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.
When we last left our heroes Stephen had decided to take Lindy and Athene to the Worldship without even asking anyone so the winged horse could experience flying. What a jerk, but I expected better of Lindy. I guess between wanting Athene to get to fly and being hot over Stephen led her to screw up. At least the people from the Worldship are nice enough to not be bothered by it, but he really does lack in courtesy. Oh, and the Worldship will soon be in Klingon space and Koronin is waiting to…whatever it is she’s planning to do. It is bad that I like Koronin more than Stephen?
Kirk and a selected team prepare to go back to the Worldship to collect Stephen, partly because of Koronin but also because Stephan is needed to fix Spock’s mind.With Spock in lala land and McCoy having to care for him, Kirk is forced to put Scott on the con. I’m not sure I’m a fan of this argument between the two. Would Scotty really not give a new captain any leeway for not acting like Pike? Everyone else is at least trying and Uhura was really mad at Jim for what she saw as bad treatment of Rand, and she had never met the new yeoman before.
On the Worldship (which I guess you land on like a planet so it’s not any kind of ship really) Athene gets to fly and I bet it would have been cool to see on a TV or movie screen. After Stephan tells Lindy that he doesn’t share her feelings, and at least some of his Vulcan heritage remains. I’d feel sorry for her but after this she might be better off than being involved with this guy. One odd thing. Stephan as a blanket that naturally can’t just be a blanket. No, no, it’s a semi-sentient….thing that lives to wrap people up or it will die. What was the point? Somehow it makes less sense than making a winged horse that can’t fly. Or maybe I’m just uncomfortable at the thought that my Snuggie wants to cuddle me.
Back on the Enterprise Spock comes to but still thinking he’s one of the flyers. Giving McCoy the neck pinch he uses the transporter to go back to the Worldship by taking the “sailboat”. I stopped reading to do something and while doing said thing it occurred to me that Spock was a bit too quick to break out the mind meld, wasn’t he? If I recall correctly mind melding isn’t something Vulcans do lightly.
At any rate Kirk, Uhura, and Sulu are on the Copernicus shuttlecraft with the flyers save one who beamed back to get something to eat. Here we’re given more about their culture and it sounds like Roddenberry’s wet dream. There are no leaders and everyone is responsible for themselves. Scarlet (the one Spock mind melded with and the unofficial spokesperson for the group) says he mentally contacted the planet and asked them to look for Spock or Stephan’s ship but they’ll only do it if they feel like. Not a huge sense of giving a fig with these people, is there? I’m not sure I like them either. Kirk isn’t too bright, either. Apparently he insists there has to be a leader somewhere. Man’s never heard of a commune has he? And that’s what this sounds like, one huge commune with nobody in charge or to settle disputes. And if the flyers never have disputes then this is a more alien culture than possible on a mobile planet full of beings. Also, we learn Scarlet is female.
Koronin gets an invitation to the Worldship and decides that landing with permission is better than going in phasers blazing. Did I mention I like Koronin better than Stephen? She mas more respect and she’s probably planning to plunder the place. She makes contact and we find out some of the aliens did pass Standard and even Vulcan along. Also there are spheres that explode when she cuts it with her crystal blade. Because of course she tries to claim the Worldship from people who don’t understand the concept of property. Spock, still out of it, comes across them and Koronin’s second orders him to take her into the ship. I know I’m saying a lot here but it’s nice to have action to discuss instead of everybody’s depressing childhoods.
I have to give McIntyre credit for the (pardon the expression) world-building she does in this story with how the Worldship operates, as we (and the shuttlecraft crew, what would later in Trek be called an “away team”) also get introduced to the slug-like “builders” as they fix the wall Koronin damaged. The problem is that we are two chapters and an epilogue away and this has all happened out of nowhere in the last third (at best) of the book. Instead we get depressing backstories and character drama. It’s just unbalanced. Next time we find out if the shuttlecraft team can find Spock and Stephen and stop whatever Koronin has planned. And what she actually has planned.