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My Enemy, My Ally (Star Trek, #18)
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My Enemy, My Ally (Star Trek: The Original Series #18)

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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  1,383 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Ael t' Rlailiiu is a noble and dangerous Romulan Commander. But when the Romulans kidnap Vulcans to genetically harness their mind power, Ael decides on treason. Captain Kirk, her old enemy, joins her in a secret pact to destroy the research laboratory and free the captive Vulcans. When the Romulans discover their plan, the Neutral Zone seethes with schemes and counter-sch ...more
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Published September 22nd 2000 by Pocket Books/Star Trek (first published 1984)
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Cathy
Dad was right, it was really fun. Diane Duane just gets it, she gets everything about what made Star Trek great. It was exciting, touching, and laugh-out-loud funny at all of the right times. The old characters were spot-on without feeling retread and the new characters were very interesting. I went into this reading (I'm pretty sure I read it at least 20 years ago, but I can't remember, I may be remembering Ensign Rock from other books) as a favor to Dad, but he was right and I was wrong, and n ...more
David B
Diane Duane has crafted a good basic story about a Romulan commander joining forces with the Enterprise crew to foil a despicable new weapon that she feels will be a permanent blight on the honor of the Romulan people. It has some nice suspenseful moments and builds to a satisfying climax.

However, it is also terribly padded. There are pages and pages of exposition that do little to advance the story and belabor the character points that are being made. Characters converse for pages about matters
...more
John Carter McKnight
This book is one of my favorite rereads: I can't believe I've never reviewed it. Duane's Trek novels come from a parallel universe where Trek, and its classic characters, are better than they actually were - in a way, truer to canon than canon, pure Roddenberry.

There's a profound joy to her work: aliens are wonderful, exploration is amazing, everyone has the potential to become their best self.

My Enemy, My Ally came from an era of Trek novels when really good writers could be tasked with expan
...more
Bill
Picked this for cheesy vacation reading but was blown away by how great it ended up being. Everything you want a licensed tie-in book to be - feels right and familiar, but one that expands the world and tells a story in a way they wouldn't or couldn't on TV or in a movie - but then kicks it all up a notch by being a great, fast-paced, gripping story that you don't need to be a Trek fan to enjoy. I need to go track down some of Ms. Duane's other books now.
Nancy Cousintine
I just read the whole Rhihansu series and thoroughly enjoyed it! I am a Trekker from way back. I began my"love affair" with Star Trek back in the seventies, and I have been a fan ever since. The Rhihansu series by Diane Duane is an in depth look at Rhihansu(Romulan)society, with lots of action, adventure, and strong characterization.

There are five books in the saga: My Enemy,My Ally, The Romulan Way, Sword Hunt, Honor Blade and The Empty Chair. The story arc is an ever deepening look into what h
...more
Generic Human
As a novel, it's okay. It's a standard adventure story within the Star Trek setting. It was nice to learn more about Romulans, but it felt like they were space natives with high-tech weapons. The assault portions are illogical and poorly written, and the final chapters are thrown together to resolve the plot. They were far too convenient and filled with technical improvisations that would take far longer to complete if it weren't needed in five minutes to resolve end the book. And then, of cours ...more
Amber
My Enemy, My Ally remains one of the best classic Star Trek novels ever written, even thirty years after its original publication date. I want to give this one to everyone I've ever known who's been disappointed by a Trek book and say, "Read this. It will change your mind about Trek."

I will admit right up front that I have a rather large bias toward Diane Duane, who has written a considerable portion of my favorite books (her YA fantasy series, Young Wizards, is also very much worth your time to
...more
Brandie
Four stars for the book itself, three stars for the ebook formatting. So many typos! Every chapter had major typos, words that were obviously meant to be deleted after corrections, etc. Someone needs to look to the reformatting of the ebook.

When I was a kid, The Romulan Way (2nd book in this series) was one of my favorite novels (it still is). I never read any of the other books in the series, and since the series has been nominated for Yuletide a couple of times now, I wanted to be familiar wit
...more
Justin
Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars

Sorry Mom, I just couldn't give it a better rating. I tried to like it more, I really did.

