BOOK REVIEW: STAR TREK THE ORIGINAL SERIES – SHADOW OF THE MACHINE / AUTHOR: SCOTT HARRISON / PUBLISHER: POCKET BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Star Trek The Original Series - Shadow of the Machine is a direct sequel to the Star Trek The Motion Picture and tells the tale of what happens next after Kirk, Spock, and Sulu went home to recover from their encounter with V’ger. It does this in the most literal sense possible; it is a story about these iconic and heroic characters going home.
Much like the movie it’s based on, it is strangely appealing and quite flawed. This is not a novella with much action in it; much like some of the pipes on the Enterprise, it goes nowhere and does nothing. Each character experiences a personal journey and reflects on how V’ger has changed their lives. Scott Harrison gets each character’s motivations and feelings completely spot on; Spock’s logic, Kirk’s energy and Sulu’s compassion are all brilliantly portrayed. This is an emotional drama focusing on the unique aspects of the Enterprise crew and is solely a character examination and nothing more.
Despite the story boldly going nowhere, nevertheless Harrison crafts an engaging tale of three men, each with different ways of coping with stress, coming to terms with the death of friends. This is a slow but short read. Nothing happens at the start and nothing continues all the way to the end, meaning that the reader has no reason to turn the page. However, the characters are so clear in your mind and the author captures the spirit of the show so well that it’s hard not to keep reading. Despite knowing that this tale is nothing more than a character study and flexing of narrative muscle, it’s still a fascinating, if not thrilling, read.
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