A bit of a non starter While the history of Dr McCoy and his ex wife makes for a sad elegiac story, it doesn t alter the fact that this novel really seems completely superfluous, and without any imperative reason to exist It s place post Star Trek VI is equally unnecessary Overall, this novel is justthere Inoffensive, ocassionally sweetbut highly forgettable. James Doohan is a really good narrator That s first and foremost here Just a great person to have doing a bunch of these audio books.Beyond that, enh This book isn t BAD, and it tries to do some good things a lot depth given to McCoy s history with his ex, Jocelyn , but overall there s too much goofiness assassins as a cultural imperative no, really to keep this book held together. No review of a Star Trek novel can be begin without a clear statement of bias I am a huge Star Trek nerd Huge I love all things Star Trek prime universe I acknowledge that not all Star Trek content created in the prime universe is great Heaven knows how bad Enterprise and Voyager were, but I love the concept of the fictional universe in which the Star Trek narratives take place.If that didn t mean anything to you, the rest of my review, and the repeated casual mentions of characters Trekkies are familiar with than members of their own family, won t mean much, either.While I have watched every episode of TOS and we re working our way through every episode of TNG, I read so few Star Trek novels At least 80% of what I read is non fiction, but every once in a while, I like to spoil myself with science fiction or Star Trek, specifically I really do use fiction as a treat to reward myself for reading heavier stuff, so it s important to me that my treat be particularly good.This one was forgettable Looking up Michael Jan Friedman s author credits, the man has written a substantial library of Star Trek stories, and if presented with another Friedman book, I would probably read it, but this one felt like the script of an episode I wouldn t have particularly cared for.Shadows on the Sun does a few things It fills out and darkens the tone of Bones backstory, describing the marriage and divorce that nearly literally drove him into space The character doesn t really need to be morose than Bones already is All his backstory does is rip a bandaid off a decades old wound that will never heal Frankly, I thought that what this story does to him is just cold and cruel.It also sets up a new civilization that, frankly, the Federation probably should never have gotten involved with in the first place They re just a mess Friedman tries to set up some moral equivalency dilemmas with them, and I get it, I do To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, and all, but this culture is historically a hot mess If I came across them, I would tell Chekov to plot a course for home and tell Sulu ahead, warp factor nope As antagonists go, these baddies have a badly broken societal moral compass, which is a major thread of the entire plot.Friedman does a mostly good job of making the characters sound like the characters There are a couple out of character moments for Spock, who really has had all the character development that one man can take over the course of his role in the Star Trek universe, considering that the events of this book come after Star Trek VI The Undiscovered Country Leave Spock alone Kirk seems morbidly subdued in this book, although given what he and Bones went through in that movie, that is understandable.The one thing that drove me nuts about this book was how it jumped through multiple timelines, forward and backward Yes, I m aware that that is a thing that authors sometimes do, but authors should know that unless it is absolutely impossible to tell the story any other way, that really irritates me.Was this book bad No, that would be an overstatement It just wasn t the fun and enjoyable treat that I was looking for. I didn t think I would like this book as much as I do because I am a ST TNG girl than TOS right now However, when I saw the cover of this book I gasped for joy because it seemed like it would have all the drama I would need in a Michael Jan Friedman book And I was right After reading the introduction, I thought, what the hell and dove nose deep into this book and haven t regretted it since.The story takes place shortly before the retirement of the Enterprise crew sans Sulu The novel is based heavily around McCoy s past and includes many wonderful arcs that develop later in which the reader sees the events that have, unfortunately, shaped Dr McCoy into the venerable smartass that everyone loves Damn it, Jim I m a doctor, not a The two main story lines revolve around some heavy tragedies surrounding McCoy the first of which surrounds the diplomatic mission of Alpha Gederix VI in which his ex wife and her new husband are involved, and the second which revolves around McCoy s time he spent on Ssan during the war against Li Moboron Both stories actually tie into a third story in which the climax is revealed and the reader sees how Dr McCoy prevails after all of the tragedy brought forth in this little, 340 page book.I was impressed, thrilled, and saddened thoughout this book, but I think MJF did a wonderful job with this rollercoaster ride revolving around McCoy s love, hate, and sorrow, in which McCoy prevails emotionally and starts to move away from his past not to mention the ideals and social issues of a Samurai esque culture within the Ssani Assassins hinting that they are much fierce than any Klingon Warrior This book is an easy, yet unforgettable read totally worth it The author captured Bones really well and gave a section of his history as a trainee med student that was entertaining, dramatic and truly fascinating to read In the end we gain a much better understanding of just how our favorite country doctor became the man that we know and love so well.The nature of the assassin culture on Ssan provided many opportunities for comparing philosophical views and naturally created moments that challenged McCoy s character and personal ethics.A fantastic read overall, I really liked it a lot. Fantastic read And Mr Friedman made me a character in the novel How could I not like it Took a while to get into was also reading a bunch of other stuff , but I ended up getting through most of the second half in the last 24 or so hours Remember that being an issue with multiple previous reads of Friedman s longer in depth books, going back 15 years to my first exposure to Trek lit I actually waited until I finished my TOS and associated movies binge watch recently because this was set right after Undiscovered Country, but that turned out to be all but incidental.McCoy was always my favorite of the original triumvirate, and as the last sentence may have implied I had been looking forward to this one for a while It wasn t bad or anything the Ssan world building was effective and surprisingly intense medically detailed at points , and Jocelyn s exposition dump to Kirk when they re both imprisoned added a little southern gentry intrigue to her and her husband s backstory although 22nd century Scarlett O Hara she isn t I dunno Reqiuem by the same author was a lean read that I plowed through in less than 24 hoursmaybe Friedman s just compelling with TNG, although I m pretty sure I just prefer Diane Duane and have always preferred Peter David when it comes to Treklit as an adult. The Chief Medical Officer On The USS Enterprise Relives Years Of His Life As He Attempts To Save From Alien Assassination The Only Woman He Ever Loved His Ex Wife Who Once Nearly Destroyed Him A Long Awaited, Sure To Be A Blockbuster Star Trek Novel I ve definitely read worse, but if the ending sucks, it ruins the whole story for me, and this ending was a disappointment no satisfying resolution, just kill em off Really Sad and disappointing.And what was Clay doing in the diplomatic corp anyway He seems to be the least diplomatic person in the entire novel I can only imagine that any successes he had before his wife joined him were either blind luck or coincidence I kept expecting a reveal that their success as a team was actually all Jocelyn s doing And then he says at the end that he plans to continue on I hate to think of all the conflicts he goes on to screw up He was worse than useless in that meeting with the Ssana governor That scene reads like a very not subtle effort by the author to have the reader dislike him, but he writes him as seeming to be an incompetent jacka while refusing to actually ever acknowledge his incompetence Annoying. I honestly found this to be one of the best McCoy centric novels in the entire collection of Star Trek novels I ve managed to find and read It gives us some insight into his past, his family life and we see an interesting glimpse into the life of pre Enterprise McCoy and it ties into their present dilemma.Like most ST TOS novels it is likely not everyone s cup of tea but it does have really good characterization and easily paints the scene in the mind.
Michael Jan Friedman is an author of than seventy books of fiction and nonfiction, half of which are in the Star Trek universe Eleven of his titles have appeared on the New York Times Best Seller list Friedman has also written for network and cable television and radio, and scripted nearly 200 comic books, including his original DC superhero series, the Darkstars.
- 340 pages
- Shadows on the Sun (Star Trek)
- Michael Jan Friedman
- 07 December 2019 Michael Jan Friedman