Friday, 20 September 2013

Star Trek: Starfleet Academy: Crisis on Vulcan - Brad & Barbara Strickland



Title: Crisis on Vulcan
Author: Brad & Barbara Strickland
Published: 1996
Chronological Period: 2248

Available at:
Amazon
Amazon UK

Review:
I read "Crisis on Vulcan" as part of my Star Trek Chronological Reading Challenge and realised that it was the first Young Adult Star Trek book I have actually ever read. I think I skipped them when I was a teenager myself and just went straight onto the adult books. This was probably a shame because whilst I did enjoy it I think I would have been even more impressed had I read it when I was younger.

The plot follows a young Spock who accompanies his father, Sarek on a diplomatic mission to the planet Maranth on a diplomatic mission. However, when the pair begin their journey home aboard the USS Enterprise, the ship is attacked by a faction from Maranth who are not happy with the peace deal just brokered by Sarek. Spock happens to be on the bridge at the time and manages to help the crew facilitate an escape for the Enterprise, but in doing so he plants a seed of doubt in his own mind about his own future. Therefore we follow Spock as he tries to decide if he should continue with his plans to go the Vulcan Science Academy or if he should abandon them and actually join Starfleet Academy.

To be honest the plot itself was rather standard and full of quick fix solutions but I still found it surprisingly fascinating and enjoyable. This was because I loved seeing Spock's interactions with both his parents and the way in which Vulcan society dealt with his half-human nature. There were also some rather insightful elements for the intended YA audience as the narrative tried to highlight the internal struggles of a character growing up and seeing how their choices could radically affect their life.

I do have one little niggle with the book and that is in regards to the sub-title which is a little bit misleading. Whilst this is part of the Starfleet Academy grouping of novels there isn't actually any time spent at the academy. The story covers Spock's life prior to joining the Academy which I had no issue with but people should be aware of this before they pick up the novel.

Overall, this is a quick and easy read that uncovers a little bit about both Spock's family life and Vulcan society. I have defiantly read more complex Star Trek novels before, but it was definitely entertaining enough to please any young fan of Star Trek and I think many adults would enjoy following some of Spock's youth.