The story starts off very slow, i.e., spends the entire first 60% of the book setting things up and introducing a plethora of ridiculous characters. If it wasn't Spoke, Kirk, McCoy or the Romulans, it was a multi-tentacled gelatinous fart blob. The author did not capture the essence of the characters very well. The first part of the story I felt I was reading Twi-Trek. With such an i
...more
David Bonesteel
Diane Duane has crafted a good basic story about a Romulan commander joining forces with the Enterprise crew to foil a despicable new weapon that she feels will be a permanent blight on the honor of the Romulan people. It has some nice suspenseful moments and builds to a satisfying climax.

However, it is also terribly padded. There are pages and pages of exposition that do little to advance the story and belabor the character points that are being made. Characters converse for pages about matters
...more
Cheryl
A truly good read in formula fiction. It won't be a spoiler to say that Kirk succeeds in his dangerous mission behind Romulan lines, that the Federation is noble and diverse, etc. Etc. What makes the book a standout is the detailed minor characters--no redshirts wantonly slaughtered here -- and the in-depth look at Romulan politics and battle culture set off against Vulcan civilization. There are twists and turns and reversals of loyalty, tehnology that isn't deus ex machina, and the central the ...more
Toku49
This was a great book. I love how Diane Duane really lays out the foundations for a true Romulan culture rather than leave them as some obscure offshoot of the Vulcans who are similar to Earth's Roman Empire. The book has good flow as well. I would recommend this to any Trekkie and even to individuals who are into cultural studies as well.
Surreysmum
Despite the Harlequinesque title, this is quite a good effort, with a nice balance of action and reflection, and the same unpretentious grasp of the characters as Ms Duane exhibited in The Wounded Sky. In this one, a Romulan commander, an oldish woman, decides that in all honour she cannot support the Romulan Empire's mind-experiments on kidnapped Vulcans, and she enlists Kirk and the Enterprise to put a stop to the horror. The trouble is, of course, one of trust: in order to penetrate into the ...more
Greg Price
This book (the entire "Bloodwing" series, really) is IMO the definitive EU examination of the Romulans. Written before TNG, the early books draw their cues from the depiction of the Romulans in the classic series episode "Balance of Terror". Both the honorable and worthy Romulus of old and the scheming, power-hungry "new Romulus" (that would come to dominate in TNG) draw their origins from this ep.

Duane skillfully extrapolates from "Balance..." and shows us what Romulan society could have looked
...more
Tom
Very well done. I learned a great deal about Romulan history and culture. Writing was competent and not too wordy. However, a large number of pages was spent in the build-up. The ending was rather quick and, perhaps, too conveniently resolved. Also, the ebook had many typos.
Wendy
This is my second-favorite ST novel. It's action-packed, but also with enough mystery, and the characters' personalities are strong influences. I enjoyed the original characters for once--they are unique and strong, but they don't take the limelight away from our heroes, which is nice for a change.

The glass spider alien that gets along well with Spock was a very creative touch, I like her.

The plot stays workable even after the mystery is unveiled, and the reader is still very invested in the out
...more
Karina
The things that hooked me on this book is the interaction of Kirk and the 'enemy' romulan commander Ael. The characters feel as if they are straight from the TV series with the aliens and details that they could never have filmed. There are funny little bits like where Uhuru is working on a holographic projector and the test display is that of a Blue Police box out of which appears a Curly haired man with a long multi-colored scarf.
The deeper layer here are questions about what makes an enemy an
...more
Daniel Kukwa
I tend to blow hot and cold on her plot lines, but Diane Duane's command of character, and her familiarity with the original Enterprise crew, is nothing short of phenomenal. It's put to fantastic use here, as "My Enemy, My Ally" is as action-packed a "Star Trek" story as you are likely to find. Throw in Ms. Duane's intimate knowledge of Romulan culture, and her successful attempt to populate Star Fleet with truly alien creatures, and the end result is anthropological SF heaven. Only a rather slo ...more
Steve
I have to admit this is a re-read, however, I read it about ten years ago, and I only remembered a chess game result from the second chapter, so I think we can call it square. I'm not usually a fan of Original Series, I prefer Next Generation or DS9, but this book grabbed me and didn't let go. It took a race that was at the point of writing incredibly unknown and expanded them and built a story of intrigue, and then weaved the Enterprise into it. The climax of the book was well executed, but the ...more
Janet
I just re-read this book for at least the fifth or sixth time, and it always delights. Romulan Commander Ael is a wonderful character, and the relationship (*not* romantic) which Duane sets up between her and Kirk seems spot-on.

