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 9
This chapter is a bit longer than some of the others, coming in at 23½ pages. Last time we saw our displaced band come further together. If this is going to end up a happy ending the rest better come together soon. We only have four chapters in part 3 left plus a handful in the very short final part of the book.
So it looks like we’re not getting a discussion about the actual Prime Directive. That’s kind of a pity and makes me wonder about the name of the book. While it plays a role in the story it’s really not any different than many other pre-contact stories. Not that the story hasn’t been good so far; I’m rather enjoying it. It’s just I expected the title of the book to be the big subject of the story. Maybe these last few chapters will work with it but frankly I doubt it. With that, let’s see what this chapter has in store for us.
We start out with Mr. Scott on the Talin FCO station. Since we were last here the nacelles have been replaced and didn’t launch the Enterprise into nonexistence. I kind of suspect some of the narration is from Scott’s perspective, making some of the details a bit suspect, but the point is the ship is ready to go…under Styles temporary leadership. Somehow enough time has past that Spock, joined by as many members of the extended Enterprise crew as they could bring back, the SSP (which seems an odd choice to be joining in on this investigation–I’m guessing the writers just wanted to get everyone in the story in the same place), and the former FCO members in trying to piece together what really happened with the help of the Talin representatives. The moon has been given back to the Talin and now the investigation is their as is the station. Meanwhile they’re still trying to decide if they’re going to help.
Frankly I’m surprised they agreed to let the moon go, though it’s part of that “trust” so they can have fun exploring the solar system until the Federation is ready to say hello. So as Mr. Scott fights being drawn back to the ship to remain part of the investigation (not that he doesn’t trust Spock, he just doesn’t want to be under Styles’ command) the rest of our crew arrives. No mention yet what happened to the sex slaves or Kirk’s ride, though I bet they’re running the Queen Mary now while Gaverau(‘s cats) still run the Ian Shelton.
Well, I was worried the investigation would feel rushed or that wouldn’t show up in this chapter but the results are in and it doesn’t feel rushed. It’s not a mystery for us, which would have been nice but we’ll have one of those if this site exists long enough, so kind of like DC’s Scooby-Doo. However, it’s more forgivable here since Star Trek isn’t a mystery series. Long story short, other aliens are present and they’re the ones who started the war…and according to Spock it seems Richter, who is here and still cursing, may have already known about them. Was he helping them? We won’t know this chapter but when a chapter ends with the commercial break surprise stinger playing in my head you know it’s a good place to end the chapter.
This chapter works very well. The explanations of stuff we didn’t have time to show off don’t get too boring or confusing. Speeding through those points was the right move so the chapter could focus on the two most important part: the reunion of the crew and the revelation of the other alien presence. The evidence is well presented, and the moments of the crew reuniting, including Spock’s calculations of who would show up when and how, were great to see. Overall this was a really good chapter.
Next time I imagine we start sorting out the new players in the game. We’re a little under a quarter of the way left in the book so we’ll see if they have enough time to do this right.