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 10
Holidays and (hopefully) sick days behind us it’s time to get back to finishing this book. There aren’t a lot of chapters left so hopefully we’re close to find out what or who the true cause of all this mess is. Now that we have the band all back together it’s time to see them do what they do best. I’m not really sure what else I can discuss here so let’s get into this chapter and see if we can get this plot moving.
The first scene of the chapter is…well, I’m of two minds really. On the one hand since Hammersmith is here and this is the vice admiral McCoy decked to get kicked out of Starfleet so he could work to investigate on his own, it makes sense that the two would have a…”confrontation” is probably a strong word. On the other hand, half the conversation is more about Hammersmith wondering why McCoy even joined Starfleet, which seems an odd time to have him do a character dissection of McCoy. I would have rather the focus be on Hammersmith actually trying to give the others a chance to put together what they ended up doing. Sadly this isn’t the only hiccup with this chapter.
We knew Richter had an issue with the Prime Directive and the theory on my end was that he was somehow tied to what happened. The actions by Mallett and Cardinalli turned out to be red herrings but finding out that Richter simply knew there were others interfering and simply didn’t say anything is frankly a bit underwhelming. This is the closest thing to a Prime Directive debate we get, and frankly it’s a rather weak one. Marita’s group at least had more romantic goals in mind but Richter (and while looking up Marita’s name because all the time off dulled my memory I was reminded the previous chapter ended with the announcement by Spock that he knew Richter was aware of the third party) was simply upset that he didn’t get to meet the Talin early, hoping the alien presence would speed up their awareness of aliens so the Federation could make contact sooner. That’s hardly a noble goal. “I want to end the Prime Directive so we can learn about other people faster, even if it ruins their lives.” That’s basically what he’s saying.
This kind of makes me wonder what makes the Talin so special? It’s a planet with only two factions who both got along, which at best puts them one up on Cybertron, but otherwise there isn’t a lot special about them outside of a faster development. That development due to outside interference is what Richter was banking on, but I still don’t get what makes this particular planet so special? Maybe I need to re-read the discussions they were having at the beginning of part two that went into it but I don’t remember it helping them either.
Outside of Spock finding a way to find the third party and prove they may have used the satellites to not only attack the Enterprise but interfere with the missiles and get them launched around the planet, not much really interesting happened here. Richter’s revelation, maybe, but the rest of it just really didn’t interest me, especially the Hammersmith/McCoy “reunion”. However, one dull chapter doesn’t ruin a book any more than one bad episode ruins a series, which is how this article series operates. Next time our heroes go hunting for their rivals. Will they find anything useful with less than a handful of chapters left? Join us next time or ignore me and read ahead. Your call, really.