“I speak from experience,” Mr. Spock said coldly. People are continually asking me to play roles in petty emotional melodramas in which I have asked neither to be cast nor directed.”
Well, we go from the wonder and joy of “Uhura’s Song” to this. I don’t know what this is.
Prince Vikram, 9th in line to the throne of the planet Angira, was sent to the Federation to study and bring back new modernized ways to his planet. Spock and Sulu travel with him back to Angira, where the people are unhappy about the modernizations and are rebelling. They are swept up in the fighting and Vikram’s quest across the planet.
Random Thoughts Written Down as I Read:
I was wondering why the heck this is a Star Trek novel and I thought I’d figured it out when I read this about “Uhura’s Song:” “Timescape did not accept novels from previously-unpublished authors – but the Star Trek line did, and Hartwell suggested it as an avenue for qualifying as a published author.” However, Laurence Yep is a Newbery and Laura Ingalls Wilder -Medal winning author who was publishing a decade before the release of this novel. So I cannot explain this blemish on Yep or Star Trek.
Again, I don’t know who that is on the cover, since Prince Vikram is described as pear-shaped, furry, with extremely long legs and wearing henna in his facial fur and mascara on his eyes. Not all Greatest-American-Hero-but-taller. He is also wearing only one boot on his leg. And thank goodness, because two boots on one leg would just look silly.
The prologue is 31 pages long.
Prince Vikram eats with his hands and seems rather effete. NTTAWWT. He offers to do Uhura’s hair, waggles his fingers, balances wineglasses on his fingertips, fluffs his own curls. I’m not sayin’ I’m just sayin.’
Angira is similar to Meiji Japan. Paperclips and carbon paper are high tech. So why has the Federation even made contact? What happened to the Prime Directive?
Spock is shirty. Is that the word? Prissy. Disdainful. He smiles.
A false priest tries to kill Vikram! But it’s only the end of chapter 1 so I am not worried. BUT. Three warriors follow the priest! But it’s only the beginning of chapter 2 so I’m still not worried. BUT! Two more assassins follow the warriors! It’s like a clown car! But I’m still not worried. But wait! It’s a palace revolt so Vikram and company must flee!
They call on the Hounds for help. They were the Emperor’s guards, now disbanded and derelict. Think of The Three Musketeers. No really. Go read that instead of the crappy little retelling here.
Chapter 3 and we still haven’t escaped the palace. But we have spent 2 long paragraphs describing Sulu stabbing an opponent as we escape into the dungeons.
They travel the passageways for several hours and after an hour they begin to realize they are lost. They stumble upon a torture chamber, recently used, but currently unoccupied.
Except by a nest of giant beetles! They are trapped! The beetles look like earwigs and you must kill them to get them to release their pincers! They escape the chamber! But find themselves blocked by a fall of rubble! They dig themselves out! But are blocked by a locked door! I’m put in mind of the opening of “Get Smart!”
Vikram likens himself to Hamlet. It is inapt.
Now we join Rahu, the Usurper! I don’t care!
We seem to have forgotten the Angirans are 8 feet tall and Sulu and Spock are not. I don’t care. No one else does.
Vikram’s party is set upon by bandits! They fight! They exchange witty banter! Spock is injured in the hip by a spear! They are saved by villagers! The villagers take them hostage! They are rescued by Bibil’s father! They finally treat Spock’s wound after eating dinner!
Lord Bhima finds the remains of the bandits from the above paragraph! I don’t care!
Vikram’s party is broken out of jail! They must leave Spock behind! They are caught as they leave! Probably because they stood around discussing how good-hearted everyone is! Vikram shows off his master swordsmanship! The militia runs away! They climb over the village wall! I still don’t care!
Vikram is unique (pronounced yoo-nee-kway). He references Camelot and says he is not Arthur. You’re telling me, brother.
They enter Kotah by the ‘back door,’ if you know what I mean, and if you do, don’t bother telling me because I just really don’t care.
They cross a rope bridge over a water-filled gorge! Lord Bhima traps them on the bridge! History is written by the winners! Lawyers quibble over words, not deeds! Sulu cuts a bridge cable! They swing down into the river! There is a large animal under water! Forget about it because the author does!
The plan to cut the cable is explained twice and it isn’t exciting either time. Also, it takes 4 pages to cut.
Urmi can’t swim! There is NO waterfall threatening our heroes! Wait…what?
Lord Bhima captures Spock! Nobody cares, least of all, me! Vikram speechifies about everyone being part of the same world! I guess he’s growing up but I don’t care!
Vikram and Sulu are taken into protective custody by the clan elders! Vikram’s old nursemaid shames the elders into releasing them! Vikram takes the elders into protective custody! I guess you had to be there!
Spock coughs because of his wound. The one in his hip. I think it means he’s dying. Why do dying people cough?
Vikram’s army of 6,000 marches! Rahu’s army of 30,000 go to meet them! 300! Sulu is Vikram’s bannerman! Oh! My! God! This is the most boring and repetitive battle ever! And I still don’t care!
Urmi shoots and kills an enemy soldier who is sobbing as he charges. That is sad and haunting and now I will have bad dreams but the author just moves on.
Rahu’s army retreats! Vikram’s army finds Rahu and Lord Bhima waiting for them with Spock tied to a chair bleeding from his chest wound which I thought was on his hip but I can’t be arsed to go back and look it up because I don’t care!
Vikram thinks it’s a rather ugly turn of events! They duel for possession of Spock and Angira! Oh dear, I wonder who will win? Oh yeah—I don’t care! Vikram wins by using the Kurosawa move so painstakingly described in the prologue/not prologue! Never saw that coming! Rahu breaks his word because he’s a villain that way! Bhima saves Vikram with his last breath!
The Enterprise arrives back in system after it’s all over and McCoy treats Spock’s sucking hip wound and Vikram and Urmi are in love and we’re out.
“Do you think sociology is [Spock’s] secret vice? Does he read it the way other people would read porn?”