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The Vulcan Academy Murders (Star Trek: The Original Series #20)

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  1,495 Ratings  ·  83 Reviews
Kirk and McCoy accompany Spock to the Vulcan Academy Hospital seeking experimental treatment for a badly wounded Enterprise crew member. Spock's mother is also a patient in the hospital, and Kirk soon becomes involved in the complex drama of Spock's family... Suddenly, patients are dying, and Kirk suspects the unthinkable -- murder on Vulcan But can he convince the Vulcans ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 280 pages
Published November 2nd 1987 by Pocket Books (first published January 1st 1984)
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Mar 08, 2011 Nick rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi, mystery
Captain Kirk becomes an “interplanetary homicide detective” after two people at the Vulcan Academy are murdered and the next target is Spock’s mother.

The Enterprise is engaged in a fierce battle with a Klingon Bird-of-Prey. The Enterprise barely comes away the victor, but the young Ensign Remington (probably in a red shirt) is gravely injured. Although Doctor McCoy is able to stabilize the young officer, the nerve damage is too severe for Remington to recover. Spock informs McCoy and Kirk that
Dave Russell
Mar 16, 2008 Dave Russell rated it liked it
I was debating whether to include this on my list, but I thought I should for the historical record. Yes, I used to be a huge Trekker (and yes, that is the preferred term among real fans, not Trekkie.) Now stop looking at me like that.
May 30, 2010 Surreysmum rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, 1984, star-trek
[These notes were made in 1984:]. This is a real novel, and quite a good one. The main reason for that is simple: characterization. Lorrah has really got a handle on her Vulcans, and actually almost manages to divert us from the Enterprise characters, so interesting are the rest: Sarek, his colleagues Sorel and T'Zan; the disappointed suitor, Sendet; T'Mir (Sorel's daughter); and Corrigan (her Terran lover); and of course Eleyna, the twisted young Earthwoman who turns out to be the villainess. T ...more
Mar 09, 2015 Aron rated it really liked it
This is one of the older ST's that (generally speaking) generates good reviews on goodreads & just about every where else you look. So it was on my "oldie but possibly a goodie" list to read & I'm glad it was. It was great fun & exceeded my expectations. The author had a great feel for the characters & a writing style that made the story flow smoothly through my mind. But, as said in other reviews, the murder mystery wasn't much of a mystery, but that didn't hamper my enjoyment o ...more
Jun 14, 2013 X5-494 rated it really liked it
This book is pretty much all about Vulcans and Vulcan customs; especially Vulcan medicine and bonding rituals. So if you like Vulcans, this is definitely a book for you.

This is also a book about Sarek and his relations to Spock and Amanda - which I think is beautifully written.

There are original characters, but they're lovely (most of the time) and interesting, and there's a good balance between writing about these original characters and the Enterprise characters.

It's not perfect, but very, ve
Sarah Gamal
Jun 21, 2016 Sarah Gamal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books
The killer was obvious from the start, but that's okay.
ايه الحلاوة دي! .. اللهم اخرب بيتنا احنا يا شيخ!
humans are repulsive وربنا
Nov 21, 2016 Kristina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek
Fascinating. Aside from the main plot, this explores the possibilities of Vulcan society and the nature of bondings. Expanding on hints giving in 'Amok Time' and 'Journey to Babel' its a intriguing insight into Vulcan life. The murders of the title provide excitement although the culprit if fairly obvious. Its still entertaining to see Spock, McCoy and Kirk figure it out. Also it provides a wonderful introduction of M'Benga.
Sep 02, 2015 MC rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like many science fiction and fantasy fans (including many so-called “Trekkies”), I enjoyed the 2009 alternate universe reboot in the newest Star Trek film. It captured the spirit of the older films and television series, while being “open enough” to draw in newer fans. I have enjoyed Star Trek for many years, however, and still have a great love for the original series from the late '60's and the movies featuring the original crew of the Enterprise in the main universe. There are many more adve ...more
Dec 17, 2016 CaroKilia rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf-books
So. Much. Vulcan \o/
So. Much. Amanda & Sarek <3
(Also feat. my own facepalm at the characters during the last act because COME ON THE IDENTITY OF THE MURDERER WAS OBVIOUS)
Dec 19, 2016 Jerry rated it really liked it
An interesting and exciting blend of mystery and space opera.
Another Star Trek re-read that was a little disappointing in light of the enjoyment I got from it as a pre-teen. (Is it possible Vonda N. McIntyre sets such a high standard for Star Trek fiction that I'll be disappointed in adulthood by every Trek book that isn't by her? Not to mention that I've read some pretty damn good free fanfic on the internet...)

