When the marketing for 2009's STAR TREK movie was ramping up, I learned that the screenwriters for the revamp of the Star Trek universe had been inspired by several Star Trek novels, one of which was STAR TREK: PRIME DIRECTIVE. Before the movie was released in theatres, I was excited about it and decided I would read some of those Star Trek novels, including STAR TREK: PRIME DIRECTIVE, before I saw the movie.
The novel takes places in the Star Trek universe after the run of the original tv series but before the events of the first Star Trek movie. The novel is divided into four sections. The first section, describes what Kirk and the Enterprise Five, the former bridge crew members of the Enterprise, have been doing since the unfortunate events at Talin IV. Kirk finds himself at the farthest reaches of Federation space, working hard and difficult jobs and trying to piece together a life. Spock has resigned but has a theory of what actually happened on Talin IV, Sulu and Chekov are working for pirates, Dr. McCoy takes a visit to Earth's moon, and Uhura finds herself in legal trouble. Meanwhile, Scotty, the only officer still in Starfleet finds himself attempting to repair the Enterprise and make it seaworthy again after the damage inflicting upon it during the events at Talin IV.
The second section explains exactly what happened on Talin IV and why the former Enterprise bridge crew are spread out into the far corners of the universe. The third section describes the adventures in each of the former crew members begins a journey back to Talin IV where Spock promises the truth will be known. The last section of the book is the conclusion that wraps the story up.
The thing that stood out most for me about STAR TREK: PRIME DIRECTIVE is how fully developed each of the characters are. I'm more or a Star Wars person than Star Trek, but there are parts of the Star Trek universe I really enjoy. Usually, in one form or another, Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are the focal points of most original Star Trek tales. They play an important part in STAR TREK: PRIME DIRECTIVE, but Scotty, Chekhov, Sulu, and Uhura are just as important in this story and readers get a real understanding of the type of individuals these characters are and what makes them tick. I particular liked the deep camaraderie and friendship between Sulu and Chekhov. This novel also is light on the technobabble-it's still a Star Trek novel so some knowledge of the characters helps in appreciating the story, but one needn't be a major Star Trek fan or scientific genius to enjoy the book. In fact, it reads more like a mystery story rather than a piece of science fiction.
Overall, a good story and one of the better original Star Trek novels I've read.
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The latest addition to the Star Trek canon revolves around violation of the Prime Directive forbidding interference with alien cultures. Instead of stopping a nuclear war on Talin IV, Captain Kirk has apparently triggered Armageddon: a devastated world now bears the name "Kirk's Planet." The Enterprise is a crippled hulk, and her senior officers have left Starfleet in disgrace. But Kirk and his comrades are determined to restore their honor by finding out what really happened on Talin IV. Excessive use of frames and flashbacks complicates the story line, a flaw offset by strong presentation of the bonds among the Enterprise crew. The intricate Star Trek universe is handled well, especially in an amusing subplot putting Sulu and Chekov aboard an Orion pirate ship. While this installment is unlikely to attract new readers to the series, Trekkies will not be disappointed. Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.