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Section 31: Cloak Bk.3 (Star Trek: The Original) Mass Market Paperback – 6 Aug 2001

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 211 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (6 Aug. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671774719
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671774714
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 1.7 x 10.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 612,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

Cloak is the original series entry in the Star Trek Section 31 quartet of novels, and sees Captain Kirk investigating what appears to be an act of treachery by another Starfleet captain. The Enterprise rescues a runaway starship, the Sphinx, only to find its entire crew dead due to a life-support malfunction, while the captain, Jack Casden, was murdered by a man whose identity nobody can trace. Kirk is pulled off the case, but refuses to give it up altogether. When the officer in charge of the investigation, an old friend, dies under mysterious circumstances, Kirk becomes even more determined to get to the bottom of the mystery. Scotty discovers that the Sphinx has been in contact with a cloaking device, and Casden is posthumously accused of collaborating with the Romulans. Spock goes to question the Romulan commander from whom the Enterprise stole a cloaking device a few months before, while Kirk tries to discover who killed his friend. Predictably, he is distracted by an attractive young woman scientist, but doesn't allow romance to get in the way of his investigation for long. Behind everything is the shadowy presence of Section 31, the autonomous intelligence agency that answers to no one. Like the other books in the series, this one contains more moral ambiguity than is common in the Star Trek universe, although Kirk, like all the other regular characters, is completely opposed to Section 31 and everything it stands for. The plot moves forward at a fast pace, the characterisations are good, and the denouement exciting. This is a solid entry in the series. -- Elizabeth Sourbut

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On the bridge of the Enterprise, Captain James T. Kirk sat back in his chair, glad that he wouldn't have to endure yet another physical. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By on 17 Aug. 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
For those fans who liked watching the original episode of Star Trek, which featured the acquisition of The Romulan Empire's Cloaking Device, this novel follows nicely on, and details what happened to the Enterprise and Her Crew afterwards... This Novel brings the television series to life and when you read it, you wish that this could be made into a televised episode...
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By Rory Q on 18 July 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I recently read S.D. Perry's DS9 relaunch books and was blown away by her grasp of the characters, and the intelligent way all the threads of the story interacted. And so, I was expecting the same from this.

The characterisations of Kirk, Spock and McCoy were accurate enough - Chekov's portrayal I'm not so sure about, and Sulu was relegated to fetching coffee.

As the other reviewers have pointed out, Kirk's attraction to Suni seems a bit forced and he too quickly falls into the "This Is The One" attitude, which perplexed me.

The biggest let down of this book was Section 31's actual involvement - being practically zero (save being the only two surviving words on a garbled data chip). I was expecting a closer look at how 31 operated, how they'd managed to avoid detection since Starfleet's inception, how they subtly manipulated the quadrant's politics in the dubious interest of the Federation.

Really, what happened here was nothing more than a covert operation that some of Starfleet's top brass blundered around. And to add to it, McCoy's story throughout the book served no purpose, other than to give him a reason to visit the Lantaru Sector.

On the other side of the coin - I felt the author managed to capture the feel of the 60s series quite well, that certain charm the show has, bright colours and fun-looking environment, while hosting some very dark themes.

