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Star Trek: Into Darkness
on 4 September 2014
This is a review of the novelisation of the Star Trek: Into Darkness story, the film of which was released in 2013. The novelisation has been done by Alan Dean Foster, who has written many film novelisations (including other Star Trek films), as well as his own original sci-fi and fantasy novels. I would imagine there's a bit of an art to writing novelisations of films, knowing what to describe (which would normally be a visual experience for a movie audience), and how much extra detail to put in the novelisation, as well as whether script lines from a movie can translate into a written medium etc.
I thought this was a very readable Star Trek story, which stood well in its own right. I can't say I'm a great fan of the "prequel" Star Trek series of movies which are now coming out, being more of a fan of the classic original Star Trek tv series, but I thought this was an enjoyable Star Trek novel which had a solid backbone of story to it. Here, we see the young brash Kirk, the stoic logical Spock, and the beginnings of the characters that we got to know and love in the original Star Trek series - McCoy, Scotty, Sulu, Uhura and Chekov. They are all well characterised, and you can see how the older characters (who we, confusingly got to know first) have their origins in these younger versions.
The story has Kirk and Spock with the crew of the Enterprise being pulled into a manhunt for a man who has apparently set up a terrorist attack on a secret Federation facility. But there's a lot more to this story than that, and not for the first time Kirk's impulsiveness puts the Enterprise and the crew at risk, but all comes right in the end (of course) and the Federation lives to see another few millennia. But not before Kirk meets a man who is going to come back and haunt him in his later life, more than once. The story has its "shock and awe" value in this unveiling of the mystery persona, which has its own twists and turns in terms of morality, ethics and `the greater good' versus the Federation's purpose, and the Prime Directive. A good story, well novelised in this book by Alan Dean Foster, this should appeal to most Star Trek fans looking for an easy but engaging Star Trek read.