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In The Name Of Honor: Star Trek The Original Series (Star Trek: The Original Series Book 97) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
For an author who started to write in the "Strange New Worlds" competition Dayton Ward is excelent. He has even included some tlhIngan (klingon) words in there.
Although I haven't talked about the plot a lot, I don't want to spoil it for you because it is *so* good.
It fits in well with the films, being written after they have been created. Gorkon gets some mention, and the peace conferences set up the scene for STVI.
Read it or else!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
For a first time author, Ward does an admirable job of creating a page-turner of a novel. The book weighs in at well over 300 pages but it never feels long or as if it were being padded. If anything, at the end of the novel, you'll feel the book is too short because of the attention and care Ward has given to each of the plotlines. Ward takes the original series cast and runs with them, giving each character something to do and pairing them with another Klingon who is equally interesting and brings a lot to the novel. It's to Ward's credit that his secondary characters that he created himself are both interesting and memorable--I've read far too many Trek Klingon tomes where the secondary Klingon characters tend to jumble together. This is not the case here. Ward also litters the storyline with nice references to the Original Series and TNG. There's even a reference to Enterprise as well!
In my mind, there are three types of Trek books:
1. The type that tells a story that is a good sci-fi story but may not necessarily fit the Trek universe.
2. The type that tells a good Trek story with the characters acting the way we've come to expect based on the series but doesn't try and break any new ground.
3. The type that has the characters acting like they should but also tries to answer some unanswered questions and may draw upon several episodes of one series or attempt to try together some strings from various series into a coherent book.
Wards first effort falls into the category of the third novel, something that is, at times, extremely rare in today's Trek fiction. In a lot of ways, this book had me thinking of one of my favorite older Trek novels, The Final Reflection for what it attempts to do with the backstory of the Klingons. And Ward pulls off the transition between the end of the original crews days and the beginning of TNG with remarkable wit and style.
Finally, the book is just plain fun to read. The writing style is light and accessible and never heavy-handed. Ward has a sense of humor--and while it's not as broad as Peter David's it still works well.
All in all, a good start to the Trek publishing year.
The first book I looked at was In the Name of Honor, by Dayton Ward. The first thing that struck me was the dynamic cover. The Klingon war ship swooping over the canyon, firing away, was just beautiful. The insides were pretty good, too. I think you should probably be a Star Trek fan, or at least follow the series a bit, before you pick this up. The book just wallows in continuity.
The basic plot is that there is a peace conference going on between the Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire. They have been hostile toward each other since before the time of the original Trek series. About six years ago, a Federation ship was attacked by a Klingon cruiser. Prisoners were taken, but it was done secretly. Only a few high-ranking people knew about them. The Federation thought the ship was destroyed with no survivors. Now, with the peace talks happening, word has reached other Klingons that these prisoners exist. The Empire is undergoing some radical philosophical changes (in series terms, they're moving from the evil-doers of the Original Series to the honourbound Klingons of the Next Generation TV series), and the taking of these prisoners and holding them secretly is not honourable. The original higher-ups would make the problem go away if it was ever discovered.
Koloth, one of Kirk's Klingon enemies from the episode "The Trouble with Tribbles," brings this information to Captain Kirk, at the request of Councilor Gorkon. He wants a full disclosure to the Federation, but realizes that the original conspirators would have the prisoners killed if it was brought up. So Koloth brings the information to Kirk and they hatch a plan to launch a daring rescue of the prisoners. Meanwhile, opponents of the peace talks (including these conspirators) are trying to disrupt the conference. Kirk and Sulu go on the rescue mission while Spock and the rest of the crew deal with the crisis at the peace talks.
This book takes place between the movies Star Trek V and Star Trek VI. If you follow the Star Trek mythos, then this is important because it helps you place the personalities of some of the characters, as well as some of the events. Gorkon is the Klingon Chancellor in Star Trek VI, but he's a relatively new councilor in this book, for example. The book tries very hard to set everything up for the beginning of the sixth movie. For awhile, I was wondering how he was going to do that in Kirk's instance, because Kirk seemed to be learning to tolerate Klingons, and at the beginning of the sixth movie, he was virulently anti-Klingon. However, Ward does do a good job of setting that up so it makes sense. Circumstances occur that make it logical.
As I said earlier, though, the book just oozes continuity. I counted references to at least 10 original series episodes (Koloth and another Klingon are from one episode, and Commander Garrovick is from another episode). Unfortunately, the book grinds to a halt every time Ward has to give a short plot summary of that episode. It's especially annoying when you already remember the episode and get the reference without the explanation. Many of these references are just off-hand remarks, which makes them even more avoidable. I'm not even going to get into Ward's hinted explanation for the differences in appearance between the Original Series Klingons and the Movie/Next Generation Klingons (i.e. the ridged foreheads), because I'd never be able to do it justice in this limited space. Let's just say that the hinting was a bit too cute for my taste. Unfortunately, given the story, it was unavoidable. It would have been nice, at the very least, to not have to deal with why Koloth changed in appearance from an Original Series Klingon to a Movie Klingon.
The book does have its good points, though. It's well written for a first book (Ward has been previously published in the three fan anthologies published by Pocket Books). It's not standout writing, but it's certainly readable and not annoying. The story is interesting and the regular characters are well done. There are no glaring characterization problems, which can sometimes be a hazard with TV tie-in fiction. I definitely enjoyed my time reading it, but then I'm a Trekkie at heart. If you don't follow the series, however, I can't see that much in this story that would make you want to change that.
With a well balanced and skillfully paced plot the story is wonderful. The characterizations of the familiar characters are spot on and the various Klingon personalities interesting three dimensional characters. As the story unfolds it not only fills in the gaps left by the series and movies about that era of Klingon history, but helps explain the dramatic change in Kirk's attitude toward his long time adversaries. Pick up a copy of this book today. It is a thoroughly enjoyable adventure.
There are several references in this novel to events that have taken place in Star Trek movies of yesteryear, Dayton Ward achieved this seamlessly and to great effect. But to me the best points in this book was it's strong personal and emotional content, and philosophical musings. Every Star Trek fan understands the relationship Kirk has with the Klingons, ever since his son David Marcus was murdered by one of them, and this relationship affects Kirk as he deals with this new crises involving Klingons and the Federation. The Klingon Empire is in a state of disarray, with honor, as the Klingons define it, at stake. It is interesting to read about how members of the Federation and of the Klingon Empire view things differently.
I found this to be one of the better Star Trek novels I have read, and I highly recommend it.
But In the Name of Honor is different. Dayton Ward isn't a writer looking to make a quick buck. He's not an author who's bordom shows through with every new Star Trek book he spits out. He's a fan who genuinely cares about the series, and it really shows in this novel. Kirk was Kirk. Sulu was Sulu. And the Klingons were both believable and multi-faceted, not just the flat one-dimensional villains that often pop up in these pages. The plot was well-conceived and Ward keeps you turning the pages.
I've pretty much given up on Star Trek, and only read this book because it was given to me as a gift. Most of my attention has lately focused on quality young adult books, like Harry Potter and King Fortis the Brave written by authors who, like Dayton Ward, really love what they are doing and it shows in their work. But if a few more books like this are published, instead of the gruel that Pocket Books has lately been trying to force-feed us, I may start buying these books again.