Star Trek: Review: Elusive Salvation

EkusiveBy Dayton Ward

Pocket Books, out now

Kirk and Spock add to their bulging files at the Department of Temporal Investigations when the solution to a current problem can only be found with the aid of Roberta Lincoln…

Dayton Ward’s follow-up to From History’s Shadow continues his reworking of recent history to take into account the 20th century escapades of various Star Trek crews, folding Majestic 12 and other organisations (real or otherwise) into a convoluted time-travel tale that spans five centuries. Familiar characters from both televised Star Trek and that earlier book appear (as well as some nice Easter eggs) but the focus of attention is on a new race members of whom have crashlanded on Earth, not realising how important they are to those they’ve left behind.

Ward’s chosen an interesting period for the Kirk and Spock scenes – a couple of years prior to Star Trek II, with the Enterprise crew split up. Chekov gets a mention, and we spend a bit of time with Sulu, Scotty and Uhura, but the main emphasis is on Kirk and Spock, with a nice strand for McCoy and Christine Chapel (as well as a familiar face in a new role). Ward foreshadows some of the themes of The Wrath of Khan in his portrayal of Kirk in particular, and you can see the Admiral spending time reflecting after this on galloping around the cosmos and the relevant age to be doing such an activity. There’s a certain resemblance in broad strokes to one of the other Star Trek movies which did make me wonder whether this might have been better set perhaps half a decade earlier…

Verdict: As ever, Ward mixes sharp characterisation with humour and well-written action sequences, making for a Star Trek tale that is constantly entertaining. 8/10

Paul Simpson

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