Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book
Rate this book
It is the twenty-third century. On the planet Vulcan, a crisis of unprecedented proportion has caused the convocation of the planet's ruling council—and summoned the U.S.S. Enterprise™ from halfway across the galaxy to bring Vulcan's most famous son home in its hour of need. As Commander Spock, his father, Sarek, and Captain James T. Kirk struggle to preserve Vulcan's future, the planet's innermost secrets are laid before us, from its beginnings millions of years ago to its savage prehistory, from merciless tribal warfare to medieval court intrigue, from the exploration of space to the development of o'thia—the ruling ethic of logic. And Spock—torn between his duty to Starfleet and the unbreakable ties that bind him to Vulcan—must reconcile both his own inner conflict and the external dilemma his planet faces... lest the Federation itself be ripped asunder.

400 pages, Paperback

First published September 1, 1988

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Diane Duane

187 books2,280 followers
Diane Duane has been a writer of science fiction, fantasy, TV and film for more than forty 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 animated TV series on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as work in comics and computer games. She has spent a fair amount of time on the New York Times Bestseller List, and has picked up various awards and award nominations here and there.

She lives in County Wicklow, in Ireland, with her husband of more than thirty years, the screenwriter and novelist Peter Morwood.

Her favorite color is blue, her favorite food is a weird kind of Swiss scrambled-potato dish called maluns, she was born in a Year of the Dragon, and her sign is "Runway 24 Left, Hold For Clearance."

(From her official website)

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
1,210 (37%)
4 stars
1,138 (35%)
3 stars
693 (21%)
2 stars
136 (4%)
1 star
17 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 234 reviews
Profile Image for Jerry.
4,641 reviews56 followers
January 13, 2023
Some great stuff here...but nowhere near as epic as it could have been.

EDIT: This was actually better than I remembered! Maybe more familiarity with the Trek universe helped me to appreciate it better the second time around.
Profile Image for Michael O'Brien.
307 reviews82 followers
December 16, 2022
In our crazy world, where emotion triumphs reason and logic so much, what would it be like if, instead, the governing principle of human society was logic? In my youth, seeing a world and people in it that so much of the time makes little sense — and being a Trekkie - I imagined such a world would be a better one — a more advanced one, a more peaceful one if we were more like the Vulcans.

So with that in mind, I read this book, hoping to see what a logical society might be like. How would it be governed, how would it function, how would Vulcans relate to each other in everyday situations?

Unfortunately, this is not that book. Vulcan wants to secede from the Federation — kind of like the UK leaving the EU — so we’ll call it it Vexit. Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Sarek are summoned to the Vulcan Assembly to give testimony on Vexit.

Interspersed between chapters on this , there are chapters that cover different stages of the Vulcans’ development — with stages analogous to humans’ homo erectus, Cro-Magnon, Medieval, and Modern stages. I suppose they’re intended to illustrate how Vulcans became the way they are, but, other than the last one, they mostly seemed like filler to get the novel out to over 300 pages. The Modern Stage was most horrifying — picture a global version of Somalia — except with clans and tribes using neutron bombs and sub-light speed space tech against each other. That part does show how Vulcans came to the point at which they were receptive to Surek’s teachings to master one’s emotions and embrace logic, facts, and objectivity as the highest ideals of Vulcan society.

The parts involving the Vulcan Vexit debate are mildly entertaining. McCoy probably gave the best speech in a manner that would appeal to logical minds, yet from a human not just trying to ape a Vulcan. Kirk’s speech seemed hammy.

However, most egregiously, the author herself has Vulcans behaving in ways contrary to Star Trek canon — such as laughing during Kirk’s speech and in seeking revenge for emotionally driven reasons. Vulcan don’t laugh because, to them, as any Star Trek fan knows, humor isn’t logical. In all the original Star Trek episodes, you only see Vulcans laugh in 2 episodes ( I think): one is when Spock is on a planet with a narcotic effect on the crew; the other when the Enterprise finds a planet of Ancient Greek demigods who torment Spock by forcing him against his will to laugh and act out emotionally. In other words, it’s no more natural for a Vulcan to display emotions than for us to let others in public see our private parts.

So I was a little dissatisfied with this book. I didn’t feel like I got the tour of how a logic-based society, Vulcan would be.

