This week, when the universe sneezes, the dolphins are the first to feel it. But when the crew realizes where they are, they ping-pong the Enterprise off the Enterprise while they decide who gets to sign up for the espionage mission. What do this book and GameFAQs have in common? Has the Federation somehow improved its already dizzyingly fast trauma recovery speed? Did Diane Duane accidentally set this book during Wolf 359? All this and more in Dark Mirror, the book that’s chock full of bremsstrahlung.
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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.
This week, Vulcan considers pulling out of the Federation upon feeling like they’re not benefiting much from the deal, and Kirk, Spock, and Bones are summoned to testify in favor of Vulcan sticking around. As they prepare their remarks, anonymous internet trolls post their two cents, lasagna is served, and the Enterprise mixer rages on. Along the way, the history of Vulcan unfolds through tales of some of its less noble moments. How do they store fresh coffee on the Enterprise? How would a Vulcan work out the logic in becoming addicted to video games? Is this Duane!McCoy’s biggest mic drop yet? It’s the book where we learn how Amanda really feels about Sarek.
You ever get to a point with food where you’re just completely over it? Like, nothing you can imagine sounds less appealing than eating or looking at food or thinking about food? That’s where I was with Romulans in Star Trek novels for a while. In the wake of Diane Duane’s first Rihannsu novel, a glut of stories featuring Romulans as the villains jammed up the publishing schedule—at one point, they figured into three of the four then-most recent stories—and though for the most part they acquitted themselves well enough, they just couldn’t hold a candle to Duane’s singular approach. (Though to be fair, not much can.) And now, just as I can feel my appetite for them returning, along comes Rihannsu number two—and it’s a meal fit for a Praetor.
Just two novels ago, John M. Ford took a deep dive into Klingon culture in The Final Reflection, and now Diane Duane takes a similar turn with the Romulans in My Enemy, My Ally, the first of what will be either four or five books (depending on whether you want to count Swordhunt and Honor Blade as one book or two) in the Rihannsu saga. I mean, sure, there was Web of the Romulans, but we’re talking about good books here.