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Pawns and Symbols (Star Trek: The Original Series #26)

3.48  ·  Rating Details  ·  502 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Pawns And Symbols Threatened by a deadly famine, the Klingon Empire is on the verge of igniting a mad interplanetary war of conquest. When an earthquake destroys a remote Federation research station, Jean Czerny, agricultural scientist, succumbs to amnesia. Stranded on enemy borders, she is imprisoned by Kang, the evil commander of a Klingon battleship. Now Kirk must play ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 277 pages
Published November 1st 1988 by Pocket Books (first published August 16th 1985)
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Imzadi by Peter DavidUhura's Song by Janet KaganSpock's World by Diane DuaneYesterday's Son by A.C. CrispinEnterprise by Vonda N. McIntyre
Best Star Trek Books
107th out of 245 books — 181 voters
Uhura's Song by Janet KaganThe Vulcan Academy Murders by Jean LorrahSpock's World by Diane DuaneYesterday's Son by A.C. CrispinIshmael by Barbara Hambly
Best Star Trek The Original Series Books
57th out of 62 books — 52 voters

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Community Reviews

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Dec 17, 2012 Mary rated it really liked it
This review needs a title! Two choices: A guilty pleasure, but a pleasure nonetheless. Or: Yes, Jean Czerny is a Mary Sue. Yes, this is fanfic. It's a good story, anyway!

In brief, I'd like to point you to Matthew Schiariti's review on amazon. He does a good job pointing out the book's strengths and weaknesses, and I agree with him. In particular, I, too, loved the exploration of "classic", pre-ridge Klingon society, and loved that almost no one in the book was exactly what they seemed to be. Lar
Daniel Kukwa
Apr 09, 2011 Daniel Kukwa rated it did not like it
Shelves: star-trek
This could well be the dullest, least enjoyable Star Trek novel ever written. Did anything worthy of note actually OCCUR in this novel? I certainly can't recall...and I have no desire to go back and try again. Perhaps one day, when my courage is up to it.

May 03, 2010 Miriam rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Less time is spent with the original characters than with the exploration of various cultures of the Klingon worlds, through the eyes of a Federations scientist who has been taken prisoner.
Aug 04, 2008 Denise rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star_trek
One of the weaker Star Trek novels. The Klingons are too nice!
May 24, 2013 Claudia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I read a lot of Star Trek tie-in novels in my teens, and "Pawns and Symbols" was one of the few that made a lingering impression to an extend that I picked it up years later as an adult. It's set in TOS canon, but only marginally relates to Kirk & co (there's a sub-plot with a Romulan woman on board of the Enterprise that seems largely filler material) while the main plot is based on an original character who gets stranded in the Klingon Empire.

Larson's protagonist Jean Czerny may or may no
Michael Hanscom
Dec 31, 2015 Michael Hanscom rated it liked it
Interesting primarily due to its exploration of Klingon society and culture at a time when very little was canon. Of course, nearly everything posited in this book has since been contradicted by later Trek shows, but that's common to many of the Trek novels.
Craig Tyler
Oct 12, 2014 Craig Tyler rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
This was an extremely well thought out and complex star trek novel. I thought the use of cyrano jones and the tribbles were not necessary for the story but the author chose to tie back to the series several times successfully and cyrano felt forced. Great main character who was not Kirk, Bones or Spock.
Nov 21, 2012 Dan rated it it was ok
Shelves: star-trek, tos, e-books
A fairly middle-of-the-road Star Trek novel. The Klingons as presented are uneven and not really keeping with any of the other portrayals of the regular antagonists we've seen over the years. The character of Jean Czerny is interesting, but I feel that the novel focuses on her confusion and "fish-out-of-water"ness a bit too much. Still, it was an interesting read, and there are certainly fun moments that remain memorable.

Full review:
Apr 27, 2012 TheTick rated it it was ok
Shelves: star-trek
I mostly remember it for it's meandering plot, some odd focus on the medical differences between the eyesight of Klingons and Humans, and...something else? There was a plot, I swear. Something to do with the grain we saw on the 'Trouble with Tribbles' episode, and starving people, that we don't see. Really odd, not very good.
Jan 24, 2009 Kreg rated it really liked it
Shelves: star-trek-tos
Starfleet scientist captured by the Klingons to use as a political pawn. Doesn't quite fit in with Klingon history as established by TNG and DS9, but taken on it's own it is a very nice story.
May 09, 2011 rivka rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: startrek, avoid
I am amazed that people consider this a great book. Actually, I'm amazed it got published as a ST novel -- even with as uneven as the early ones were.
Rebecca Huston
Definitely a Mary-Sue novel, but hey, it's got Klingons! And Kang! So it's a sentimental favourite...
Mar 29, 2013 Greg rated it liked it
Hey, it's a Star Trek book. Not outstanding by any means, but enjoyable.
Dec 29, 2007 colleen rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
read 11.24.85
May 13, 2013 Emilyf11 rated it it was ok
Shelves: star-trek
just ok
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