Top critical review
Makes Number One look like an idiot
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on October 5, 2016
Nearly all of this story is about the woman Star Trek fans know as Number One. Not only would I prefer that at least HALF of a TOS novel be about Kirk and Spock, but the story makes Number One look like an idiot. We're TOLD that she's blindingly competent, but every time we see her in action, she makes stupid decisions and seems kind of bumbling.
The author forces his characters and their technology to behave the way he wants them to, regardless of whether or not this is realistic. So people equipped with tricorders do not scan for local inhabitants and are surprised and captured by them, even when they know that local inhabitants exist. It seems as if "do a scan with your tricorder before getting out of the shuttle" would be a Week 1 lesson at Starfleet Academy, but it's evidently beyond a woman that we're told is gosh, oh, so wonderfully competent. Oh, and it's possible to put multiple bugs -- both cameras and sound -- in the captain's quarters without anyone detecting them, even though a highly important object was stolen from those same quarters earlier in the book, so one would think Kirk or Spock or Scotty -- probably all three -- would be on their guard.
When Kirk and Spock do put in their rare appearances, they aren't always in character. For example, when Kirk tells Spock that his piloting stinks, Spock replies, "If I had feelings, they would be hurt." SPOCK said that? No way! Totally out of character.
The story is not uninteresting, and the tie-in to the technology in "Mirror, Mirror" was intriguing, but if I'm reading a Star Trek novel, I want the characters to be IN character, I want them NOT to behave in weirdly stupid ways, and I want the book to be mostly about Kirk and Spock, not mostly about a minor character from the first pilot.
I've read FAN fiction better than this book. Is it too much to ask that the book be mostly about Kirk and Spock and that they be in character?