Still, not all bad. Like I said, mildly entertaining. Some Trekkies might like it, notwithstanding its flaws.
Profile Image for Argona.
169 reviews257 followers
June 9, 2016
Let me start by saying Vulcans are my most favorite species in StarTrek universe and Spock is my most favorite character. That said, I really really enjoyed reading this book. It was an amazing read!

Spock's World revolves around a movement on the planet Vulcan to secede from the United Federation of Planets. A plot that nearly gave me a heart attack. All the while reading this book, I had to remind myself that there's no way for that to happen! A scary notion indeed.

The book alternates chapters between the main plot and Vulcan chapters that tell stories from Vulcan's history, from the evolution of the Vulcan species, the very first Vulcan word, development of their psychic powers and physical features such as their second eyelid to the story of Surak himself and how Sarek came to be an ambassador and his meeting with Amanda!If you like Vulcans, you are going to favor at least one or two of these stories. I loved many of them.

I found some of the Vulcan stories less captivating than the others and some times way too long. But certain stories were simply amazing! very deep, beautiful and insightful! As a Trekkie, some of the stories were a little hard to accept. I had to compare them to Canon and my own imagination after all. I specially had to wonder about the circumstances surrounding Surak's story, his story's time zone and the technology available at his time. For some reason I had imagined his story to be a far more ancient one. Then again that was my imagination! You have to keep in mind that this book is one author's take on Vulcan's past and history.At the end, Canon rules and we can all come up with our own myths and legends since certain things are always going to be a mystery!

The Vulcans are a difficult race to write about. That's for certain. In some books they are written too logical and emotionless while in some others they are almost human. Let's just say that Duane's Vulcans match my imagination.

The book also explores Vulcan philosophy and culture, especially the idea of cthia, a Vulcan concept translated as "reality-truth" or "seeing things the way they really are, instead of the way we would like to see them". A very interesting and deep concept that in my opinion has roots deep in the very essence of StarTrek.

As much as I love reading about Vulcan, the switching between present time and Vulcan history was very annoying at times.Some times I was eager to read more about Vulcan and sometimes I just had to know more about the main plot and the transition between the two was a bit frustrating!Regarding the main plot, most of the speeches were very interesting.Although I expected more from Vulcans and their logic. They didn't say much in my opinion. My main problem was with T'pring's role. A little too big for her to play maybe?

I have to mention that there are very interesting Alein characters in this book. I completely fell in love with "K's't'lk". She is a Hamalki, a species able to transfer their memories into new hatch lings before death which allows them to pursue projects over several lifetimes. She has officially joined my favorite StarTrek characters.It's a shame that the original TV series did not have enough budget and most of the crew had to be human. While reading this book, I constantly thought THIS is the real Starfleet! The author has certainly captured the main essence and spirit of StarTrek. I strongly recommend this book to all StarTrek fans, specially those interested in Vulcans.
Profile Image for Sud666.
1,944 reviews158 followers
July 6, 2021
Firstly I'd like to thank my GR friend, F. William Davis, for his spot on review that kindled my interest in this book. What can I say? Diane Duane is excellent. Not only for the detailed lore of the book, but the wonderful writing style which attempts to use as much real science as is possible in this sci-fi setting.

Set during the time of the STOS period, this is a tale of Captain Kirk and his crew. The Vulcan's have decided to hold a referendum on their Federation membership. Ambassador Sarek is put in the uncomfortable position of having to defend the Vulcan government's actions, while Kirk, Dr. McCoy, and Spock will serve as the voice for staying within the Federation. That's the gist of the story.

Where the story excels is in the chapters devoted to the development of Vulcans as a species and as a society. Duane's wonderful grasp of Vulcan legends and lore were a great read. The not only help to flesh out the story, but also does a wonderful job of worldbuilding for one of the more important species in the Federation.

One of the best Star Trek books I've read in awhile. Highly recommended even to people who may not like Star Trek, this is a story that might change your mind.

296 reviews22 followers
April 1, 2021
If you like Vulcans and would like to know what they were like before Surac brought them to practice logic, you will enjoy this book very much.
Profile Image for King Haddock.
467 reviews17 followers
February 14, 2017
Absolutely nothing wrong in being a Trekkie. Absolutely nothing wrong with a Trekkie novel. However, whenever I pick up a book that is basically fanfiction off of some other media, I watch myself warily. Reputation of such novels tends to be that they are crap or poorly written. This book was not so poorly as written as that. Furthermore, it entertained. Trekkies, this book is safe from painful divergence - I caught only a few minor tweaks from the canon, and overall even the minor details held to some Trekkie precedent.

