Oh man, it starts really with mediocre writing. Actually, it’s quite not that bad, but only if you had not seen any of the TV episodes, or if you did not remember anything about the episodes written.
This novel, named only “Star Trek”, is the rewriting of 7 episodes:
– Charlie X
– Dagger of the Mind
– The Man Trap
– Balance of Terror
– The Naked Time
– The Conscience of the King
There’s no point in explaining the plot of these, so I won’t even bother.
This is the first ever Star Trek novel to be put into print.
James Blish was chosen to write the scripts into these short stories, and it shows, as being crammed 7 of these into 136 pages will take out much of what was seen in the episode. As he was given the scripts way before the final episode was aired, there are some few, minor differences. Also, a novel is quite a different media than TV, so James takes some small liberties in describing the action. He takes a lot out, and leaves just enough to forward each story.
The stories feel quite rushed, as jumping to one scene to another. If they were by themselves, with no aired episode, they would actually be quite great. But that’s the problem of novelizations, it’s a redundant effort.
These could be enjoyable by fans, but it’s really a rehash of the same stuff. I did not enjoy them much, as there were no new elements offered. Unfortunately, there are much more of these to come…
The cover looks ‘sci-fi’enlish, but it seems it was obvious to display the faces of the major characters to attract sales. All in all, it seems a very half-hearted effort to cash in something of a very unknown at the time TV series.
Curiously, this book was a huge success, especially in countries which did not receive the broadcasts. This fueled the publishing of further books of the same nature, and would later jump-start the Star Trek publishing market, but it will be a lot of years before any semi-decent story came out…
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