The Starless World by Gordon Eklund
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
There are a few different things that I look for in Star Trek novels, and some of these are often mutually exclusive.
Is it an entertaining story?
Does it feel like Star Trek?
Does it add depth to familiar characters?
Can I steal the plot to use as an adventure in one of my Star Trek Roleplaying Game sessions?
This is a good example of a novel that hits a couple but not all of the above. Keeping in mind that it was written in 1978 so it predates Star Trek The Motion Picture and everything that follows.
Kirk and the crew end up in a Dyson Sphere dealing with a small group of natives and some Klingons and an impending danger to the world. Fairly standard Star Trek stuff.
There isn’t much in the way of character development, other than a bit of a backstory for Uhura.
While the story was reasonably entertaining, there wasn’t much in it that specifically related to the Enterprise and her crew.
This means that I could quite easily lift the plot from this and turn it into an adventure for my Next Gen crew in my Star Trek Adventures game. I might need to come up with a connection or two for the players to a couple of characters in the story, and probably swap the Klingons for Romulans, but that would be about it.
That isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy the story, there just wasn’t anything particularly unique about it.
I will say that I enjoy going back and reading some of these older stories. They are often quite short, this one is 152 pages, and they manage to tell a perfectly fine and complete story without having to add in a bunch of extra padding.
This is a fun novel, worth reading if you want something quick. The characterizations are reasonably good and there is a touch of humor in spots that I enjoy in Star Trek stories.
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