Category: TOS Page 1 of 14

#074: Enemy Unseen (TOS #51)

(Hey there, readers, just a quick note prior to this review. Star Trek books rarely get too intense to merit content warnings, but there is a pretty brutal depiction of physical abuse in this book that is mentioned in this review. So, just a heads-up.) 


This week, we return to one of the least revisited eras of Trek for a whodunit with the second-string team. An overbearing seductress causes problems for her daughter and her ex; the ship’s guests have a Gordian knot of ideas about harmony and balance and honor that need untangling; and a spy is sneaking around the ship trying to sabotage the negotiations. Why would Spock allow his captain to use a program he knows is unfinished? Have these people somehow not heard of shapeshifting? What is the Enterprise’s porn collection like? Does it actually have one? It’s the book that will at least have no trouble qualifying for the HOV lane.

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#072: Prime Directive (TOS event novel)

This week, Kirk breaks Starfleet’s most well-known and revered regulation, and this time he can’t simply chalk it up to bad writing. But his senior officers insist that Starfleet doesn’t know the whole story, and they’re willing to punch admirals, serve jail time, and hijack Orion slave ships to prove their case. As the individual crew members converge on the blockaded world where it all went down, things indeed begin to smell fishy—or more accurately, mildewy. Is this an alternate continuity? Has Spock joined the DSA? Will Sulu ditch his friends and become a full-time pirate? It’s the book that’s infringing on your God-given right to lower gravity.

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#070: Doctor’s Orders (TOS #50)

This week, the Enterprise is making first contact with a world where three distinct species evolved from a common ancestor and peaceably coexist, and Starfleet is keen to get all of them on board for Federation admission. Kirk gives McCoy the conn for laffs, but when he disappears shortly after going planetside, it’s not so funny all of a sudden. Before he knows it, Bones has Starfleet and the Klingons, among other threats, breathing down his neck. What’s the most alien-sounding Earth language? Is Dr. McCoy a closet capitalist? When Naraht’s not on-screen, should everyone be asking, “Where’s Naraht?” It’s the book that reminds us that the universal translator wasn’t built in a day.

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#068: The Pandora Principle (TOS #49)

This week, our favorite Romuvulcan (Vulcomulan?) gets a turn in the spotlight, which, unfortunately, she has to share with an extremely irritating CGI mascot. Spock rescues her from a literal kid-eat-kid existence on the aptly named Hellguard, but when a set of complimentary gift boxes proves deadly, they’ll have to sneak back into Romulan territory and work together to bring down the Amazon warehouse that’s shipping out the faulty orders. Who will save the day? The stoic Vulcan and his volatile protégé? The captain trapped in the doomsday bunker? Or the infuriating tiny ocean man? Place your bets! It’s the book that, sadly, never gets around to taking you out to the ballgame.

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#066: Rules of Engagement (TOS #48)

This week, we’re checking out Rules of Engagement, the little sitcom that could. Starring Patrick Warburton, Megyn Price, and David Spade, the show followed a group of friends in various stages of relationships: two of them newlyweds, two a veteran married couple, and one a swinging single. It lasted seven seasons, an impressive feat given its unremarkable ratings and several brushes with cancellation, and is widely considered solid, if far from innovative. Most notably, it stands as one of Sony’s few successes in syndication; although barely accruing enough episodes to qualify, it nevertheless managed, thus ensuring long-term profitability for—

Wait a minute. This is supposed to be about the Star Trek novel Rules of Engagement. My bad.

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