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The Prometheus Design (Star Trek: The Original Series #5)

3.18  ·  Rating Details ·  649 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews

Captain Kirk and his crew are on a mission to investigate the mysterious wave of violence that has overtaken the Helvans -- revolutions, mass riots, horrible tortures. This chaos is all part of an experiment by an unimaginable power that soon grips even the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise

Captain Kirk is plagued by violent hallucin
Mass Market Paperback, 190 pages
Published August 2nd 1982 by Pocket Books (first published 1982)
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Aug 31, 2016 Astraea rated it it was ok
5 Minute Prometheus Design

SAVAJ: I am Savaj.

KIRK: Ah, welcome aboard, Adm. Awesome McCoolname.

SAVAJ: Capt. Kirk, you are relieved of command because you are being influenced by aliens.

KIRK: I take advice from Spock all the t...

SAVAJ: No, they're enemies, beaming THOUGHT WAVES from the forbidden planet.

KIRK: Oh, I see what you mean. *puts on tinfoil hat*

SAVAJ: Peace and Long Life, Spock. Let us engage in Vulcan martial arts and beat the crap out of each other.


(They do so.
Jul 16, 2016 Jerry rated it liked it
Proof that different isn't always better.
Daniel Kukwa
Aug 04, 2012 Daniel Kukwa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek
A very strange novel. It's never less than compelling, but I think it tries to push the "Star Trek" envelope too far. Aside from postulating an overly-severe look at Vulcans, it seems to have a philosophical (almost mystical) bent that might have worked better as a stand-alone novel, outside of this genre. Odd and disturbing and fascinating...sometimes simultaneously.
Mike Crate
Apr 04, 2016 Mike Crate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, star-trek
The Prometheus Design is a pretty epic story however the actually novel itself doesn't reach the same heights as the concept but I think that's just as much a sign of the times in Trek publishing than any limitation of the authors. The story centers around some mysterious disappearances and strange events spread across the known galaxy on many worlds and amongst many races. The Enterprise landing party are affected and this prompts the arrival of a Vulcan Admiral with sealed orders which when ac ...more
Rich Meyer
Dec 06, 2014 Rich Meyer rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-2014
I'd have to rate this the worst Star Trek novel I've ever read. it tried to be way way more than it could ever be, especially with so many "profound" ideas it was attempting to push over on a reader. The Prometheus design idea was believable, but oddly enough the accompanying and brusque changes to Vulcan culture were not. The characterizations were extremely horrid and the story was nearly unreadable. There may have been a good book somewhere in The Prometheus Design, but I couldn't find it any ...more
Michael T Bradley
Nov 20, 2015 Michael T Bradley rated it it was ok
At first I really enjoyed this book. I think the writing style is different, reminiscent of the more experimental Doctor Who books. And the story starts in mystery res, if you will, where both the crewmembers and the readers have to puzzle out a conundrum. Then I kept reading ... oy. This is a dumbed down version of how the book reads:

"Then Spock was super awesome & so much better than Jim Kirk. And the Vulcan Admiral Savage was so hardcore and even more beautiful than Spock. And they were b
May 19, 2015 Charles rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The galaxy is in danger of being destroyed and the crew of the Enterprise is trying to prevent it. A race of beings is performing scientific experiments on humans and other creatures and James Kirk is one of their prime subjects. He is still under their influence, so his command judgment is suspect.
Savaj is an elderly Vulcan who is an Admiral in Star Fleet, a legend for many other accomplishments and also aboard the Enterprise. Kirk is relieved of his command with Spock taking over. There is
Scott Williams
Dec 18, 2014 Scott Williams rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This novel has a great premise but somehow it fails horribly. Perhaps it would have made a better non-Star Trek novel? The authors clearly love Trek and know it well. There are dozens of fun little references to Star Trek episodes and books peppered throughout. Somehow they fail to understand the Kirk-Spock relationship or even the general characterization of Spock. At a mere 190 pages I expected to breeze through this novel but because it was so bad I struggled to force myself to finish it.
Mar 29, 2013 Chantel rated it liked it
Shelves: star-trek
I find this author duo have awesome ideas in their heads, but have trouble transferring it to print. The book itself was interesting & I never got bored, but what the heck they were trying to convey (& what exactly happened) is still a bit of a mystery to me. It lacks understanding. Hard to explain, but I tried. :)
Oct 17, 2014 Craig rated it did not like it
Shelves: star-trek, sci-fi
I couldn't finish. This book was just too awful and it seems these two authors just don't grasp what Star Trek is about. This is my second attempt to read a book by these two and the first "Triangle" was more of a soap opera than Star Trek.
Jul 27, 2011 John added it
This was a pretty cerebral ST book....not nearly the action and adventure you might expect. Interesting take on the Vulcan state of being, and interesting for Spock to be the captain for a while.
S. J.
Jul 24, 2012 S. J. rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Most people above the age of 15, Any Sci-Fi lover
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kelly Martin
Aug 06, 2016 Kelly Martin rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up-on
I couldn't finish this horrible horrible book. Like so much of Marshak and Culbreath's Star Trek product, this is badly-adapted K/S slash, and while I don't fundamentally have a problem with slash, M&C's slash also has a disturbing tendency to be badly written. Editing out the explicitly sexual parts from the original slash to make it publishable in a mass-media market just makes it that much worse.

Don't bother reading this book. It's a travesty that it was ever published.
David Palazzolo
Jun 20, 2013 David Palazzolo rated it liked it
I wish I had enjoyed this book better than I did. It has some of characteristics that I enjoy from a Star Trek book. First being that it fills in some of the gaps of Trek history, second that the story has a thought provoking socially relevant allegory and finally doesn't telegraph the fact that certain characters like Kirk, Spock and McCoy will always survive the end and more or less be as we found them at the start.

