Star Trek: The Original Series: Allegiance In Exile: by David R. George, III
This is a Kirk and Sulu centric novel set in the last year of the five-year mission aboard The Enterprise based on "The Original Series." This is the twelfth novel penned by the author in various Star Trek genre, most notably among those are "Provenance of Shadows, The Star to Every Wandering, and The Fire and the Rose," all in "The Original Series."
The story unfolds with Kirk thinking about the past 4 years of adventures and contemplating what might happen to him after the last year of exploration has been accomplished. During an exploratory mission to the fringes of Federation Space, Kirk's thinking process is about to change as The Enterprise enters the R-755 system. While exploring this system, a Class-M planet R-755-I, has but one city that has been surprisingly destroyed, with no signs of life. Finding this odd, Kirk sends a landing party to the surface, but the crew members on the surface, as well as those back on The Enterprise are not prepared for what is about to happen. Thus, the adventure begins, again, for The Enterprise and her crew.
This book has action-adventure, intrigue, mystery and some strong character development as the four out five-year mission has brought some of the crew closer, as others find relationships and mature. The Enterprise gets new people when it makes a port-of-call or is in for repairs as we find this to be the case with exploratory missions. On such a crew rotation, an archaeologist, Ensign Trinh fresh out of Starfleet Academy, catches the eye of Sulu. Now, Sulu falls in love with Ensign Trinh.
Now, we have a budding romance, coupled with a dangerous mission, bringing out a plethora of emotions between members of the crew. This makes for an interesting lively read as the whole gambit of emotions are played out.
I could add more details about the mission, Kirk's relationships with Starfleet, Sulu and Trinh, and the resolution of the story, but that would take away from some of the suspense and surprise. I would prefer that you read the book. But what I can reveal, there is tragedy, anger, great loss and some serious soul searching. The author has made a point through this writing that there is more to the primary characters than what you have been exposed to in the past, making these characters more human, suffering human foibles and frailties, not just icons in a story. I must say that I enjoyed reading a book that used the English language in a more descriptive nature.
Although, I have read more interesting Star Trek adventures, this is a good change of pace. The characters of Kirk and Sulu are the most predominate in this story, there is a good sub-plot, added mystery, and enough fill-in development of the ancillary characters and the story itself, to carry this novel. I enjoyed "Allegiance in Exile" as I finished it in one night. The author knows these characters well and the tenor of the book is well-paced, with an intriguing mysterious alien race to finish the book. Making the reader wondering if we are to meet them in a future adventure, a cleaver dove tail to segway into another novel.
Check these references to The Ascendants: (DS9 novel: "Rising Son"), (DS9 novel: "Worlds of Deep Space Nine: The Dominion: Olympus Descending"), (DS9 novel: "Warpath"), (DS9 novel: "The Soul Key"), (ST - Typhon Pact novel: "Rough Beasts of Empire").
The Ascendants are a long-lived humanoid species native to the Gamma Quadrant. They are a race of religious zealots that are intrinsically linked with the Eav'oq, the Bajorans, and the Prophets of Bajor, on a crusade to join with their gods called "The True". The Ascendants are typically taller than the average humanoid, they have a cool exterior body temperature and an exoskeleton which covers their entire body. Veins run through the exoskeleton and when injured, the damaged parts become discolored. The armor itself is very fluid-looking, and is silver in color, matching the color of Ascendant skin, giving the illusion that it is made of expanding mercury.
The Ascendants at some point in history lost their home-world and became a nomadic species, spending their lives roaming space in their quest to seek the Fortress and purge blasphemers.