honesty. Meanwhile, Chekov and Sulu have been sent out in a shuttle in hopes of locating the L’rah’hane base. They instead discover an outpost belonging to a remnant of the Hradrian Empire which the L’rah’hane served. They also discover a fleet gathering to attack Zeta Gibraltar, but engine damage during their escape turns their mission into a desperate race home to warn the Enterprise what is coming. The Excalibians claim the captured L’rah’hane ships as the defense fleet of their newly declared nation and join the Enterprise in battle. But as the dust settles from that fight, more Excalibians are racing towards Zeta Gibraltar pursued by a hostile power that even they can’t control…
I give this book a 9 out of 10. It’s a great follow-up to the original TV series episode The Savage Curtain. The battle sequences were well written as were the political issues raised. Also, it did a good job of not revealing what was coming too soon. I honestly never saw the events of the last few chapters coming until they were occurring.

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