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Prime Directive (Star Trek: The Original Series)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  1,295 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Starfleet's most sacred commandment has been violated. Its most honored captain is in disgrace, its most celebrated starship in pieces, and the crew of that ship scattered among the thousand worlds of the Federation... Thus begins "Prime Directive", an epic tale of the Star Trek universe. Following in the bestselling tradition of "Spock's World" and "The Lost Years", Judit ...more
Paperback, 406 pages
Published September 1st 1991 by Pocket Books (first published 1990)
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Imzadi by Peter DavidSpock's World by Diane DuaneUhura's Song by Janet KaganYesterday's Son by A.C. CrispinEnterprise by Vonda N. McIntyre
Best Star Trek Books
31st out of 239 books — 163 voters
The Vulcan Academy Murders by Jean LorrahUhura's Song by Janet KaganSpock's World by Diane DuaneYesterday's Son by A.C. CrispinIshmael by Barbara Hambly
Best Star Trek The Original Series Books
45th out of 62 books — 49 voters

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Community Reviews

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This is one of the best Star Trek novels that I ever read and easily the best one using only the crew of The Original Series, without counting crossovers novels.

I know that I need to read more books centering on the original crew, however, this novel Prime Directive will keep a place in the highest levels on my own personal Trek ranking ever.

A masterpiece written by the couple, Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens.

They crafted an intriguing mystery since the story
The Enterprise crew gone rogue, always a winner! These authors OWN the characters' voices, ST canon, and the sensibility of the original series. They're even genius at taking the cheese factor from the show and using it in homage. (Plot holes, Kirk skirt chasing, swashbuckling heroics, laughing on the bridge!) A pleasure to read.
Sep 10, 2014 Mariah rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Star Trek fans
If the rating system here on Goodreads allowed for half or quarter ratings, I would rate this novel 3.5 stars. I did not want to give it the full four stars, merely because the parts I really liked did not come to fruition until the last fourth of the book.

As stated in other reviews I have written, I love Star Trek fiction. There is something beautiful about expanding and conceiving anew for characters, plot lines, and universes of TV shows, books, and/or movies that have already been establishe
My first outing with the Star Trek franchise was a fruitful one. I've been hearing about this book for years. I finally picked it up. In a franchise that literally puts out a novel a month, this books still stands out. It had a perfect feeling of balance. Humor and actual science fiction. Character and action. It's a can't miss.

I had read this previously and had remembered liking it. On the re-read it was still pretty enjoyable. The Enterprise crew as fugitives all striving toward the goal of finding out what had caused their downfall makes for some entertaining reading. Even with the limitations put on Trek authors at the time, the author still manages to entertain pretty thoroughly.

If I could give 3.5 stars I would have, because after the main climax of the book, it sputters on for a good bit of time wrapping everyt
Aug 04, 2011 Ingrid added it
I heard a rumor that this might be the plot for the next Star Trek movie. It was excellent! I do not read Star Trek books as a rule, but I'm really glad I read this one. It was actually a really good mystery. The final reveal of what happened on Talin IV was very Star Trek. I would recommend this book!
Meg Hannah
This is one of my all-time favorite Star Trek novels. I've read it, oh, maybe 10 times? Maybe more? I savor it every time. I love the details and the portrayal of the characters, and the plot's good too.
This book is my favorite among the Star Trek derivatives. It is one that can be read countless times. If you are a fan of Star Trek the original series this is a must read.
Randy Patton
This is my first Star Trek book. It was enjoyable yet a bit predictable at the same time. It has almost everything you love about the series. The bickering between McCoy and Spock always seems to bring a smile to my face. However, it seems that it relies too much on already established back story that it does not have much of plot-line in its own right.

There was an incident where the Enterprise crew was involved where many beings died on a planet. The books follows their attempts to clear their
I have been a Trek fan since the late 80's when i was kid watching reruns of TOS & the new episodes of TNG. I have also loved every incarnation of Trek & was horribly disappointed when Enterprise was cancelled. However i never got into the books until 2010! I just didn't know what i was missing! Since i have read about 30 or so Trek novels, mostly the ones published from 2010 on up. As much as i was enjoying them i decided i wanted to start reading the older Trek novels,...particularly t ...more
This is my second copy of this book - I had originally bought a copy when I was in my 'reading/collecting Star Trek books' phase in the late 80s/early 90s and remember enjoying it the first few times I read it. Then my copy disappeared ['borrowed', loaned out, lost in a move, I don't know what happened to it] and that was that. Until I came across another copy for $1 at Half Price Books. It had been a while since I had read it, so I bought it to give it a shot.

