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 3: Talin chapter 7
Well, most of our heroes reunited last chapter. Kirk’s making his own way to Talin IV and Scotty is still there, so that just leaves Spock. He apparently has his own plan, and you’d think he would have consulted with Uhura given that they were still in contact through her ordeal. Today we may learn what the Vulcan has in mind.
What’s worrying me at this stage is that there’s only about a quarter of the book left and I was hoping there’d be more time solving the actual cause of what happened on Talin IV. Will there be enough room? I’ve been reviewing a few comics lately that didn’t have time to fully explore their story because they got cut off and it would be a shame to see the novels do that. So let’s see what Spock and Richter have planned and how their poor dupes are going to take it.
Admittedly I didn’t see the full length of Spock’s plan coming…and neither did Marita and Penn I’d wager. This also wasn’t the Prime Directive story I thought it would be, and admittedly I haven’t re-read the novel since I got it. I’m still sketchy on whether or not this is my first time but if not it’s been a long time. Instead of a discussion about the Prime Directive, and there goes any follow-up articles I might have been considering because this is hardly the opening I would like, it’s Spock trying to make the case that Talin IV is a de facto member of the Federation. In other words, while the others are looking for answers Spock is actually looking for help for the Talin people. Noble I grant you and fascinating (no pun intended if you know Spock) on the part of the writers to go this route, to seek aid rather than simply solve the riddle and clear the bridge crew’s name, but I wonder if this benefits the story or not.
There’s a lot more worldbuilding in this one that I was expecting. First there’s the narration about how the meeting functions, and later Spock goes into various bits of history that led to the rules about joining the Federation and how Starfleet will allocate a few world for a potential member so they’re not left out of the good spots when they’re ready to start colonizing. Again, the writers are going into areas I hadn’t expected. On a technical level it’s kind of interesting though as a fan I’m not really sure how I feel. There are postitives and negatives not even worth bringing up but as a general reader and not a critic I found myself struggling not to gloss over in case something important was in there. Thankfully it didn’t go on too long so it didn’t get the chance to be boring. I just worry about worldbuilding a property you don’t necessarily own and thus isn’t necessarily canon.
I thought Richter was going to come in to speak agains the Prime Directive or at least in favor of Talin IV but instead he, Mallet, and Cardinali show up with representatives from Talin itself, one from each group. One of the best parts of this chapter was Spock playing pretty much everybody like his lute, though at least I feel sorry for Marita and Penn. While I don’t share their take on the Prime Directive, and there isn’t enough here to really make a good challenging article on, they’re the only ones who really didn’t deserve it. The Federation in general and Starfleet specifically have been trying to sweep this all under the rug and they deserve to see the results staring them in the face, though I wasn’t expecting it this literally. While I have mixed feelings on the chapter, I do lean towards doing a good job on this one.
Next time it’s back to Kirk and his trip back. I wonder how he’ll be welcomed given some of the council’s responses in this chapter and what we saw when his identity was revealed back on the mining asteroid? Should be interesting.