Saturday, August 6, 2016

James Review -- Star Trek: Legacies: Best Defense

This week I decided to review Star Trek: Legacies: Best Defense by David Mack.

The story begins weeks after the previous book ended with a Romulan spy who was serving as Captain Kirk's yeoman stole the Transfer Key, a device created by the extra-universal Jatohr which can be used to shift targets to the Jatohr's native universe. The Enterprise is ordered to launch a covert mission to the planet Usilde in order to determine how much the Klingons have learned from the abandoned Jatohr citadel on that world.

But while the party assigned to the mission manages to gain some information, it is clear that the Klingon defenses will make the planned return to rescue Captain Una, who traveled to the Jatohr universe in search of comrades banished there during the Enterprise's first encounter with the Jatohr, difficult.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Sarek is on the planet Centarus to meet with a Klingon delegation led by Councilor Gorkon in hopes of turning the ceasefire recently imposed by the Organians into a lasting treaty. But not all of the attendees wish for the conference to succeed, and events swiftly come to a head when Gorkon vanishes during the night. The Klingons call for a battle cruiser and Starfleet dispatches the Enterprise to maintain parity. Soon after the Enterprise arrives, another diplomat vanishes but Spock and Kirk recognize a distinct sound caused by the Transfer Key and realize that the Romulans are using the device to hinder the peace talks in hope of reigniting the war between the Federation and the Klingon Empire.

But tensions on the Romulan ship are running high with the Tal Shiar Major who controls the Transfer Key, with matters growing more heated as the Transfer Key severely damages the ship each time it is activated. Also, Doctor McCoy's daughter Joanna, whom he hasn't seen in years, is attending school on Centarus and he takes time to meet with her. However, Joanna soon finds herself caught in the storm of the peace conference as she is first assaulted then later taken hostage by agents of the Orion Syndicate seeking to sabotage the peace talks.

The Enterprise crew devises a plan to locate the cloaked bird of prey equipped with the Transfer Key, but the plan requires assistance from the Klingon battle cruiser orbiting Centarus. When their location is compromised, the Romulans launch a full assault on the peace conference leading to a desperate battle in the skies of Centarus. And in the Jatohr universe, Captain Una discovers her comrades despite time apparently flowing at a different pace in this universe, but also discovers a Jatohr war fleet preparing to invade her home universe...

I give this book 9 out of 10. It does a great job of balancing the diplomatic and action sequences and I particularly enjoyed the sequences on the Romulan bird of prey as the crew tries to accomplish their mission while being overseen by a political officer who has gone insane. Also, the twist at the end was a surprise, but unlike the last book, it didn't come completely out of nowhere. However, I feel that the Jatohr universe sequences were much more bland then the rest of the book and needed to be expanded to allow more detail badly.

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