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 8
We’re getting close to the end and I guess this isn’t going to turn into a mystery story. With so few chapters left the emphasis seems to be getting the scattered crew back to the planet more than the investigation itself. Also, for a story called Prime Directive the actual Prime Directive is barely a factor in it. You’d think that would somehow be the focus of the story. It would match more if they somehow had Optimus Prime. (There is a crossover comic, so it’s not so unlikely anymore.) Has it been a good story thus far? Yes. It’s just not what I was expecting it to be.
Last time Spock found a way to get help for Talin IV in probably the only actual use of Starfleet General Order One in the book named after it. Now we check back in with Kirk and what he and his new friend are up to. What will happen when they arrive…and will they do it before the final chapter in part 3?
The Ian Shelton comes across the remains of a ship, with pirates headed to Talin IV. If you’ve been paying attention to the story (and if not why are you reading a one-chapter review this far into the book?) you already know who their following. What’s fascinating is watch how Kirk reacts to Orion pirates who seem way too clever, with the reader knowing that Sulu and Uhura are using some amazing tactics to protect themselves. The chapter itself doesn’t reveal who it is, keeping us in the dark along with Kirk not counting the fact that we’re aware of events he isn’t. This allows us to see the whole thing from Kirk and Gauverau’s perspective. It’s some darn good writing.
McCoy pulls the Black Ire bit again but even voice modulation doesn’t fool Kirk. McCoy still talks like McCoy, probably not as prepared to fool this mystery attacker as he was Krulmadden. Part of me wishes the next chapter would flash back to the others’ perspective but wisely the Reeves-Stevens didn’t go back and forth. I don’t think the action would have been viewed the same way and thus what they were going for wouldn’t have been as interesting. It might have worked but not nearly as well. They chose one perspective, and we haven’t seen Kirk and Gauverau in a while so they were the right choice. Plus having them stumble upon the remains of “Black Ire’s” ship means they didn’t have to explain to the readers what they were doing following the Queen Mary. The scene might have worked from their perspective otherwise but this takes less time.
The end result was a great depiction of this scene, showing the skills of each group with something that’s exciting but doesn’t break from the action to show us what at least instinctively we already figured out, that the two groups of friends were unknowingly fighting each other. The payoff is well worth it, and there are also nods to the Tribbles, Nomad, and V-Ger that actually work within the story. However, I did a quick check with Memory Alpha and I don’t think there were any other Nomad model probes, but there could have been more Voyager probes sent out in their timeline than there were in ours. Things never seem to end well, so Gauverau snagging a few dead probes for extra credits (and it’s now weird to see people doing things for money in a Star Trek show thanks to TNG) is keeping them from merging with alien probes and wreaking havoc on the universe, so she may actually be saving the universe. Imagine if it combined with a Cybertronian probe? We’d end up with the next Unicron or something.
There’s still a question of when Spock is going to show up but next time it’s back to check in on Mr. Scott’s investigation. He better move it, there’s only a few chapters left.