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.
PART ONE: AFTERMATH chapter 2
In our last installment we saw what happened to Kirk. Not why it happened because that’s what part two is about and this is only the second chapter of part one today. So if you hate being kept in the dark for seven chapters before just getting to the first chapter of the inciting incident your best bet may be to read part two, then come back to part one, and finally see how the full story ends up in part three. To be honest if I wasn’t reviewing the book I’d consider doing that myself, but that’s my personal issues, not a critique.
It also seems like Kirk is getting the hardest impact of it. I’ve only caught names while flipping through but the rest of the main show cast is being named, Scotty being the focus of tonight’s chapter, while Kirk took on a fake name last chapter. I don’t think I gave it proper examination but it was a good spotlight on Kirk’s personality and what makes him a good leader whether he’s running a starship or coordinating an asteroid terraforming project. I hope we get something just as interesting with Mr. Scott. Let’s see what he’s up to these days.
Talin IV and the remains of the Enterprise is where we find Mr. Scott and what’s become of everyone else, though I’m assuming we’ll see more of their stories as part one goes on. While the details are still missing the ship went into warp drive while in the planet’s atmosphere and that’s cause the damage to both the planet and the ship. Right now the ship, which shouldn’t even have survived, is being repaired enough to be pulled back to a Starbase, but one of the working warp nacelles might shoot it off into space, which Scotty would rather see happen than Lieutenant Styles take over. Either nobody at high command realizes how much Styles hates Kirk or they totally do and this is added insult. Styles is of course the jerk from the movies who has somehow become Kirk’s nemesis within Starfleet in both comics and novels like this one, a pompous jackass that I guess wasn’t bred out until the 24th century, if you ask the writer’s guide for The Next Generation. Here he says the ship will now have a “superior” captain once he’s eventually promoted but now he’s only in charge of the refit and at best will become first officer.
We also learn what happened to the rest of the crew, dubbed the “Enterprise Five”, though all we know about Uhura is that she’s in jail for some reason and Sulu and Chekov are already resigned. They followed McCoy, when even punching a Vice Admiral couldn’t get a proper trial as if the Federation wants to sweep the incident under the rug, which also sent Kirk and Spock on the resignation train. Spock tried to get some answers inside the system but they made him an ensign and he resigned. The order of events leading to that I’m guessing we’ll learn in due course. Not wanting to serve under Styles and upset at how they’re treating his friends and his ship Scotty also decides to resign, with a fun little moment when the computer tries to challenge his attempt during the quicky refit.
We still don’t know why these events happened but we are at least getting some idea. I’m still not a personal fan of telling the story this way but I do understand the writers are trying to build the tension and drama a bit. We know the ship went into warp in the planet’s atmosphere, and the result cause great damage to Talin IV during a First Contact assignment as well as the ship itself. We know Starfleet or the Federation (or both) is trying to cover up things to possibly protect their image but will use the planet, dubbed “Kirk’s World” by some, as a lesson for future Starfleet cadets. All this is the last straw for Scotty and I can’t really argue with that. We also see Scotty, often treated as a hard-drinking man by fans and comedic reviewers like SF Debris, refuse to open a bottle of alcohol intended for Spock’s birthday until the crew is together again, whether in Starfleet or not.
Next time we’re shifting over to Dr. McCoy in a rather short chapter, since the one after that is a bit longer. And given what my life schedule has been lately I could use a little bonus time anyway.