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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars

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on 13 August 2017
Brilliant bok for fans of original series
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HALL OF FAMEon 4 August 2004
While I have long been a fan of the Star Trek series (from the original series through the successive spin-offs: Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, and the films), I rarely have time to read fiction, so it was only after great prodding on the part of a friend that I got this novel. I had once complained that the Star Trek universe seems to have far more affinity for the aggressive, combative Klingons (warrior schools, language camps, etc.) than the erudite and level-headed Vulcans. Perhaps that is why my friend thought this novel would have particular appeal. She was right.
This novel is a grafting-in of the original series, with Spock, Kirk and McCoy as primary characters, along with the rest of the usual crew of the Enterprise. It seems there is a Federation-threatening crisis on Vulcan, and the planet is in the process of a referendum, to decide whether or not to remain as part of the Federation with the humans of earth and other constituent planets. Entering in the situation is a formidible character from the original series episode Amok Time, the Vulcan mating time -- T'Pau, remarked by Kirk as being the only person to ever turn down a seat on the Federation council. Does this speak of a mistrust that could lead the Vulcans out of the Federation? The referendum is not merely a breaking of alliances, but rather an isolationism -- all Vulcans will be required to return home, or permanently exiled. All diplomatic, trade, and military ties will be severed.
The psychological and political make-up of the Vulcan world is explored from the very outset of Vulcan civilisation through different historical periods that would have made up the equivalent of classical, medieval and reformation times. One seed of Vulcan xenophobia is their first contact situation, which turned out to be with pirates who were intent on invasion and looting. As it turned out, Vulcan was a heavily armed planet at the time, warring with itself (Vulcan's history parallels Earth's in that respect), and that armament was unexpectedly turned against the invaders. Vulcans, far from evolving without emotions, displayed the most dramatic and intense emotions for a long time in their history. The character of Surek is prominent here, the one who led Vulcan out of its emotionalism for its own survival.
Another character who makes an appearance is T'Pring, Spock's 'intended', the woman to whom he was betrothed, and who subject Spock and Kirk to the combat in the mating ritual. It turns out that T'Pring has never lost interest in Spock, nor in the humiliation she suffered in front of T'Pau. Vulcans are not without emotions, it seems, but rather, a people who have mastered them to a greater degree. But not always, apparently.
Diane Duane puts chapters about the Vulcan history interspersed with the 'present day' action aboard the Enterprise as it journeys to Vulcan, and then the final debate and referendum vote. The text is engaging and well-developed in terms of fitting in with the overall narrative strands of the Star Trek universe.
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VINE VOICEon 2 June 2008
Pocket Books start off their run of hardback novels based on classic Star Trek with #01: Spock's World by Diane Duane.
The story is set in the years between Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan. Duane makes references to her own previous novels (published by Titan Books in the UK) of #4: The Romulan Way, #19: The Wounded Sky and #21: My Enemy My Ally. Although it's not critical to read these beforehand, it does give the ending away to #19 if you haven't read it yet.
Kirk, McCoy and Spock are all summoned by T'Pau to come to Vulcan. The Planetary Council has been called to vote upon the point of whether Vulcan should remain part of the Federation, or secede and remove the illogical and emotional influences of others, particularly humans, from their midst.
As the story unfolds, the depths of political manoeuvring and duplicity that have occurred in forcing this agenda into the Vulcan public consciousness are both shocking and satisfying to any fan of Classic Trek. The reintroduction of characters from the show and Duane's novels is very welcome and adds to the richness of the plot.
Alternate chapters in the story deal with important events in Vulcan's past, from the creation of the very planet itself through to Sarek's appointment as Ambassdor to Earth. These give an insight into Vulcan's past, those people who made the biggest impacts on the species and how those events rippled out to the current day.
This is not an action novel, it is all about Vulcan and reads like a well crafted political thriller, something of a departure for Trek fiction. That said, I found it to be one of the most satisfying Classic Trek novels I've read and certainly one of Duane's best. The ending was very well done and her use of McCoy as a detective was brilliant.
The speeches that Kirk, Spock and McCoy give in the council sessions are very well written, each one displaying the passion that each has in his chosen area. McCoy's is exceptionally good and his answer when dealing with a Vulcan `heckler' was a laugh out loud moment.
A worthy start to the line of Trek hardbacks and a must have for any Classic Trek library. Enjoy!
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on 22 March 1999
Spock's World by Diane Duane is the best Star Trek novel ever written, bar-none. Duane's anecdotal history of the planet Vulcan is juxtaposed with a framing sequence wherein the planet considers secession from the Federation, and the Starship Enterprise under Captain Kirk is sent to remind Vulcan "of favors done it in the past by the Federtation" ... also, to allow several of her officers to testify in the debates. The historical chapters function to inform us why Vulcan Society would consider turning inward to isolationism at this point in its history... while the Enterprise chapters show us HOW this political movement unfolded... We learn who is behind it... and, ultimately, we come away with the unshakeable sense that, for Duane, the planet Vulcan (and its... fascinating inhabitants) are very, very real... For the stretch of this novel (and perhaps for a long while afterwards), you will feel the same. (Incidentally, Duane's other classic, THE ROMULAN WAY--parts of which are excerpted in SPOCK'S WORLD--does the same for Romulans...)
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on 23 November 2012
This book is not only a deeply creative expansion of the Star Trek universe, but is fantastically written. The language Duane uses (admittedly very long winded sometimes) is so emotive and really captures the scale of space .
Alternating chapters between the current political situation of Spock, the Enterprise and Vulcan; and the evolutionary history of the planet Vulcan, Spock's World eloquently elaborates on all the aspects of Vulcan that every fan has ever wanted to explore.
A definite must read for aspiring Science Officers!!
Dif-tor heh smusma.
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on 5 February 2015
I want to start by echoing what a couple of other reviewers have said - I can't understand why this book has got so many good reviews. As a hard core Star Trek fan, proud owner of over 330 novels (3/4 of which I have actually read) and all the episodes of TOG, TNG, DS9 and Voyager, as well as all the films, I do like to think I know my Trek. So you can imagine my disappointment when I started this book.

