Friday, December 18, 2015

James Review -- Star Trek: The Original Series: Child of Two Worlds

This week I decided to review Star Trek: The Original Series: Child of Two Worlds by Greg Cox.
After a short scene on Spock’s seventh birthday, the story jumps to shortly after the end of the original series first pilot, The Cage. The Enterprise is suffering an outbreak of an extremely virulent form of Rigelian fever while almost a month’s travel from the nearest Starfleet medical base. Doctor Boyce, the Enterprise’s current chief medical officer, has been studying an experimental treatment, but the treatment requires ryetalyn, a rare substance. Cypria III, a nearby neutral world has the substance but is very close to Klingon space.
Captain Pike orders Enterprise to proceed to Cypria III and during the journey he explains to Spock that there is a first officer’s position open on the Intrepid, another Constitution-class starship with an all-Vulcan crew and that he is willing to recommend Spock for the position. Spock asks for time to consider, but the trip is soon complicated further when the Enterprise receives a distress call. Pike orders the Enterprise to respond while sending a long-range shuttle with a team including his first officer to negotiate for the needed ryetalyn.
When the Enterprise reaches the distress call, they find a Klingon battlecruiser, commanded by General Krunn, pursuing a badly damaged Cyprian freighter with two people on board. The Enterprise manages to rescue them before the ship explodes, but one of the women passes out soon an the other, named Merata, claims to have been kidnapped, while Krunn demands the return of Merata and her kidnapper. But a scan reveals that Merata is actually a Cyprian altered to appear more like a Klingon  When Soleste--the frieghter’s captain--awakens, she explains that a decade earlier, her father and her younger sister Elzura had been at a Cyprian mining outpost that had been raided by Klingons. Her father had been killed, but Elzura’s defiance had impressed the Klingons enough that they took her with them  Soleste has dedicated her life to finding and rescuing her sister and believes that by taking Merata she has done so, a belief confirmed by DNA testing.
But her sister barely remembers anything about her life before being adopted by Krunn and things soon grow even messier when word of Elzura’s fate reaches Cypria III. While matters had originally been going well, the population demands Elzura’s return before they will give up any ryetalyn, with matters soon reaching a boiling point and the landing party being besieged by rioters. The Enterprise moves to rescue their team but soon finds themselves engaged by the planet’s defenses while the Klingons attempt to rescue Merata, who must decide where she truly belongs.
I give this book 7.5 out of 10. The book is well written but there is no tension to the subplot involving Spock considering a transfer because anyone remotely familiar with the franchise knows what his decision is. The Elzura/Merata plot is more interesting but its basic concept lacks originality and has few surprises. 

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