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Star Trek The Final Reflection (Star Trek: The Original Series #16)

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  899 ratings  ·  61 reviews
Klingon Captain Krenn is a ruthless war strategist. But on a mission to Earth, Krenn learns a lesson in peace. Suddenly he must fight a secret battle of his own. His empire has a covert plan to shatter the Federation. Only Krenn can prevent a war -- at the risk of his own life
ebook, 256 pages
Published September 22nd 2000 by Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing (first published May 1984)
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May 27, 2009 Kerry rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any casual Trek fan
Recommended to Kerry by: Mordicai Knode
Shelves: iownthis, star-trek, scifi
Man, I am a jerk for not listening to Mordicai earlier (he told me to read this, like, five years ago or something) because this was pretty damn good!

I think that it helped that the crew from the Enterprise wasn't in it (save a young Spock who makes a cameo appearance), which can sometimes take one out of the story. It was just a story about Klingons, well told. Also it's neat to note all the things that had changed in the Star Trek canon since the book was written (Q'onoS had yet to be establis
Star Trek's major running theme was probably anti-racism and anti-oppression of all kinds. At times, its exploration of this theme seems naive and clumsy by our standards today, but at other times, it was masterful enough to stand up to today's viewers. This book is that kind of masterful.

At first, I was worried reading the review of it on Goodreads. It was mostly gamers who liked it citing the descriptions of the games played by the characters and their relationship to war and battle. But, what
While I’ve only read a handful of the Star Trek books the Final Reflection certainly stands out as one of the better ones. Focused around Klingon culture the book roughly takes place in the generation preceding the original Star Trek series with even McCoy’s grandfather and Spock as a young boy making a brief appearance. Given the militarized nature of the Klingons there’s certainly a lot of combat – John M. Ford in fact kicks off the story with a live player bout of the Klingon strategy game Kl ...more
Remember the old Klingons, who didn't have ridged foreheads, wore gold satin vests, and were devious rather than honorable? Ford takes two-dimensional villains and creates a culture and society that's rich and complex, which makes you understand why they hate the Federation so much. One of the few Star Trek novels to transcend Trek and stand as a true sci-fi classic of its own accord.

Likely the ONLY franchised novelization you'll ever see me review here, this one has always struck me as memorable (in a sea of mediocrity) due to its sympathetic potrayal of the early show era's Klingons from their point of view. Written by THE DRAGON WAITING's John Ford. Quite good!
Daniel Kukwa
I find this to be a bit of an over-rated "Star Trek" novel...not really the all-conquering classic, according to reputation. That said, had the entire novel been as intense as its first third, my opinion would be different. Once the Klingons arrive on Earth, the story feels like it grinds to a crawl, and by the time the final chapter captures the intensity of the opening sections, it's too little, too late. What it certainly does demonstrate is that Klingon culture is absolutely addictive & ...more
Hands down, the best Star Trek novel written so far. Now, granted, this is not a terribly high bar to vault but Ford is a genuinely good writer who loves his subject.
Radu Stanculescu
An excellent book, and quite different from the previous one I read by Ford.
I loved Ford's delicious farce, How Much for Just the Planet?. This is completely different, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, too. I rode the bus 30 blocks past my stop because I was so engrossed. The protagonist is from an entirely alien culture, and you're caught up in his world view. Jo Walton writes a much better review of it than I can* (note that she's in no way a Star Trek fan):
"For me, The Final Reflection would be a better book if it were set in an original universe. But it’s still an excel
Dan Choquette
Jun 20, 2013 Dan Choquette rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Star Trek/Klingon Fans, people who like world and culture building
Most of the time, I felt a little disappointed by Star Trek novels I've read in the past. But this is the exception. As I read and became more and more engrossed in the storyline, a part of me wondered why I'd never picked this book up before. Written long before Worf and the Next Gen. developed the Klingons from typical Black hat villains to full fledged characters, John M. Ford created a culture for these intriguing aliens. Following the "novel within a novel" approach, "the Final Reflection" ...more
[These notes were made in 1984:]. My first reaction to this one was to scream "foul!" The major part of the novel - all except the perfunctory frame - is set forty years before the exploits of the Enterprise crew, so the only glimpse we get of our old favourites is a reference to McCoy in diapers, and a cameo of Spock beating the Klingon hero at chess at the tender age of seven (Spock, not the Klingon). Nonetheless, it's quite well-written, and I was reasonably interested in the development of K ...more
You should read this book even if you don't read Star Trek books. You should just read this book. Right away.

Since saying "it's a John M. Ford book" is probably not enough to entice you, let me just say that it's brilliant. He was always a very intelligent writer, and this book is no exception. It's clever, and full of layers and more layers and hidden references -- a lot like the games and diplomacy that the characters engage in, actually. I always feel like there's so much of his work I'm not
David King
“The Final Reflection” by John M. Ford is a Star Trek novel that I believe is rather unique for the genre. The reason for this is that the core story is quite simply one that could be enjoyed by any fan of Science Fiction, not just those who appreciate Star Trek.

Part of this is due to the fact that the only section of the novel which involves the regular Star Trek characters is a very minor framing story. This framing element basically details Kirk deciding to read a novel entitled “The Final R
WHAT??? I haven't reviewed this book yet?

That's crazy.

This is one of my absolute favorite books. I don't know how many times I have read it since it was printed in 1984. Well I just finished it AGAIN for the umpteenth time and I enjoyed it maybe just a little bit more than I enjoyed it the last time I read it --- which I think was last year. (TFR was printed twenty-seven years ago. Does that mean I have read it twenty-seven times? Or more???)
Well. It is that good. It is one of the best books I h
Fuzzy Gerdes
Man, ifyou wanna have even your nerd friends call you a geek, carry around a Star Trek novel for a couple of days. My excuse for reading The Final Reflection is that it's by the late John M. Ford. Ford didn't publish that many books, but they're all worth reading. Yes, even the two Star Trek novels he wrote.