Charming, in its own manner, this novel. Certainly the vocabulary Duane uninhibitedly flourishes to describe such wonders as the universe and the creation of a planet matches the grand atmosphere one expects from Star Trek. Certainly also charming Duane's noticeable intrigue in language... insertations on how to say "Live long and prosper" in Irish (I think it was Irish), and of course her frequent usage of Vulcan (don't know how hard I laughed the first time McCoy started spouting fluent Vulcan).

The book flowed steadily for the most part - some of the historical scenes of Vulcan I found less captivating than the Twenty-Third Century's main plotline - and the dialogue captured the main essence of TOS. I think Duane mimicked the phraseology of Spock best, followed by Kirk, and McCoy much further behind - but there was enough of the feel of a ST episode that I could suspend my disbelief (it's a sci-fi novel, isn't it), curl up on the couch, and enjoy myself. The climax at the end particularly satisfied... most of the speeches were well-done, with interesting turns of thought, though some of them I found countering in my head with my own set of logic... and if I, a mere human, could find many faults in them, I'm sure that the Vulcans would actually have ripped them to pieces.

A quick read, certainly. And, as aforementioned, charming. I don't know if I would go about recommending this book to others, though. If someone asked me, I would truthfully answer I enjoyed it. Still, if someone wants a really entertaining TOS-based read, I would rate Shatner's "Collision Course" above this one.
Profile Image for Jo.
443 reviews10 followers
May 20, 2010
Well written history of Vulcan. The chapters alternate between the present day "Enterprise" story of Spock, Kirk & McCoy being called to testify at hearings to decide on Vulcan's succession from the Federation and the pre-history/history of Vulcan.

The Enterprise chapters were delightful, and true to the characters - especially McCoy who surprisingly takes the main stage by being the most fleshed out and in relation to plot, the most important of the trio. Duane must really like the character of McCoy who is clever, witty and brilliant throughout.

The Vulcan chapters were interesting, more of a mixed bag, with some chapters feeling overlong and others revealing and insightful. The switch from chapters was a bit of a problem - the Enterprise chapters being so compelling, at times I was disappointed that I'd have to slog though a Vulcan chapter before I could return to the "story." However, I was usually quickly re-engaged in the Vulcan story.

As a Trekkie the only thing that didn't sit well with me were the circumstances surrounding Spock's conception. For several reasons, I have trouble accepting these circumstances were the case, but that is the author's decision.

Overall a great book, a must read for any TOS fan.
Profile Image for Charles.
Author 40 books252 followers
September 3, 2015
This book is a loving ode to Spock's World. There is very little action but the work is still compelling. We find out a lot about the evolution of Vulcan and Vulcans, and get some fascinating insights into the Vulcan people. We learn a lot more about Sarek and how he got together with Amanda, and how Spock was born. It was also beautifully written with a lot of poetry in it. I much enjoyed it.
Profile Image for Elizabeth  .
387 reviews73 followers
July 14, 2009
This is the only Star Trek tie-in novel I have read. I have never seen the original series or any of the spinoffs save the 2009 reboot. This probably disqualifies me completely to review it, given the rich, rich context from whence it sprang, but I'm gonna go ahead anyway.

Because Diane Duane is awesome, and this comes very close to standing on its own. I am not sure how close -- I have some small knowledge of the Star Trek-verse (very small), and I have been reading fanfiction for a good long while now, which requires skills in extrapolation and extension which I am sure I was using in reading this (without noticing). But I think I would have noticed infodumps, which this does not have, and I think I would have noticed any over-reliance on canon, which this almost doesn't have. The only point on which this book falls down on independence of story is its reliance on some event about a duel and an engagement and some chick named T'Pring, for backstory. I am missing nuance about that event, but it didn't ruin the experience for me.

This is a book by a young Duane, in which some of the flaws of the early Young Wizards books are even more glaring -- her love of science sometimes overwhelms her storytelling, and her use of jargon could have used a much heavier editing session (the early chapters on the creation of Vulcan, the planet, are 98% skippable unless you really like a cross of cosmology and Big Bang physics). The transitions between Vulcan chapters 4, 5, and 6 are just plain weird and abrupt.