Isn't it funny how sometimes peopl
I haven't read a Star Trek novel in some time. But I found this one at a booksale and picked it up. Being a fan of the Star Trek world I was looking forward to another story of the crew of the Enterprise. This is a fun story that starts slow, but in typical Star Trek fashion comes to a huge dramatic ending.
If you enjoy this universe, it is a fun and easy book to read.
Fun, light read, did what good tie-in/spin-off fiction is supposed to do: capture the voice and the feel of the original property well enough that it feels like it stands aside the stories of the original medium, while at the same time telling the sorts of stories that couldn't (or even wouldn't) be done in said medium (usually due to scale or budget).
A pretty good read with some interesting twists and excellent aliens, but the whole premise of Kirk et al being hounded out of Starfleet seemed slightly unbelievable, which was a shame since this was the backbone of the whole book.
My very first Star Trek book, recommended by one of my coworkers. It was good, an interesting plot and a nice blend of possibility with cannon characters. It had a couple of my hated sci-fi pitfalls, namely the page after page of descriptions of technology; I apparently do not care enough to know all about your ship, Captain Kirk.

It also had the constraints of fanfiction, in that there are standard norms that have to be respected, and that limits character development. It was a shame in this ca
Shane Amazon
I've read only one Judith and Garfiled Reeves-Stevens book prior(Federation) to this book and given I was overwhelmed by that experience I was a little apprehensive about reading another. Their books do tend to be heavy both in print form and in chapter length and some readers will be challenged to read their literature. But this book was absolutely brilliant. From the first chapter this book grabbed a hold of me and didn't let go. The story telling was by far one of the best I have read in the ...more
Chris Massey
This is the first Star Trek book I've read and if the others are usually this good, I'm excited to read more. The Reeves-Stevens duo are spot on with their characterizations, it was like reading a very good episode.
Really good until the wtf ending, talk about your lame deus ex machina. Still glad I read it if only for Spock the Savvy Politician and the Adventures of Sulu and Chekov the Space Pirates.
Mar 28, 2009 rivka rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: die-hard Trekkies
Shelves: startrek
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The adventures of Kirk & Crew never get old. This book was released in 1991, so a lot of Prime Directive and First Contact canon is slightly outdated, but its not a big deal. The story was interesting and the characters felt pretty true to the show. I liked the little cameos of characters that have appeared elsewhere in the series or the movies.
Justin Greene
This was the first Star Trek book I've read. And I still have it in my collection. Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise are out of Starfleet and the Enterprise isn't doing too well itself. All because the #1 rule, The Prime Directive, was violated by Kirk which resulted in the destruction of a world and untold life.
Daniel Kukwa
A book that captures the turmoil of disaster and broken careers with terrifying accuracy. Never have we seen our crew so beaten & defeated & humilated before...and never has their eventual triumph against adversity been so sweet of taste. A surprisingly powerful entry in the Star Trek range of that time.
Purpleallison Hoffman
One of my favorite Star Trek novels, the story moved along at a good pace, the storylines came together neatly fir the big reveal, and then the action of solving the problem. I re-read this book all the time, especially the storylines of my favorite characters, Uhura as well as Chekhov.
Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens are among my favorite Star Trek writers. They follow the spirit of the show, tying events between the original series and the films together quite neatly.
Amazing! Best work of Star Trek fiction I have read so far. All the characters are perfect, and the story line is fantastic. Everything I could have hoped for!
My first Star Trek novel. Not as interesting as I thought it'd be. More here:

Great original series book. You get action and drama from the entire crew. Can Kirk get his reputation back as well as his command? check it out.
Joshua Lemke
A great Original Series book. I was caught up in the plot of this book instantly. Great writing from great authors.
Michelle Stevens
as always star trek books are awesome! it was so captivating i wanted to keep reading till i finished it, well done!
Christopher Brehm
Good story, I found this to be one of the more memorable stories of the Star Trek book series.
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