The novel picks up shortly after Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and focuses on
Jun 18, 2016 Chuck rated it liked it
In this 5th book of the Star Trek Original series, The enterprise takes on the mystery of alien abductions and the experimentation of the abductees. This book continues on the adventures of the Enterprise just as the original series did, and it fits in very well. It does not waver from the series and stays true to the Star Trek empire. Good light read.
The Enterprise is influenced by aliens and Spock has to take command. This is an odd one, at times I felt like I was reading slash fan fiction, because of the style it was written in. The storyline was decent, if a bit predictable. A lot is shown about Vulcan, and their society. It just did not grab me like other star trek books. An ok read.
Hadrian Meredith Rea
Jan 05, 2015 Hadrian Meredith Rea rated it it was ok
Shelves: 50-books-in-2015
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 20, 2015 Gregory rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek-tos
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 24, 2010 Surreysmum rated it it was ok
Shelves: 1983, star-trek
[These notes were made in 1983:]. A novel of sentiment of a different kind - perhaps less successful because it attempts to make the "rapport" (i.e. affection) between Kirk, Spock and McCoy a matter of cosmic significance. In this one, the universe is being played with as an experiment by superior beings, who wish to discover whether the noble, searching qualities can exist without the destructive ones. The answer involves putting Kirk under Spock's command -an interesting situation, but one who ...more
Jimmy Pedersen
Aug 07, 2015 Jimmy Pedersen rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
An okay concept in the story, but I REALLY hated the eternal reference to "the full vulcan" :-(
Sep 03, 2013 Diego rated it it was ok
Shelves: ficción
El gran esfuerzo de recopilación de ideas de los episodios es lo más destacable de esta novela corta. Lamento no poder decir nada más a su favor, pero es que entre el uso de la clásica forma de vida no-material y superpoderosa, y el rollo existencialista que se trae, no me lo he pasado bien, y con lo corta que es se me ha hecho larga. Nada de aventura y ni una pizca de humor. He estado disfrutando bastante de esta colección de relatos, pero como sucedía con la serie, no todos pueden ser memorabl ...more
James Tyrrell
Nov 02, 2011 James Tyrrell rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, star-trek
Finished another book, I think I'll take a break from Star Trek as to not wear out it's welcome in my life so I'll alternate between Star Trek TOS and something else. I have plenty of other books to read and I quite enjoyed this last one. It referenced a lot of the books from the Star Trek Adventure series (prior to film book). But didn't detract from a more complex plot, good character development and only suffered from a somewhat overbearing Spock / Vulcan worship.
This was my first Star Trek novel, and it was not as fast-paced and exciting as I expected it to be. It was a bit like watching Star Trek: The Motion Picture. I was bored with the pace, but I had to see it through to the end. The book has two authors, and at times that was obvious in the writing style. It just wasn't very cohesive. This book also had quite a bit of angst for a ship full of adults. In the end, I'm glad I read it, but I doubt I will do it again.
rosalind williamson
Jan 05, 2014 rosalind williamson rated it really liked it
only read this if you're willing to read "hell's kitchen" and "rapport" 700,000 times. but actually - really fun read. about what you'd expect from a star trek novel. probably 3.5 stars, but i'm going to give it 4. for star trek's sake. also for the homoerotic subtext.
Mar 28, 2009 Charles rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
I sure wish Sandra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath had written more Star Trek books. They were a great writing team and their love of Trek showed through in every story they did. I think they have been the best writers to write in the Star Trek Universe.
Jan 09, 2016 Dominik rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well... it's not the worst Trek novel I've ever read (that would Marshak and Culbreath's Triangle), but it still has a whole bunch of the tedious, vaguely new-age-y philosophizing that seems to be a hallmark of their work. Rather tiresome.
Die Geschichte war ziemlich interessant und spannend. Der Schreibstil ist allerdings teilweise katastrophal. Aber vielleicht ist es auch nur eine schlechte Übersetzung...
Apr 28, 2011 Bev rated it did not like it
Just about my least favorite trek novel. The whole torture thing just turned me off. And Spock being so very un-Spock-like.
Daniel Krueger
Sep 10, 2013 Daniel Krueger rated it did not like it
Very disjointed...hard to finish.
Sep 16, 2008 Warner rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Agood Star trek read
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Goodreads Librari...: In need of merging 3 29 Feb 07, 2014 05:08PM  
  • The Abode of Life
  • Corona
  • The Klingon Gambit
  • Timetrap
  • Web of the Romulans
  • The Covenant of the Crown
  • The Entropy Effect (Star Trek TOS #2)
  • The Tears of the Singers
  • Rules of Engagement
  • Black Fire
  • Battlestations! (Star Trek: Fortunes Of War, #2)
  • Crisis on Centaurus
  • Demons
  • The Wounded Sky
  • Pawns and Symbols
  • Killing Time
  • Enemy Unseen
  • Ghost-Walker

Other Books in the Series

Star Trek: The Original Series (1 - 10 of 112 books)
  • Star Trek I: The Motion Picture (Star Trek TOS: Movie Novelizations, #1)
  • The Entropy Effect (Star Trek TOS #2)
  • The Klingon Gambit
  • The Covenant of the Crown
  • The Abode of Life
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan (Star Trek TOS: Movie Novelizations, #2)
  • Black Fire
  • Triangle
  • Web of the Romulans
  • Yesterday's Son (Star Trek: The Yesterday Saga, #1)

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