Chapter by Chapter features me reading one chapter of the selected book at the time and reviewing it as if I were reviewing an episode of a TV show or an issue of a comic. There will be spoilers if you haven’t read to the point I have, and if you’ve read further I ask that you don’t spoil anything further into the book. Think of it as read-along book club.
Last time we read the prologue, which just set up where everybody was coming from, and gave me a villain I’m hoping to like (but still want to lose). What will happen this chapter? I don’t know. I don’t usually read the book until the introduction’s done. That’s why I can’t slap a made-up chapter name on a book that doesn’t have their own chapter titles.
The chapter opens with a too-short scene of Spock going to Pike’s room (apparently the only time he’s done so) to wish him farewell. Then we shift to Uhura arriving and hoping a harp she ordered is finished and delivered in time. Both go to the bridge before Mr. Scott arrives with cigars for the birth of his niece. These are all good scenes to establish the rapport the crew have. It will be interesting to see how the new captain fits into that.
Speaking of whom, Kirk meets up with an old friend who talks him into experimenting with mixed drinks. This goes as well as you’d expect, although Kirk donates his share to a nearby plant. Said friend is described as having knee pincers that can grab someone’s ankles on his central foot. He also has a mane. This is something that bugs me in science fiction, where the aliens can be given a design that makes no biological sense. I’m a creationist and even I question their misuse of evolution sometimes. Maybe if I saw a picture of Vanli? Jim almost misses the change of command carrying his drunk friend back to his ship.
A ceremony Sulu wants to miss. He doesn’t want to be here, but Kirk had him transferred to Enterprise instead of Aerfen. There’s an exchange with Spock that shows Spock thinks working the border instead of exploration is not a good thing, but Sulu disagrees. If the audiobook (read by George Takei with Leonard Nimoy occasionally looking as a scene from Spock’s perspective…and I don’t understand why they do that) doesn’t have Nimoy and Takei reenacting that scene together, they made an error. Also, Sulu namedrops Ganjitsu. Zemanta, a service that finds me links and tags based on what I write, points to a Wikipedia article for “Japanese New Year”. I don’t remember this being brought up in the show. Was it a colony? Does it explain why he’d rather be at border defense? We get no answer because Spock realizes why Sulu would rather be on the Aerfen. He just doesn’t care. Spock’s a bit of a jerk here. Pike didn’t teach him as much as he thought.
Koronin also gets some more development. Some fight between the Klingons and the Federation left her parents dead as a child so she has no love for either government. She redubs the ship “Quundar“. Maybe someone who knows Klingon sees the reference?
The prologue was about introducing the characters, this is more about where they are as characters and people. The events to come will shape, at least in part, who they are by the first episode I imagine. We’ll see what happens during the change of command ceremony, which I assume will happen next chapter.