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 TWO: The Last Mission chapter 8
We’re almost to the end of this flashback. So far everything has gone wrong, there’s circumstantial evidence that either incompetence or purposefully messing up has happened, and since we already know something went wrong it’s just a question of waiting for the shoe to drop. I’ve been finding that more distracting than a source of anticipation.
So do our heroes have a chance of pulling this off? It didn’t seem like it in the previous chapter, and we know they don’t in the end thanks to how the book started…even if you didn’t read the back of the book first. Therefore, let’s see how much frying pan is left before we hit the real hot spot.
So it turns out all the explosions were actually celebrating peace breaking out. Guess the buildings should have been made of stronger material, but at least it means something good. Everybody on the planet and on the ship are in celebration mode, though the former doesn’t know about the latter. However, this close to the end and knowing what’s about to happen that shoe is still hanging up there, so when things go wrong it seems like the shoe is about to drop. One of the satellites goes down despite the fact that it shouldn’t and somehow the software is all gone even though it shouldn’t. When the nuke goes off you almost think there’s a connection, that the auto-launching retaliation is tied to how the world ends…but then the Enterprise manages to stop it, the two factions realize it was a mistake during decommissioning the nukes, and things to back to what they were. The disappearing missiles are seen as an act by the planet’s gods, a rare occasion of religion having a positive influence in Star Trek, and everything’s fine except for what happened to the satellite.
We are three chapters away from the end of the flashback, with the last one only a few pages long to the point that next week I’ll be reviewing the last two together. So how badly is this going to get messed up? I thought this would be it, Starfleet blamed the satellite or something, Kirk’s plan to stop the missile launch and confuse the militaries out of attacking failed somehow, and this is the incident that got them in trouble. So they all go back to Talin in the present to learn what happened to the satellite and the nuke explosion. That means the next chapter is going to feature such a colossal failure, and I’m assuming they’ll have some time for the shock and horror and calling in of Starfleet before returning to present day, that you’re going to have to work hard to make it not feel forced. I’m not saying they can’t pull it off. These are good writers who usually know what they’re doing. I’m just kind of scared for the story as a critic as I am for the characters as a reader while curious how they’ll pull it off as a writer. So many thoughts and so many ways this can go horribly wrong.
Next time we’ll see everything go horribly wrong, though hopefully only for the characters and not the writing. It’s the last two chapters of the flashback part of this book, so we’re finally getting answers.