Star Trek: The Original Series – ‘Crisis of Consciousness’
Written by: Dave Galanter
Published by: Pocket Books/Simon and Schuster
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Précis: The Enterprise is welcoming the Maabas – a peaceful, scientifically-intellectual, contemplative species – into the Federation. As the treaty is signed, an alien race, known as the Kenisians, warp into the system and attack the Enterprise, claiming the Maabas have stolen their planet; which had been abandoned after a great war, thousands of years in the past. Now, the Kenisians want what (they claim) is rightfully theirs and they will stop at nothing – including obliterating an entire sector of the universe, along with hundreds of millions of lives – and, themselves, as well – in their quest to take it back.
My Take: Coming in at 388 pages – (235 pages on the Nook app), Dave Galanter writes an intriguing, fast-paced nail-biter, that puts Captain Kirk and Spock in a race against time, pitting them against a formidable race of mutividuals (the Kenisians) that are hell-bent on seeking vengeance, for wrongs committed millennia ago.
‘Crisis of Consciousness’ marks Dave Galanter’s return to the Star Trek book arena; his first full-length novel, since 2009’s ‘Troublesome Minds’ – (which, still holds a place as one of my all-time favorite Star Trek: TOS adventures). But, I believe, Mr. Galanter has even topped that; writing with such clarity, that I felt like I was sitting right there on the damn bridge! I could actually see this playing out as a long-lost episode (just as Galanter intended).
Not-only, does he bring Captain Kirk, Spock and Bones to vivid life, but he allows the rest of the crew to shine, as well. There are many poignant moments throughout, including a touching scene with Scotty and Carolyn Palamas; as well as, with Dr. McCoy, as he tries to give comfort to a gravely injured crewman. Uhura gets a chance to show her command abilities, while Galanter gives the reader a peak into what makes this classy, elegant, unflappable iconic character tick. He knows these beloved characters inside, and out; especially Kirk and Spock, as they work from different angles (but, always on the same page – so to speak), to bring about peace for everyone involved.
Also, Galanter offers Trek fans, not two, but – three, distinctly different alien species: the Maabas, the Kenisians and the Grepund – (you’re sure to get as much of a kick out of these guys, as I did). The Kenisians, though, just blew my damn mind; their complexity (as is their familiarity) is brilliant!
Plus, there are some kickass battle scenarios, throughout, that had me on the edge of my seat! The Enterprise takes one-helluva pounding, folks, but you know we’ve got a ‘miracle worker’ down there in that engine room – right? But, Kirk is a force to be reckoned with, in his own right.
One of my favorite lines in ‘Crisis of Consciousness’ gives great insight into Kirk’s psyche, while teaching a real-time lesson (for today) to those who lead by example: ‘Kirk had learned that being in command wasn’t just figuring out when to make which decision. It was knowing how to inspire the people under him – encouraging them to do what they could, so he could do what he must.’ Now, that’s a lesson we can all learn from, eh…
As with ‘Troublesome Minds’, Spock is front and center, and his role in these events is my favorite part of the book; as he struggles with his own consciousness, if not, his feelings – (yes, he has them), while maintaining that façade of pure logic and stoicism. You thought you’d seen it all, when he force-melds with Valeris, in Star Trek: The Undisovered Country… Well, you better hold on to your hats, because Galanter sets up the precedent, for that unsettling scene to come, here. The events will leave you riveted. This is Spock at his absolute best. What a great homage, to both Leonard Nimoy, and to the character he lived, so well.
My Rating on Amazon: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
‘Til, next time, see ya ‘out there…’ 🖖
Lt. Eric Cone