Remember last year I reviewed the first book in this original Star Trek series? Well: I finished the second book with as much relish as the first. It’s not that the book is so supremely clever in plot although it has many good ideas “? that isn’t my thrill. It is Greg Cox’s writing that gets my attention.
The second book picks up, naturally, almost where the first book ended. Khan Noonien Singh has now scraped into his twenties and is still a hot-tempered and arrogant genetically enhanced guy – only now he is more dangerous:and has followers.
Gary Seven is a lot older than in the first book and he’s not with his beloved cat, Isis. Roberta has taken over most of the work on the assignments -although Seven appears throughout the book when needed. Headquarters has been moved to Scotland after the original location in New York City is all but completely destroyed by an angry Khan. “Temper temper,” just doesn’t work on egocentric genetically enhanced supermen!
Khan has acquired new toys to frighten the world with … some of which make Hussein’s reputed Weapons Of Mass Destruction look like Lego. He’s got new followers including an amazingly beautiful and intelligent Egyptian woman who by description makes most of the rest of us women look like fast food leftovers. Her final scene is amazing and virtually impossible to guess.
Again, Cox has managed to bring in characters from the original Star Trek series. Not just the original cast and crew, although he does that and does it well, but also characters named in various episodes. My favorite character being introduced this time is Jackson Roy Kirk. If you’re a first series junkie you should get those delicious jokes right away!
Khan decides to pull together his fellow supermen who were small children with him in India and have now all disappeared to try to change the world by themselves. Unfortunately, they don’t want to be ruled by the Great Khan. He is kind enough to let them go, but not before my favorite Star Trek movie hunk, Joachim, decides to huck his latest murder gadget at one impudent speaker who dares insult Khan. Sadly, Joachim is badly wounded in the book, but true to “future” events in the Wrath of Khan film survives to serve by Khan’s side.
These fellow supermen also decide that attacking Khan is a good idea, which makes for some interesting superman vs. super-bad-guy writing.
As usual Cox does a great job of weaving in events in our Earth history based on the times cited in the book. His additions include the opening of the Chunnel – the nicknamed connection train between England and France. The method of “blowing the place up” is quite unique and I wish I could send kudos to Cox for the clever idea, and Gary Seven’s execution of stopping super imbecile.
The wind up with the book is well done and leaves you both satisfied at the two books but willing to read anything else the talented writer wants to add in another series edition. Failing Greg writing about the original series characters mingling with Khan again, I may just have to disappear into one of his other selections in the future. Any idiot who can string words together can write a letter, but true crafting of words is done by writers like Cox who make it look so darn easy. The rest of us will just keep reading these writers and hope the bell goes off for us someday so we can write like them.
One thing I didn’t like– there seemed to be less of the original Star Trek cast thrown into this book. I’m willing to admit I love reading Cox’s dialogue with Bones and other colorful characters from the ’60s series. Here’s hoping you’ll love this second book too.
Laura Seymour first published herself, at age 8. She has since gone on to publish a cookbook for the medical condition Candida. She is working toward her B.A. (Psyc).