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The Klingon Gambit (Star Trek: The Original Series #3)

3.34  ·  Rating Details ·  776 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
The Klingons are hungry for war... their target: The Enterprise!

When Captain Kirk and his crew are ordered to Alnath II to challenge the deadliest Klingon starship Terror, they're ready for anything--or so they think. But the defenseless Vulcan crew of a Federation science ship has been wiped out. The remaining members of the Alnath II mission have discovered a fabulous an

Paperback, 0 pages
Published July 10th 1981 by Pocket Books (first published 1981)
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Community Reviews

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Jan 14, 2013 Joshua rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is without a doubt one of the worst things I've ever tried to read. Cliched, contrived, boring drivel. Nothing about this book was good or interesting; nothing about it was thrilling or compelling. Actually it did compel me to vomit a few times. And all this comes from a fan of Star Trek, especially the Star Trek novel.
Jan 06, 2008 Melanie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek, sci-fi, fiction
Ironically and with pure unintended artlessness, I'm sure, this quote sums up the entire book:
"The longer this drags on, the more confused it gets. What are the Klingons doing on Alnath? What is it that killed those Vulcans? What, what, what?" (p. 79)

So I had this grand plan to re-read the entire 97-book Pocket Star Trek Original Series novels over the course of a year or so and review each book...but damn, two books in and this is the one that's making me seriously reconsider. It's not that it'
Although I found it enjoyable, the latest STAR TREK movie, INTO DARKNESS, left me longing for the days of "classic" Trek, back when Kirk & co. didn't rely so much on blowing stuff up and punching people repeatedly in the face. Back when STAR TREK didn't feel like a cross between MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE and THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS set in outer space. That's why I picked up THE KLINGON GAMBIT by Robert E. Vardeman, the first STAR TREK novel I've bothered to read since high school. I chose it beca ...more
Sep 10, 2013 Craig rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek, sci-fi
Bad enough that even though I love Star Trek it could not push it to two stars. Spock crying like a baby, a story that never really did seem to get off the ground. I suppose there was supposed to be tension building in the book but I never felt it.
Deranged Pegasus
Oct 20, 2011 Deranged Pegasus rated it it was amazing
Shelves: star-trek-read, 2011
A surprisingly philosophical tale as it delves into the psyche of humans, Vulcans, Andorians, and even Klingons. The book is a beautiful look into the hearts and desires of the beloved Enterprise crew.
Brian Hogan
This was actually the first Star Trek book I read when I was in either 7th or 8th grade. and actually I'm 41 years old well that was awhile ago! I remember I did a book report on it it was completely sucked into it and completely enthralled by it. However this time around re- reading it and by the way I don't know why I decided to reread it a couple of months ago it just popped into my head. Anyway this time and I enjoyed it but it really didn't suck me in. Recently I've read a lot of other Star ...more
Nov 11, 2013 Jim rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Awful read the story sucks it is soo boring the climatic phaser battle at the end is even more boring this novel just reminded me of the naked time which both feature Spock crying but the difference is this novel is garbage
May 28, 2013 Becky rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek, dnf
Did not finish. It was to awful and I didn't want to waste my time!
Apr 28, 2016 Jerry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one was just mediocre for me.
Chris Jason
May 27, 2017 Chris Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Classic Star Trek. Like reading a tv episode in book form. I would definitely recommend to others for a quick Klingon and federation dispute.
David King
“The Klingon Gambit” by Robert E. Vardeman is an Original Series Star Trek novel which is set firmly during the first 5 year mission period. The story follows the Enterprise as it is ordered to Alnath II where a Klingon ship is suspected of murdering the crew of a Vulcan science ship. Meanwhile an Archaeological team down on the planet refuse to leave despite the continued threat of the Klingons. Before long both the crews of the Enterprise and Klingons being to act irrationally and the risk of ...more
S. J.
Jan 25, 2012 S. J. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Trek fans