Diane Duane's books have always been hard-going for me; I find her over-use of description trying to say the least and this book is no exception. In fact in my opinion she surpasses herself with pages upon pages of, quite frankly, useless description. At the risk of spoiling this for others, she dedicates an entire chapter to how the physical planet of Vulcan was created. This is great for astronomy/astrophysics students, perhaps, but not for a work of fiction that is supposed to be entertainment! Then there is the silly 'mixer' party that is supposed to be a way for all crew to catch up with each other before a new mission. To be blunt this is pointless and lends nothing to the story. Or as my dear, late, grandfather would call it - padding!

I also found her characterization all wrong. Most TOG fans have loved the love/hate relationship that goes on between Spock and McCoy and most of the Trek authors have been able transfer that to the books with no bother at all. But Ms Duane has McCoy all but openly antagonizing Spock during an officer's briefing, and as for Kirk - she has him positively gushing at his crew.

In a nutshell by the time I got to page 88 I'd found only about 6 pages that were actually related to the story itself. It was at this point I could take no more and gave up. I couldn't finish the book which is incredibly rare for me and needess to say I will not be keeping it.
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on 9 October 2013
This was a book I misssed when it first came out in paperback, so I jumped at the chance of reading it when it came out in Kindle form. Do I like the story, yes. But it does take a while to get the juices running. Not one of the best I've read, but definately worth the Kindle price. You WILL enjoy it.
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on 17 May 1999
Of course, this is only one person's biased opinion. At a time when the Star Trek novelization universe was dying on its feet (for this reader,) this hardcover came along. The interlaced history / current crisis is a little cumbersome, but I loved both aspects of the story. It helped me to read the current chapters simultaneously, and then go back and read the history chapters. At any rate, an insightful and entertaining read, and very faithful to the ideals of exploration and discovery. Be warned - if you're looking for space battles and hand-to-hand phaser duels you'll be disappointed. If you're looking into one take on why Vulcans are Vulcans (and maybe 'Whither Homo Sapiens' in the 20th century,) this is a great book!
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on 18 September 2001
The vulcans are one of the favorite races for many Star Trek fans. This books provides so much insight into their history, which is only hinted about in many of the series' shows, and many books. Here, we find what made the vulcans what they are. Also of interest would be "The Romulan Way", by D.Duane. Reading of the divergence of the Vulcan and Rihannsu cultures makes so many things fall into place in their universe.
As always, Diane Duane brings life to Kirk, Spock, and Bones of course...but also Uhura, Scotty, and many other "lesser" characters, as well as introducing many of her own. The finest author in the Star Trek original series universe, I heartily recommend her books. Read them all.
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on 3 April 2014
This book show how easy it is to be narrow minded and be afraid of strangers and your reaction to them.
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