📚 Sacrifices of War by Kevin Ryan

68/2022 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Wraps up all the threads quite nicely, in a way that I didn’t expect when I started the first book – by revisiting Errand of Mercy. While the episode always mentioned that the Federation and the Klingon Empire were at the brink of war, the combination of TOS’s weekly adventure format and ‘60s TV styles always meant that it never really felt that dire. By exploring the buildup of tensions between the powers over six books and several bloody encounters in space, on the ground, and on space stations, the events of the episode, and even Kirk and Kor’s frustration at being prevented from going to war, gain much more weight and solidity.

Michael holding Sacrifices of War

📚 Demands of Honor by Kevin Ryan

67/2022 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

As we approach the end of this hexology, it’s worth noting that it’s doing a really neat job of exploring the state of affairs with and within the Klingon empire from both Starfleet and Klingon viewpoints. While these are some of the more violent Trek novels I’ve read, it works well to give weight to the interactions hear referenced and see onscreen in TOS episodes.

Michael holding Demands of Honor

📚 River of Blood by Kevin Ryan

65/2022 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

A strong conclusion to the trilogy, culminating in an all-out battle between invading Klingons and Starfleet defenders on a starbase that takes up the majority of the book. Something of the literary equivalent of the final act CGI battle of any given Marvel movie. The threads wrap up satisfyingly well, with a few nicely placed ties to future events and characters. Though I rated each standalone book at three stars, taken together, the trilogy as a whole is definitely above average for Trek novels. (Though all books do suffer from occasional typos missed in the editing passes; in this one, the starbase’s first mention is given the designation Starbase 43, but in the next paragraph it becomes Starbase 42 and remains there for the rest of the book.) Also, keep an eye out on the character names — many throughout the series are named for notable people in Trek’s real-world past.

Michael holding River of Blood

📚 Killing Blow by Kevin Ryan

64/2022 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

As with many mid-points of trilogies, not quite as strong as the first, though still better than average. Some flashback scenes are written in with the main narrative and occasionally mildly confusing when scenes switch between present and past battles, and there are a few unfortunate typos swapping similarly named characters. Once those are accounted for, though, a decent enough middle chapter.

Michael holding Killing Blow.

📚 The Edge of the Sword by Kevin Ryan

63/2022 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

TOS events as seen trough the eyes of a disguised Klingon operative serving as part of the Enterprise’s security crew. On the one hand, it’s a combination of common tropes: the outsider/enemy coming to understand humanity through living among them and a “lower decks” view of life on a starship. On the other hand, it’s done quite well, without being too “wink-wink, nudge-nudge, remember this bit?” when the book’s events intersect with known missions. A good start to the trilogy (or hexology, I suppose, as there is another trilogy following the events of this one).

Michael holding The Edge of the Sword.