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The Vulcan Academy Murders

de Jean Lorrah

Sèrie: Star Trek Novels (1984.11), Star Trek: The Original Series (20), Star Trek (1984.11)

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758621,884 (3.87)12
Kirk and McCoy accompany Spock to the Vulcan Academy Hospital seeking experimental treatment for a badly wounded Enterprise crew member. Spock's mother is also a patient in the hospital, and Kirk soon becomes involved in the complex drama of Spock's family... Suddenly, patients are dying, and Kirk suspects the unthinkable -- murder on Vulcan! But can he convince the Vulcans that something as illogical as murder is possible? Until the Killer is caught, everyone is in danger!… (més)

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Es mostren 1-5 de 6 (següent | mostra-les totes)
More or less neutral on some elements of the writing style, but the story is good fun. Interesting takes on some basic romance and mystery tropes. ( )
  wetdryvac | Mar 2, 2021 |
After a crewmember is crippled in a battle with the Klingons Captain James Kirk takes the Enterprise to Vulcan, where an experimental treatment under development at the Vulcan Academy of Science promises to return him to health. Also undergoing the treatment is Spock's mother Amanda, who is suffering from a degenerative nerve disease that threatens to end her life. As Kirk, Spock, and Leonard McCoy settle in for an extended stay on Spock's homeworld, an catastrophic failure kills one of the subjects undergoing the treatment. Then a second patient dies, raising an unthinkable question — could there be a murderer on Vulcan?

Jean Lorrah's novel, her first of several contributions to the Star Trek universe, is unusual in several respects. One is its setting, as it is the first to be set on Vulcan. This gives Lorrah an opportunity to offer readers an extended look at life on the legendary planet, and it is to her credit that she does not overdo it by making the novel about the arcana of one of the most popular cultures of the Star Trek universe. Given the location, it might be expected that Spock would take center stage in the novel, yet Lorrah surprises once again by making his father Sarek the primary Vulcan in the storyline. This further adds to the novel's appeal, as it gives readers an extended look at a beloved character who had yet to receive the extended focus he would in subsequent novels, movies, and TV episodes.

Finally there is the plot of Lorrah's novel, which is a rare bird indeed among Star Trek novels: a murder mystery. Here she develops her setting by introducing several new characters (perfectly understandable, as nobody is going to buy a murderer being one of the familiar faces of the bridge crew) and lets the plot unfold while developing them. This she does over the course of the first half of the book, letting suspects accumulate as the murders take place and the motivations are established. Yet all of this is ruined at the halfway point of the novel, when she tips her hand as to the identify of the murderer, after which the rest of the book lapses into a mundane pattern of chasing red herrings and identifying the guilty party at the very end. It's a disappointing ending for a novel that throughout much of its first half offered an engaging tale of mystery in an unlikely place. ( )
  MacDad | Mar 27, 2020 |
Although I've long been a fan of the Star Trek tv series and movies, "The Vulcan Academy Murders" was my first venture into reading Star Trek books. I found Kirk, McCoy, Spock, Sarek, and Amanda pretty much consistant with what I know of them. I had no trouble imagining them in their roles in the book and found the new characters developed enough to mesh smoothly. I enjoy light mystery novels and this worked well enough to keep both the ST:TOS fan and mystery fan in me engaged.

The book takes place almost entirely on Vulcan, in and around the city of ShiKahr and the nearby Vulcan Academy of Sciences. The settings were well dawn, and while you might not find any sweeping space battles, there is plenty of intrique and action, much like one of the ground-based tv episodes, except with the added intricacies a book allows for.

This is an early stand-alone ST:TOS novel. A very fun read! ( )
1 vota GwenH | Sep 11, 2012 |
Captain Kirk becomes an “interplanetary homicide detective” after two people at the Vulcan Academy are murdered and the next target is Spock’s mother.

The Enterprise is engaged in a fierce battle with a Klingon Bird-of-Prey. The Enterprise barely comes away the victor, but the young Ensign Remington (probably in a red shirt) is gravely injured. Although Doctor McCoy is able to stabilize the young officer, the nerve damage is too severe for Remington to recover. Spock informs McCoy and Kirk that there is a treatment on Vulcan in its experimental stage that might be able to help Remington—-a treatment his own mother is undergoing. They quickly make their way to Vulcan.

Not long after they arrive on Vulcan, a terrible accident occurs. One of the neural regeneration fields has failed and killed one of the patients receiving treatment. It isn’t long before another catastrophic failure kills Ensign Remington. Mechanical and computer error have been ruled out, leaving only sabotage. Vulcan, a planet without crime, has a murderer on the loose. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy must find the killer before Spock’s mother becomes the next victim.

With the specter of a murderer in their midst, the tone is moderately dark.

The murders and their investigation drive the plot. The love stories tend to slow down the plot, but not to the detriment of the story. Many mysteries have very convoluted threads to keep track of. This isn’t the case here. As for the murderer, it seemed obvious to me who it was. (I was right.)

This novel appealed to me with its setting on Vulcan. I have long been a fan of Spock and Vulcans in general. The book explored aspects of Vulcan life that are not well developed in the TV series, such as marriage, love, friendships, and family. The mystery is not artfully crafted like a Christie mystery; the simplicity of the case may not appeal to hard-core mystery junkies. I can see this novel appealing most to Trekkies with an slight interest in mysteries.

Before reading this, I highly recommend watching TOS episodes “Journey to Babel” and “Amok Time.” They are referenced several times in the book. Less importantly, watch the Enterprise episodes “The Forge,” “Awakening,” and “Kir’shara.” for more background in Vulcan philosophy, Surak, and T’Pau. For a great murder mystery Star Trek episode, check out DS9’s “Field of Fire.” ( )
  RevWiss | Jun 17, 2011 |
Mum recently sent me a box of some of my favorite Star Trek books from my yout (there may have been brat-tastic nagging on my end to secure said sending of said box), and this was one of the books I most anticipated rereading. I'm sure I read this one more than once as an adolescent sprout (my prime ST fandom years were about eleven to sixteen, at which point Star Wars ate my brain replaced it for awhile) but it has to have been something like twelve or fourteen years since I'd read it; I can't believe how well I remembered little details and small events from the storyline. There are (many) better-plotted Star Trek books out there, but this one is just such fun. The tag line on the cover exclaims, "Captain Kirk becomes an interplanetary homicide detective!" and that pretty much sums it up. Looking back on it now, I probably liked this book so much because it was light on battles and heavy on character interaction, with a nice dollop of Vulcan culture thrown in for flavor. I absolutely delighted in the Kirk-Spock-and-Bones banter as a kid (I still do), and The Vulcan Academy Murders captures the feel behind that dynamic very well. There's better sci-fi, there's better Star Trek, and there's better murder mysteries, but for a nostalgic Star Trek romp, this one is aces. ( )
  lycomayflower | Aug 20, 2009 |
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Kirk and McCoy accompany Spock to the Vulcan Academy Hospital seeking experimental treatment for a badly wounded Enterprise crew member. Spock's mother is also a patient in the hospital, and Kirk soon becomes involved in the complex drama of Spock's family... Suddenly, patients are dying, and Kirk suspects the unthinkable -- murder on Vulcan! But can he convince the Vulcans that something as illogical as murder is possible? Until the Killer is caught, everyone is in danger!

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