Before I offer my thoughts and opinions about this book, let me say that I’ve procrastinated in regards to writing this review. Not because I’ve been dreading it mind you but because I had to collect my thoughts so I didn’t sound like a total fanboy at a TrekCon. See, I enjoyed this book so much, for so many reasons, that I felt my review would sound like a paid PR stunt by the publisher. It really is that good.
Some of you may think you know what this book is about but I guarantee you that you have no idea of the scope of this story until you read it. Yes it’s “the Spock with the goatee” thing (which I rather enjoy!). However, it ties the original series, the novel series Vanguard, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, several of the movies as well as Enterprise all together neatly. The author David Mack, takes the story from the original series episode where they first encounter the mirror universe, adds the details and events shown in Enterprise, those found in the parallel series Vanguard and sets the stage for the various DS9 episodes where Spock’s influence on the galaxy at large has a hundred or so years to ferment and change the balance of power. It’s a whole host of “what ifs” where our favorite characters and significant events are twisted by this alternate take on trek history which creates an almost complete “other half” which now begs to be explored!
The characters themselves are well written and keep in tune with their television/movie counterparts. David’s use of these characters is both masterfully done and not the least bit predictable. Few books, alternate takes or not, truly explore Spock’s potential as a leading character or as an intellectual as this one does. The fact that the author captures so much of Leonard Nimoy’s portrayal in this book makes it such a fantastic read. This is an incredibly complex character whose depth and appeal are well represented here as he was on-screen.
It’s hard to believe that the author managed to squeeze almost thirty years worth of story into nearly 450 pages. There’s not a dull moment to be found and the pacing is excellent. It’s one of those “so damn good I couldn’t stop reading it” stories. The bags under my eyes the next morning because I stayed up and read it in one night can attest to that.
This is a must read for any fan of any of the TV or book series I mentioned earlier. If you’re well versed in the events and characters you’ll come away with an all-new level of appreciation for the idea of a mirror universe and will find much more entertainment value when you go back and watch/read the previous encounters once again. This is the kind of book that can convince anyone that Star Trek is alive and well regardless of its age or hiatus from television. You also don’t need to speak Klingonese or wear Starfleet pajamas to enjoy it as it’s a very approachable story even for casual viewers.
I highly recommend starting the 2010 book year with this not-to-be-missed title. Hats off to the author on yet another excellent read!