*The Gush...and the Negative again*
This is not a bad Star Trek book...its just not a particularly good one. The characters are all...there with Chekhov and Spock's reactions of particular focus with a good bit of Kirk thrown in. Kirk himself shines the most here. You really see the dichotomy of soldier/explorer/diplomat all wrapped up in one rather then dealing with those aspects separately as was often done in the series. Spock is...merely a repeat of the same old 'emotions/no emotions' so
Jan 07, 2013 Menion rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As far as 'Star Trek' books go, with so many in the damn series, anytime you read one, it really is like the quintessential 'box of chocolates' that Forrest Gump used to yabble on about. As for this one, I have to say, it really is a cut above the ordinary ST novel. It is a quick read, with a fast plot, and a mystery that will keep you guessing. At the short length of less than 200 pages, you really can't go wrong.
Plot is simple enough-the Enterprise is called in to yet another remote alien plan
Aug 28, 2014 Tarl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek
Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to read this book based solely off the Klingon dreadnought on the cover. I've read Star Trek novels before, but nothing so close to the beginning of the novels, so this was a treat.

Vardeman did a good job with the crew of the Enterprise. All of what you would expect is there. McCoy bantering with Spock, Kirk being decisive and pondering, Spock dealing with being a half-Vulcan; it's all there. I was actually surprised at how well Vardeman captured the crew that we
Conan Tigard
Nov 14, 2015 Conan Tigard rated it really liked it
The Klingon Gambit takes place during the original 5-year mission and, according to the Stardate, is near the end of the second season.

At the beginning of the book, the entire crew immediately blamed the Klingons for the destruction of the T'pau and was encouraging James T. Kirk to fire on the Terror when it came into sight. I don't remember this kind of bloodthirstiness from the crew of the Enterprise ever, so I had a slight problem with that. Yes, I do remember that the Federation of Planets
Mike Crate
Mar 10, 2016 Mike Crate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, star-trek
The catastrophic loss of telemetry from a Vulcan ship supporting an archaeological dig has the Enterprise warping into the Alnath system to confront a Klingon dreadnought suspected of involvement. Upon arrival the Vulcan ship is found adrift, its crew all dead but with no direct evidence of foul play, further investigation is required amongst the Andorian led scientists and the Klingon warship. Evidence of a very advanced civilization has been found on Alnath but as the mystery deepens the crew ...more
Tory Young
Although it's less than 200 pages, I had the hardest time forcing myself to finish this book. The basic plot of this story is that, for reasons unknown, the crew of the starship Enterprise are exhibiting extremely erratic behavior. The major characters familiar from the TV show are all acting in ways that are completely out of character (Spock cries! Scotty really wants to work on the engines! Like, more than usual! Bones... doesn't like machines?). It's an interesting concept, but the author do ...more
Rich Meyer
Feb 05, 2013 Rich Meyer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
An okay early entry in the Star Trek novel series, The Klingon Gambit just doesn't have the flair and action of the best adventures of the Enterprise. There's also a lot of out-of-character actions by the crew (for reasons that will become obvious), especially Mr. Spock. A lot of these books try to explore the Vulcan-Human dichotomy within the character, and end up trying to bring out his emotions in ways never evidences on the original series. In a few instances (like The Vulcan Academy Murders ...more
Although this book was very interesting and something that I didn't want to put down, it just wan't...the greatest. The whole plot is built up and then it kind of sits there before it abruptly ends. It was a good try at a mystery. Also I noticed a couple of chapters in there where Spock becomes emotional, etc., that are EXACTLY like "The Naked Time" in the TV series. Same emotions, same problems, Kirk does the same thing to him to snap him back into it when he needs him.....and I also noticed th ...more
Mike McDevitt
Dec 28, 2011 Mike McDevitt rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Everyone's acting weird! Obsessed with hobbies instead of work (although our main characters hobbies ARE their work today). It has nothing to do with the Klingons, who are in the same boat from the mystic radiation of a magic crystal that focuses passions. Chekov's passion is pushing the shoot button? Really? Or McCoy's his love of botany? Kirk LOVES his efficiency reports?

