TV Tie-in Book Review

Mania Grade: B+

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  • Author: Dayton Ward
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Pages: 328
  • Price: $6.99


Klingon vs. Klingon with Captain Kirk in the middle!

By Chris Wyatt     May 29, 2002

© 2002 Pocket Books
IN THE NAME OF HONOR, despite its rather obvious title, is an exciting action-adventure. It has a cinematic sensibility that you could easily imagine played out on the big screen. In fact, the plot of this book is better than some of the plots that did make it into theaters (STAR TREK V, I'm looking in your direction).

Following the exploits of the Original crew, IN THE NAME OF HONOR can best be thought of as a prequel to STAR TREK VI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY. It explores events surrounding an early Federation/Klingon peace conference, one of the ones which leads to the treaty established in STAR TREK VI. Two factions tear apart the Klingon political contingent: those who want a newly established peace, and a very vocal minority wants to continue the Human-Klingon war.

The Klingons in favor of peace learn that there are StarFleet hostages being secretly held by a small group within the government. The ship carrying these prisoners was destroyed six years ago, all hands presumed lost.

Turmoil erupts within the Klingon Empire. The Klingons for peace want to release the prisoners, the Klingons for war want to hold them in case their needed as future bargaining chips, but the highest levels of the Klingon government are afraid of the impact the news will have on the peace process and want them killed. Because it's considered "dishonorable" to hold a prisoner in secret, these high Klingon government officials would have every trace of evidence that the prisoners had ever existed eradicated if the news were ever brought out in public.

Taking the only step he can think will work, Chancellor Gorkon (from STAR TREK VI) sends Koloth (one of the Klingons from the Classic TREK episode "The Trouble with Tribbles") to privately leak the information to Captain Kirk.

The Federation, also fearing to disrupt the peace process, sends Kirk and the Enterprise on a covert "Mission Impossible" to retrieve the missing-in-action crew members. If he is discovered, the Federation informs him, all knowledge of his actions will be disavowed. So Kirk, teaming up uncomfortably Koloth, one of his old enemies, must conduct a black op into hostile space.

The books gets right several things that the other TREK books miss. First of all, the pacing is incredible, with all sections of the book timed well. Then there is a strong antagonist, worthy of our noble crew. And also, the conspiracy element lends a good sense of jeopardy and a nice dark atmosphere.

The book isn't perfect. It stumbles over a few explanations, like the change in appearance from the old TREK Klingons to the NEXT GEN version. And at times the author, Dayton Ward, seems to strain to include every possible reference to existing TREK sources that he possibly can, making sections of the book feel like they're part narrative and part trivia quiz.

Nonetheless, the novel is definitely one of the cream of the TV tie-in crop from a promising author who clearly is passionate about the franchise. It can be recommended to any fan of TREK novels, and to fans of TREK in general.

Let's hope to see more like this from Dayton Ward. In fact, it would be interesting to see what the author could achieve if he were unchained from the commerciality of a tie-in universe. Any thoughts about creating an original universe, Mr. Ward? You might do very well with it.

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