Today, I'm reviewing The Vulcan Academy Murders by Jean Lorrah. It's a novel set in the universe of Star Trek: TOS, and involves the Enterprise's main trio (Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, in case you didn't know) getting involved in a murder investigation during shore leave on Vulcan. There is a lot of exploration of the Vulcan mindset, their history and culture, and their mental powers.
I give this book a solid 4/5. Here is my breakdown:
Characters: 4/5. The trio are obviously themselves, and the characterization will ring true for any fan of the Original Series and/or the first Star Trek movies. The new characters brought in, a mixture of Vulcans and humans, are also very well done. My only quibbles come with the one-dimensionality of the antagonist character...but fear not! I shall not reveal his/her identity!
Plot/Storyline: 4.5/5. A murder mystery on Vulcan? Where they don't even have a police force? Sign me up! The story was engaging and compelling, keeping me turning pages until the end. I really enjoyed watching the interplay between Spock and Sarek as the latter tries to come to terms with the illogical decisions of his past regarding his son, and the relationship between Daniel Corrigan and T'Mir.
Flow: 5/5. Action packed, nary a dull moment, with just the right interspersing of downbeats to keep things fresh. From the time the heroes set foot in the midsummer Vulcan heat, they're up to their necks in insanity. A very nice, quick read.
Spelling/Grammar: 4.5/ 5. I don't have any specifics, but I seem to recall a comma splice or two and maybe a misspelled word. Still stellar work.
Overall: 4/5. Great fun for fans of TOS, and for fans of Vulcans in general. If you've ever wondered what it was like for Spock as a child, or for Sarek and Amanda as they started their strange, cross-species relationship, pick this up.