This one had its moments: some genuinely nice character work for the Big Three + Sarek/Amanda, not to mention Corrigan et al. (I was a fan of Co
David King
Dec 17, 2015 David King rated it liked it
“The Vulcan Academy Murders” by Jean Lorrah is a novel set in The Original Series period of Star Trek. The story takes place on the planet Vulcan as Kirk, McCoy and Spock have brought an injured crew member to the Vulcan Science Academy so that a revolutionary new form of treatment can be utilised to heal him. However, when one of the patients involved in the treatment dies, it soon become clear that there is a murderer on the loose. Kirk is therefore forced into becoming a detective and must ca ...more
Jason Crawford
Oct 16, 2014 Jason Crawford rated it really liked it
Today, I'm reviewing The Vulcan Academy Murders by Jean Lorrah. It's a novel set in the universe of Star Trek: TOS, and involves the Enterprise's main trio (Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, in case you didn't know) getting involved in a murder investigation during shore leave on Vulcan. There is a lot of exploration of the Vulcan mindset, their history and culture, and their mental powers.

I give this book a solid 4/5. Here is my breakdown:

Characters: 4/5. The trio are obviously themselves, and the charac
Sean Randall
Dec 20, 2009 Sean Randall rated it it was amazing
Done it again. Historically that's completely inaccurate, of course, because this novel obviously came first. I don't know the TOS characters nearly as well as those of the TNG era, of course, so the completely jelled dialogue and the nuances of some of the character's history is a little over my head.

But who can not admire the completely perfect flow of this story? It's a neat murder mystery, with vulcans as most of the prime suspects. while it lacks some in surprise (the culprit stuck out some
Sep 16, 2016 Kristīne rated it did not like it
Shelves: star-trek, dnf
way too little of actual murder solving tbh. i couldn't care enough to finish this book.
Mike Crate
May 01, 2016 Mike Crate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, star-trek
The Vulcan Academy Murders was always an interesting novel for me, a murder mystery befitting mainstream tv sleuths but set well and truly in our Star Trek universe and you know what, it works. I'm not really sure it should but I really enjoy reading about the events around the scientific and medical complex at ShiKahr as the bodies begin to drop at an alarming rate.
Enterprise takes an injured crewman to Vulcan to undergo a cutting edge procedure one which Amanda is currently being treated with
Aug 23, 2009 James rated it liked it
This is the first Star Trek novel I ever read, back when I was about 10 years old. I was a huge Star Wars fan, but had read the Star Wars books at the library (adaptions of the movies), so decided to borrow this book. This book started my Trek addiction. I knew the characters from the movies, but until I started reading the books from the library, I didn't know much about Trek. Having read it so long ago, I only had vague memories of it. It was better than I remembered. Although, my read-through ...more
Jan 14, 2017 Maj rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who are into Vulcans ;)
A fun swift read, heartily recommended to anyone who is into Vulcans and their home planet.
Spock is only a supporting character here, with his father, a couple of new characters, and Captain Kirk taking center stage.

It's not really a proper whodunnit, as I'd assume most readers will figure out who the murderer is pretty early on, the central theme instead are Vulcan feelings and family bonds. Some of the mind melds featured in the book are actually quite moving, as is the fact that a bonded Vulc
Bailey Marissa Bowers
Sep 07, 2016 Bailey Marissa Bowers rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
One of the best ST:TOS books out there. It all happens on Vulcan, so we get to learn more about the culture and some of Spock's past. It focuses pretty heavily on Sarek and Amanda's relationship (One of my top 10 OTPs: He calls her beloved at the end, and I just about LOST IT the first time I read this), and it adds another couple that's one of my non-canon favorites.

Anyone who loves ST:TOS needs to read this.