Also, the tie-in with later series, most notably Voyager's "The Omega Directive" and why Janeway reacted as she did, was very cleverly done. It wasn't done in a way that you felt clobbered over the head with it, and certainly didn't affect the reader's enjoyment if they haven't seen the Voyager episode. A testament to Perry's abilities.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Original Series installment of the "Section 31 " series is a good start with some good characterisation and some nice links with later series.
The best part of this novel is the link with this novel and the Star Trek:Voyager episode "The Omega Directive"
The novel let itself down with the over-play of Kirk's womanising and the very predictiable way that the affection of Kirk's attention ended up been a two-dimensional character which could have been explored more to make her more interesting.
All in all a good start with a few parts that could have been made more interesting...
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 July 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Some authors have the ability to capture the essence of characters and some just miss the point. Unfortunately S.D Perry falls into the latter category! Dont get me wrong the book was quite and enjoyable read, but their are some problems with the characterisations.
Firstly Perry felt a need to explore and justify Kirks womanising ways. I always imagined that the whole universe accepted Kirk as a swashbuckler, you know the type, flirting with woman and danger. But Perry has portrayed his womanisng ways as an issue, that good therapy would resolve.
Anyway moving on the interaction between our usual suspects, Kirk, McCoy and Spock is non-existant and the way McCoys illness is resolved was anti-clamatic.
There are some very good aspects to this book, a nice quick start and a conspiracy, but it all too quickly unravels to become a very average novel.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 34 reviews
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
An enjoyable classic Trek read 13 July 2001
By Michael Hickerson - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After two rather disappointing novels (Rogue and Shadow), the Section 31 novels take a dramatic upturn in terms of quality and storytelling with S.D. Perry's third Trek novel in as mnay months, Cloak. Set firmly in Trek's third season, this novel does what the best Trek novels can and should do--take threads from various episodes and weave them into an interesting, intellignet story. The book succeeds in large part because we get to see some background to events that occur during the third season--most notably McCoy's finding out about his illness that we'll hear about in "For the World is Hollow...." and his coming to grips with that. We've got some nice character work done with Kirk and Perry attempts to explain just why Kirk had so many relationships the third season and does a pretty good job of it.
All of the original series characters are in fine form here. Each gets to contribue a little something to the storyline and the premise. Slipping into and out of Cloak is like seeing old friends--you get to remember things about them you'd forgotten. It's a wonderful and enjoying book that's just right for the summer reading season.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Not on par with "Rogue" nor "Abyss," but quite good. 1 July 2001
By Jonathan Burgoine - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The last in the "Section 31" series I read of the four, "Cloak" brings Section 31 to the Star Trek original series era. Now, I feel it only fair to warn that I have truthfully read nearly none of the original era books in the Star Trek line, and don't often pick them up.
The strengths of "Rogue" and "Abyss," however, made me decide to take the plunge and I'm glad I did. "Cloak" is a good novel, has an excellent place in the Star Trek continuum, but fell short in a few ways.
The characters were very well written, and with a depth I must admit I'd not attributed to the original series characters before. The author's choice to place this story in a timeframe near to some major events in the original series television episodes was a good one, especially on the front of Dr. McCoy.
However, "Section 31" barely seems to be involved in the book. Kirk and company find a runaway starship with a dead crew aboard, and try to unravel the mystery of its sabotaged state, but you don't even get a ghost of Section 31 until the near end of the book, and I was left feeling a little bit shortchanged - I'd rather expected to get a little bit more into the origins of Section 31 with this book, but this book delves the shallowest into the organization of all four books in this series.
All of that aside, I did enjoy this book. The inclusion of such things as the Omega Particle was excellent for continuity, and Spock's brush with the Romulan Commander was very well placed. If I could, I'd give this a "3.5" stars, not just 3.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Good effort 3 Oct. 2001
By Steven Y. - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This Section 31 story is pretty routine stuff but the thing about the book that did impress me was author S.D. Perry's firm knowledge of Star Trek continuity. Eagle-eyed fans will notice elements of the book that tie in directly with episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager as well as various episodes of Classic Star Trek. The foreshadowing of McCoy's illness also gives the book a feeling that it is a Classic Star Trek episode placed firmly in the series's third season. I would have enjoyed a little more exploration of Section 31's activities in the 23rd century but all in all the book is a satisfying romp. A good effort that had the potential to be great.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Interesting, well-written, but ultimately unsatisfying. 10 Oct. 2001
By James Yanni - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This story is well-written, and the characters are handled well. The part of the story dealing with section 31 is handled EXTREMELY well, contrary to the complaints of many of the reviewers here; of COURSE the conflict between Kirk & co. and Section 31 is very shadowy; it's a shadow organization, and any time it gets into direct conflict, it has failed in its mission. And I get the impression it doesn't fail often. That's the beauty of Section 31 as a "villain" for a story; it's SUBTLE, and not easily confronted, much less defeated.
Another thing that the story manages well is to place itself squarely in a specific time frame, namely between the original series episodes, "The Enterprise Incident" and "For The World Is Hollow, And I Have Touched The Sky". This lends a real feeling of authenticity to the story; unfortunately, it also leads to the biggest flaw: if James Kirk was aware of the existence of Section 31 from that point on, and was working covertly to fight them (as is suggested in the epilogue) there should have been some hint of this later in the series. The fact that there wasn't indicates that he was not. Therefore, the very feeling of authenticity that the author works so hard to accomplish defeats itself. It would have been better if Kirk had simply been left uneasily aware that something was wrong, but unable to specify what it was. Then the story would have fit into the continuity perfectly, and it would have been a perfect Section 31 adventure: their immediate plot is foiled, but they remain hidden for future plots.
The book is an enjoyable read, but doesn't QUITE handle the subject matter in an ideal manner.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The second best of the Section 31 series 11 Dec. 2001
By Jamy Shaffer - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have found that most of the best Trek novels do one thing: they elaborate on already established novels and/or television episodes. This one does and also foreshadows the events of "For the Earth is Hollow and I have Touched the Sky." We see again the Romulan Commander whom Spock was drawn to in "Enterprise Incident," although she has never been given a name. We also learn about Dr. McCoy's fatal disease. However, in previous novels, didn't Bones have a daughter named Joanna? I know that the novels are not generally considered to be part of the overall Trek cannon but would it not be appropriate to include details as important as the existance of one's children in such an important time in one's life? Especially when the doctor felt that he had no family to tell about his illness.
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