Star Trek Into Darkness
by Alan Dean Foster
Review by Linda Marie Schumacher
Pocket Books/Star Trek Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781476716480
Date: 21 May 2013 List Price $16.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK
I assume that everyone who wants to see the movie Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) has seen it by now. If you have not already seen it, this review containers spoilers.The book, Star Trek Into Darkness is a novel based on the motion picture screenplay. The novelization is written by Alan Dean Foster and the screenplay writers are Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof. Yes, it is very similar to the movie. But, what the written version can give you is background. In a movie, the background is visible, but in a book the author can describe it. The author can also tell you what the characters are thinking. It adds a little more dimension to your understanding of the movie and the characters.
A short synopsis of the story...this is the original group of Star Trek characters--James Kirk, Spock, Scottie the engineer, etc. The time period is the same as the original series. The twist that makes this version different occurs in the first move Star Trek (2009). In Star Trek, James Kirk's father is the captain of a star ship and encounters an anomaly is space. It turns out to be a worm hole and several people from the future come back to present day. In short, the future beings destroy the planet Vulcan, and James Kirk as a young adult is recruited into Star Fleet by another character named Captain Christopher Pike. In other words, the premise is the same characters in a parallel reality to the original TV series with a planet called New Vulcan and the same old planet Earth. It may sound a little cheesy in the condensed version, but it really is a lot of fun.
Star Trek into Darkness, both the movie and the novel, has the same characters and James Kirk is now Captain Kirk and is the commanding officer of the Enterprise and all of his usual crew. Early in the story, a large secret Star Fleet research facility is blown up in London and Star Fleet Headquarters in San Francisco is attacked by another Star Fleet officer who is believed to be the same person who blew up the facility in London. This person is able to use a portable transporter to beam himself to the Klingon Empire.
Kirk and his crew, acting on secret orders from the senior officer in Star Fleet ADM Marcus, head to the Klingon Empire and capture the suspect. At the same time, some new weapons are loaded on to the Enterprise prior to departure. Scottie, the engineer, refuses to accept the weapons because he is not provided enough information about their origin and ends up resigning. Kirk does not realize it, but he is flying into a trap. The weapons are indeed suspicious.
More spoilers here... The renegade officer turns out to be Kahn. Kahn is one of several genetically engineered human that are cryogenically frozen inside the torpedoes, so Scottie's concerns were justified. ADM Marcus believes that all-out war with the Klingons is inevitable. ADM Marcus secretly revived Kahn from his cryogenic state to use Kahn's superior intelligence to build new weapons be ready for the inevitable war.
Star Trek into Darkness is lots of fun to read. I recommend it. It is fun to read about the Star Trek characters and pick up some of the details that you may have missed while watching the movie.