Recommended 13+ for murder, some language, and romance.
Sep 11, 2016 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mmm-2016
Probably the best Star Trek book written!
Jun 10, 2016 Bron rated it really liked it
I love Star Trek novels when they give you additional insight into the background of favourite characters. In some ways this is a fairly straightforward whodunit - you know the person least likely to be the murderer did it - but as it is set in the capital city of Vulcan, ShiKar, you get loads of extra detail about Vulcan life, what the planet is like, their relationships with humans and so on. With Kirk, Spock and McCoy involved this is quite a fast paced, well written story. Two people are kil ...more
Jul 14, 2008 Rebecca rated it it was ok
Shelves: read2008, scifi, startrek
(Extra, extra! Get your flashback to nerdy little Rebecita!) The first line? "Fire photon torpedos!" Yeah. A change of pace from the last Star Trek novel I read. This one is also centered around Vulcan culture, but instead of being deeply sensitive and thought provoking it's... pretty insulting. Way to bring Star Trek into the cutting edge of the 80s by harping on the Vulcans' "ESP." Cringe. The plot was contrived and the murder mystery was super lame and obvious. Terrible characterization - eve ...more
Ronald Wilcox
Lorrah did an excellent job expanding the Vulcan culture and giving us mere humans a chance to better understand the pointy-eared race. She remained true to most of the Trek characters and brought in various incidents from the original TV series that tied in with the current story.

Now for my two disappointments: Kirk playing detective just seemed out of character and, truthfully, in my opinion, a little hoaky. I could have better seen McCoy in the role of detective. The murder storyline was enjo
May 08, 2013 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek, tos
A fun, if somewhat formulaic detective story set on Vulcan, with some great character moments for a few of the secondaries such as Sarek and Amanda. The exploration of Vulcan relationships and what makes a Vulcan are of particular note in this novel. I'm looking forward to checking out some more of Jean Lorrah's work in the realm of Star Trek fiction. I would recommend The Vulcan Academy Murders as a fun, light read for the trekkie who wants something a little different from the usual spaceborne ...more
Jun 28, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: tos-novels
I enjoyed this one, perhaps slightly less than its sequel, The IDIC Epidemic (which I highly recommend), which is not really a mystery. I do like mysteries in general, but as others have pointed out, this one has a flaw-slight spoiler- regarding how obvious the murderer is. However, it has lots of Vulcan relationships, and Sarek's feelings for Amanda are sweet. And I was sort of pleased that I took note of a potentially throw-away comment during a conversation with Dr. McCoy that turned out to b ...more
Jean Barrett
Mar 26, 2013 Jean Barrett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I've read too many Star Trek books to review them all, but although very old, this one is stil my favourite. I love the way Jean has captured the relationships between the characters, and seems to have a real handle on Vulcan's and their lives. I especially liked the way she interpreted Sarek's relationship with Amanda.

It's got murders, fire, battles, betrayal - everything required for a good read. I haven't read it for many years. Perhaps I should re-read it again before reviewing it from memo
Jun 25, 2015 Kate rated it it was amazing
Let's put all the nice worldbuilding (Vulcan culture and history!) and character stuff (Sarek!) aside and talk about the scene that was the reason I read the book in the first place: Spock saving the bully's life at what he thought was the cost of his success. That sort of altruism is what will earn a character an undying place on my favorites list. I already could see that Spock was one of those people, but to watch that play out in such a perfect scenario (pretty much the exact scenario I had ...more
Jim Morrison
Jul 15, 2012 Jim Morrison rated it liked it
Shelves: star-trek
It held my interest. There were some interesting historical explanations, especially concerning Vulcan and Vulcans. The characters were true to the series. I thought it was good while I was reading it, but now I am reading "Foundation" an I realize how much better it might have been. Three stars because I kept reading it. Only three stars because it was not remarkable. Lorrah has the writing skills, there is a plot, but not the best of the star trek novels I have read, and not the best of Lorrah ...more
May 26, 2012 Richard rated it did not like it
About 25 years ago (1986 - 1989) I read several of the STOS tie-in books. The vast majority of them were very m'eh, but one stood out as being really good while another stood out as being really bad. This was the bad one. Do you think it means something that I can remember the title of the one I hated but can't remember the title of the one I loved? Looking at the lists, Uhura's Song was the really good one.
Abbey Stellingwerff
Dec 30, 2015 Abbey Stellingwerff rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-sci-fi
An enjoyable Star Trek book. The author's interpretation of Vulcan culture was, as Spock would say, "fascinating." I enjoyed learning more about Vulcans, though I did find it hard to keep some of the characters separate in my mind! While the story had great world building, premise, and characterization, I guessed the murderer and motive right away. Nonetheless, I loved watching Captain Kirk and co. scrambling around trying to figure out who the murderer was.
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Jean Lorrah is a science fiction and fantasy author. She has produced several Star Trek novels and often collaborated with Jacqueline Lichtenberg. Her most recent work with Lichtenberg is on the Sime - Gen Universe. Her fantasy series The Savage Empire, from the 1980s, is mostly solo work. She is also a professor of English at Murray State University and received her PhD from Florida State Univers ...more
More about Jean Lorrah...

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