This novel is set well before the original Star Trek series (it features a cameo by Dr. McCoy literally in diapers) and is entirely from the point of view of Klingons. Ford was one of the f
Easily the best of the 80+ Star Trek novels I read in my teens, and the only one I revisit on a regular basis. Told from the perspective of a Klingon, Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are only minor characters in this tale. The story is set in the "past" of Star Trek's 23rd century, at a time when the Klingons and the Federation are trying to figure out how to occupy neighboring parts of space. The first part of the novel gives us insight into the Klingon homeworld and the fate of a common Klingon boy as ...more
Claire Gilligan
Fun! So, I wasn't planning to read ANY Star Trek novels, but some list I found on reddit convinced me to pick up a few, at least the best of the best...

This one is set within the Klingon Empire, a generation or two before TOS, and it was just fun! Pleasant to read, well fleshed-out characters, plot just complicated enough to make sense, etc. I am not disappointed!
I hadn't read a Trek novel before and was pleasantly surprised by the experience. I expected a satisfying elaborate plot and disappointing clunky writing. Instead I got more or less the opposite. The writing was actually quite good, equal to or better than any standalone SF novel. Ford fleshes out Klingon characters and society in a believable way that is important to the overall canon (even though I understand the books are not considered canon--oh well). The plot was a little convoluted, howev ...more
Bookworm Amir
Vrenn's in the Green Team, in the Klin Zha games which includes a keeper, Flier, Fencer and a lancer. Vrenn's a Lancer and in this dangerous game Vrenn's Gensa has beaten the Gold Player. After the game ended, Admiral Rustazh, is looking for a child adoption. He adopted Vrenn since he's nine years old. As he grew older he went to the Marines. He had a fight with somebody and had knocked the wind out of him. Now Vrenn needs to replace him for weeks and plays and important part in the ship. Soon o ...more
Brandon Stenger
I sought this book out because I had heard it was one of the greatest tie-in novels ever written. I cannot argue with that statement - it's not just a great tie-in novel, it's a great novel period. If you like Star Trek at all, this should be on your bookshelf.
Jennifer Walker

I read this years ago in, what, elementary school? Wow. That long. Anyway, I thought it was awesome back then. It's still a pretty good story.
Ian Williams
Probably the best Star Trek novel ever written, would make a fine miniseries someday, if they were doing that sort of thing
In my experience, the best Star Trek book ever! Hard to believe it's by the same guy who wrote How Much for Just the Planet. Set around the time of the Enterprise series, but written before it aired, I believe, so happily unencumbered. A great look into the depths of the Klingon world and psyche.

It's been a couple years since I read it, but I will definitely read it again.
If you have not read The Final Reflection, do so! I have long been told that it is nearly the finest example of Trek literature, and having now read it, I can't disagree. Since it was published nearly thirty years ago now, much of "canon" Star Trek contradicts the events and ideas presented in The Final Reflection, but I think that it is completely worth reading on its own merits, even merely as a "road not taken" sort of story.

Full review:
I love this book so, so much. Okay, so we have Shakespearian space vikings... who play games... and build up their culture around games...
There is so much to love here, from our glorious hero Krenn to his girlfriend. I'm not going to spoil this, but you have to read it. It's beautiful. Every single event genuinely means something. And there are genuinely funny moments, too, like at the transporter... but I'm not going to spoil it. Anyway, HIGHLY recommended to absolutely everyone.
I read quite a few Star Trek novels during the 1980s, and this one is one of my three favorites. It paints the Klingons as ruthless and bloodthirsty, and yet honorable. Klingon society, though incredibly nerve-wracking and violent in the eyes of humans, makes its own sort of sense and is rewarding to those who manage to survive. In this way, John Ford's Klingon Empire is much like the Kzinti Empire of Larry Niven's Known Space universe.
Mike McDevitt
I had a very low opinion of this for years. I increased it to "like" this time through. See, the author built his own Klingon culture with only the original series to go on, and I read this AFTER virtually everything about it was contradicted by the Klingons of ST:TNG. Instead of dismissing it as inconsistent and non-canonical, I had to acknowledge it as good, imaginative writing that TV quickly relegated to some other dimension.
Dec 05, 2007 Juliana rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: star trek nerds
Shelves: sff, tv
Ford was really telling an original SF story more than writing a Trek novel (the TOS characters only appear peripherally), and it's an interesting story. Most of the stuff about the Klingons has since been Jossed (to use an anachronystic term), but it's an intriguing look at an attempt to create backstory for the Klingons when there wasn't much of one. If I recall correctly, he even tried to explain the forehead thing...
Yep, it's a Trek novel (the only one I've ever read in fact, based on the recommendation of a *very* well-read SF reader) focusing on the Klingon side with the usual cast appearing only in cameos. No longer considered canon (apparently) but still lots of fun. No idea if there's an audiobook version, but I suspect it would be very well-suited to the format with the right reader.
I keep forgetting just how vast the difference is between Klingons as portrayed in non-canon material in the 23rd century versus the same in the 24th. Having said, once I stopped twitching at the marked changes, the book was enjoyable with some excellent plot twists and a good climax.
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John Milo "Mike" Ford was a science fiction and fantasy writer, game designer and poet.

Ford was regarded (and obituaries, tributes and memories describe him) as an extraordinarily intelligent, erudite and witty man. He was a popular contributor to several online discussions. He composed poems, often improvised, in both complicated forms and blank verse, notably Shakespearean pastiche; he also wrot
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