I'll come out and say it- don't these people want to get laid? Scotty and Girl Scotty get the engines to 110 percent but th
The Enterprise investigates why a Vulcan science ship has not checked in. They find everyone dead on board, and an archaeology team on the surface of the planet. There is also angry klingons on the latest Bird of Prey ship. I liked the idea of 1mm life forms. This is mainly a character piece, something is making everybody act as an extreme version of themselves. Scotty is funny with it. Bones is disturbing. Checkov is annoying. Spock is predictable with it. It is a fun read and does feel like a ...more
Nov 17, 2013 Yves rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, star-trek
J'ai très peu à dire sur ce livre à l'exception d'un gros bof. Ce livre n'est pas mauvais mais il n'est pas bon non plus. Lors d'une investigation sur la mort suspecte de scientifiques Vulcains, l'Enterprise se retrouve confronté à des Klingons menaçants. Kirk doit aussi contrôler son équipage qui semble plus émotif et instable qu'à l'habitude.

Ce que j'ai le moins aimé, c'est que j'ai vu venir le punch des kilomètres à l'avance. Ça me donne l'impression que l'auteur n'a mis aucun effort avec cet
Sarah Hayes
A 2.5, really. Rather a halfhearted excuse to write the cast of Star Trek in out-of-character hijinks, punctuated by Klingon antics and Kirk being . . . Kirk. The Spock subplot was the most irritating; I will never understand writers wanting to throw Spock into lust for the hell of the fun. McCoy's alien-heightened xenophobia was very much not amusing. Uhura and Sulu seemed to be mostly forgotten about. Overall, a quick read but nothing special or particularly quality about it.
May 19, 2010 Surreysmum rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1983, star-trek
[These notes were made in 1983:]. Not a particularly distinguished addition to the ST canon, altho' it has all the basic elements - the terminology and the philosophy - more or less right. The danger comes not from the Klingons as such, but from the warmongers on each side. It breaks with ST convention somewhat by taking us into Klingon territory (where no man has ever gone before, strangely enough) and winds up satisfactorily enough, thanks to the indefatigable efforts of Kirk & Co.
Jan 24, 2016 Chuck rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book about an ancient civilization being discovered. A ship with a Vulcan crew all perish. Klingons in orbit around the planet, and the Enterprise with its crew out of control, trying to protect the scientists who are on the planet. Throw in a mutiny on the Klingon vessel, and a strange "influence" on both crews and you have a neat Star Trek story with all of the twists and turns of the original series. I enjoyed the trip.
Daniel Kukwa
Jul 28, 2011 Daniel Kukwa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek
It's a bit too short to be an all-conquering classic...but it makes up for its novella-ish length with complete craziness! It's as if Robert Vardeman took inspiration from episodes such as "The Naked Time" and "This Side of Paradise", stirred in a batty Andorian archeologist, loopy Klingons...and watched the resulting explosion with unabashed glee. This is quite the super-fast "Star Trek" acid trip...but an enjoyable one, to be sure!
James Tyrrell
Pretty good read, although I worked out the cause to a certain extent long before the climactic 'reveal'. I also found the characters weren't as well developed as the other book I read. I am in the process of working through all #97 books of "Star Trek: TOS". So maybe by the end I'll regrade all these books in comparison to each other.
Dec 22, 2014 Jc rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robert Evardeman gives a good representation of the TOS era in The Klingon Gambit. Two opposing factions spiraling towards open war over a planet but a mysterious force is making everyone acting in hyperbole.

Read the rest of my review here:
Ralph McEwen
The story is a little better than OK. I have to give it credit for not reveling the reason for the odd behavior of the captain and crew tell almost the end. The story seemed to be chopped up with ragged scene changes
Though I assume that the author has seen Star Trek episodes beyond the first season, I am not totally convinced of it. Ray guns? Defensive screens? The hell? Though I was more annoyed by the characterizations and the plot. Ugh. Not one of the better ST:OS novels.
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