Duane also is one of the best authors at portraying non-human species. My favorite minor character in this book is the Horta's child, Naraht (called "Ensign Rock" by Ael): a smart, plucky young officer-in-training who just happens to look like a blob of rocky lava scuttl
...more
Mike McDevitt
Look at those names for a second. Ael t'Rllaillieu? Are these pointy eared Vulcan offshoots ROMULANS or Tolkien Elves? Yes, my original two stars was because I was never able to get over my rage at the Rihannsu, and there's clearly still some left. I love Diane Duane's ship battles, her characterization is spot on, and this is a darn fine heist story with high stakes. But if you want to rename Trek's existing races, write your own show.
Romulans, dammit! Decius, Praetor, Centurions, ROMULUS!
Ariel
I will fangirl these books until the end of time, especially because it's Diane Duane, but you know what? I think these books are good enough to be appreciated by non-Trek fans as well. The worldbuilding is fantastic - she even comes up with a functional language! - and the characters are excellent, strong yet flawed and believable too. I still haven't read the fifth and last book, but I look forward to it if it's as good as these four.
Dan
I found My Enemy, My Ally to be a great piece of writing and a lot of fun to read. The main characters are spot-on, and the new additions to the Enterprise crew as well as other new characters are introduced well and prove to be quite memorable. It is no wonder that this book spawned four sequels, the last of which was published in 2006.

Full review: http://treklit.blogspot.com/2011/06/m...
Isaac
A nice take on Romulan, er, Rihannsu, culture and politics and religion.
I rather wish the official cannon version of the Romulans would fall more in line.
In addition - a Horta! this is one of the only books I have ever read that have one as a character and I think "he" was done rather well. In addition to the Horta there are a plethora of other non-Humanoid species, which i always enjoy reading about.
RL
If a poll were taken by Star Trek fans asking what the five best Star Trek novels were, this book would probably wind up on at least half of the lists. This started out as a one shot novel, but due to popularity, this story turned into a five book series. It is set between Star Trek The Motion Picture and Star Trek II, The Wrath of Khan. It deals with the Romulans. Enjoy.
Billykay1960
Of all the trek books I've read, this was the most impressive attempt to integrate Romulans within the star trek universe. I very much enjoyed trying to pronounce the tr'Rihannsu language and the insight the book gave into the sundering with Vulcan. All in all a well written book but what else do we expect from Diane Duane. Her other Romulan offerings are just as excellent.
Matthew
A fine space opera that unites Kirk with a rogue Romulan captain to end a serious threat to the Federation. It fleshes out Romulans beyond just "Roman Vulcans", and given that perhaps my favorite Original Series episode is "Balance of Terror", which shows the Romulans in an honorable light, I rather enjoyed this book. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.
Michael Hanscom
Easily the best of the classic Trek novels that I've read so far. Excellent characterization of all the main characters (something in which many of the Trek novels stumble in, as much as they try), and the exploration into the Romulan culture through t'Rlailiiu's character is fascinating. Looking forward to reading more of Duane's books in the Rihannsu series.
Craig Tyler
Well it certainly was very detailed in the setup and background story for the actual action to begin and unfold, but it was an enjoyable read. If you are a fan of the genre, I am sure you will appreciate the many TV episode references to actual occurences from the show. However, I did think the many aliens and their descriptions to be a little forced.
Marianne
wow. i will forever be in love with the romulans because of this story. love the spark between Ael and Kirk as well. The book is fast paced, witty, with real Culture building. and as for the meaning of Jim in rihannsu... SPOILER Well, let's just say he he shares the name with a certain white lady that he lets Ael borrow (Even though he does mind;-))
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11761
Diane Duane has been a writer of science fiction, fantasy, TV and film for more than thirty years.
Besides the 1980's creation of the Young Wizards fantasy series for which she's best known, the "Middle Kingdoms" epic fantasy series, and numerous stand-alone fantasy or science fiction novels, her career has included extensive work in the Star Trek TM universe, and many scripts for live-action and a
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More about Diane Duane...

Other Books in the Series

Star Trek: The Original Series (1 - 10 of 112 books)
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  • The Entropy Effect
  • The Klingon Gambit
  • The Covenant of the Crown
  • The Prometheus Design
  • The Abode of Life
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan (Star Trek TOS: Movie Novelizations, #2)
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