Sunday, October 18, 2015

Shadows of the Indignant

Star Trek
Mere Anarchy, Book Three
Shadows of the Indignant by Dave Galanter
First Published November 2006
Re-published in the omnibus collection Mere Anarchy in March 2009
Read August 22nd 2015


Previous book (Mere Anarchy): The Centre Cannot Hold
Next book (Mere Anarchy): The Darkness Drops Again

Original e-book cover

Trade Paperback: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk
Kindle E-book: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk

Spoilers ahead for Shadows of the Indignant and the rest of the Mere Anarchy series!

From the back cover:
As Admiral James T. Kirk adjusts to life at Starfleet Operations on Earth, he discovers some shipping irregularities centered around Mestiko. Authorized to go on a fact-finding tour to the planet, Kirk takes along his old friend Dr. McCoy, now a civilian "old country doctor," to investigate.

What Kirk finds is a web of intrigue, complicated by his status as Dinpayav, an outsider. He must convince Raya elMora--now a major player in the ad hoc world government of Mestiko in the years following the disaster--to help him before Mestiko becomes the pawn of someone else's political game...

My thoughts:

Mere Anarchy is a miniseries of e-books originally conceived of to provide a continuing story across all of the various "eras" of Original Series Trek. One period of time that hasn't had a lot of exploration, either on-screen or in other media, is immediately following The Original Series and before Star Trek: The Motion Picture. This was a time of transition for our heroes, with Kirk taking a desk job with the admiralty at Starfleet Command, Spock leaving Starfleet to pursue Kolinahr on Vulcan, and McCoy retiring from active service. Shadows of the Indignant reveals what a couple of these characters were up to during this period of time.

Admiral Kirk enlists the aid of an old friend.

Shadows of the Indignant is unique in that it follows just two characters: Kirk and McCoy. In his new position as Chief of Starfleet Operations, Admiral Kirk has discovered several anomalies in Mestiko's records: strange shipping errors and other mysterious happenings that lead him to one conclusion: Klingon involvement. Kirk intends to uncover what is happening on Mestiko, but is unable to go through Starfleet channels to do so. He decides to go undercover in the black market tied to Mestiko, but first he must recruit an old friend to help him out: Leonard McCoy.

This was a fun story. The focus on just two characters instead of the entire ensemble gave the story a unique feel for this unique time in Trek history. The changes that occurred after end of the 5-year mission have turned the world on its ear for these characters, and the story reflected that reality quite well.

Reading Shadows of the Indignant, one gets the sense that Admiral Kirk is still struggling with his decision to accept promotion.

The mystery behind the irregularities that Kirk investigates plays out fairly by the numbers, with a few small twists and turns here and there. However, it is a fun read because Dave Galanter has such a good grasp of these characters' voices. McCoy's discomfort with returning to the "Starfleet lifestyle" was amusing and felt very genuine. Kirk's unease with his new role as an admiral while at the same time defending the decision as a good one felt perfect for this stage in his life.

Final thoughts:

A generally good story featuring one of my favorite relationships among the TOS crew. Kirk and McCoy are the sole focus of this story, which lends a unique perspective. Almost a "buddy cop" story, Shadows of the Indignant continues the story of Mestiko into the movie era, featuring a glimpse into a period of time not often explored. Solid, with not a lot of surprises, Shadows of the Indignant gets the characters just right.

More about Shadows of the Indignant:

Star Trek: Mere Anarchy:

Also by Dave Galanter:

Next time on Trek Lit Reviews:

Next week, an old favorite from Greg Cox: Book one of the Q Continuum trilogy, Q-Space. Let's see how it holds up!