But it is eminently readable, has some great character interactions -- and some great, incredibly *alien* aliens, creates a living, breathing culture for Starfleet which has only minimal misogyny in its bones, and is funny as hell. Would read again!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
1,092 reviews3 followers
February 23, 2015
I started reading ST novels when the Destiny trilogy came out, so i'm kinda new to the books even though I'm 35 & have loved everything ST ever since TNG started airing in the late 80's . I have enjoyed the recently published ST novels so much it made me want to go back & check out some of the older more popular/higher rated novels of times past & this book was on my list,....& I'm glad it was! This book gives the reader a ton of insight into Vulcan culture & history. Dianne Duane is really in a class of her own when it comes to character interaction/development. She really nails the Kirk/Spock/McCoy dynamic, (which is always of the utmost importance to me), but also does an excellent job of bringing the rest of the crew into the story in interesting fashion. Also I give her the highest praise for her ability to show the reader the details of day-to-day ship operations, which to me gives her novels a little something extra that I have yet to find anywhere else in the ST novels. This is one of my favorites, & I highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Kandice.
1,537 reviews237 followers
August 6, 2008
Another great example of the books giving you so much more to feel for the character.
Profile Image for Brian.
649 reviews79 followers
February 10, 2017
I am not a Trekker, having seen a bare handful of episodes across all the extant series and only a few movies, most lately Nemesis around the time it came out. I still call myself a Star Trek fan, though, since I've have read dozens of Star Trek novels and spent hours at work browsing Memory Alpha/Beta looking up various articles. And of all the reading I've done, the book that sticks out most for me is this one.

Spock's World is about a Vulcan vote on secession from the Federation and the arguments made both in favor of and against it. The plot is thus mostly dialogue and speechifying, and because of that I always thought the characterization of Kirk as the fighter and Picard as the talker found in society at large to be pretty odd, since Kirk spends the whole book here talking to people. It is, in that way, the fulfillment of the dream of Star Trek, that we can become a more enlightened species and resolve our problems through communications and understanding. None of the speeches is particularly long, either, so there's no worry about sitting through a pages-long slog waiting for something interesting to happen.

There are some elements of the plot that draw on the original series episode Amok Time, which to this day I have still never seen. I've absorbed enough from general geek culture now that I understand the references, but even when I first read this decades ago and had no prior knowledge of who T'Pring was, I still managed to pick up enough from the book that I could understand the plot without having to look anything up.

The real draw for me, though, is the history. Spock's World is half about the above-mentioned vote and half historical interludes from Vulcan's past, starting with the long-ago formation of the planet from interstellar gas and dust, through the ancestors of the Vulcans who lived through the solar flare that devastated the planet, the development of the arts of the mind and the breeding programs to produce powerful adepts, Vulcan's space program and the colonization of T'Khut, Surak developing the philosophy of cthia after seeing an antimatter weapon tested on T'Khut and encountering an A'kweth in the shadow of Mount Seleya, to Sarek being assigned as the ambassador to Earth. These chapters rarely have any connection with the main story, but I love them anyway. I think they draw on the same elements that make me like the Darkover series, with its war and it's psychic technology and its breeding programs. The portrayal of Vulcan in this book probably goes against official Star Trek canon, but since I know very little about the canon that's not a problem for me.

The writing is engaging as well, with none of the workmanlike prose that tie-in novels can sometimes fall prey to. I imagine some people will find the prose to be distasteful, but for me, passages like:
But for now the Earth keeps the moonlight and the romance to herself, slowly turning, shimmering faint and lovely like a promise made and kept a long time ago. Darkness scattered with diamonds, and the darkness never whole; there she lies, and turns in her sleep...
are like catnip.

There's also a lot of minor world details that would probably never show up in a TV show just because of the need to make it accessible and because of a limited budget. For example, when the Enterprise settles into orbit over Vulcan, there's the following line:
" 'Standard orbit,' Sulu announced. 'Fourteen thousand miles, hephaistosynchronous.' "
"Hephaistosynchronous"? Well, of course. They're not in orbit around Earth, after all. Even if a separate term for every planet in the Federation would be linguistically untenable, I can well understand coming up with a term for the homeworld of one of the earliest member species. And speaking of species, they are much more widely varied in Spock's World, when there isn't a need to make everyone a Rubber Forehead Alien to keep the budget down. There's a Horta crew member, and a crystalline radially-symmetrical spider and a pillar of eyes and tentacles and a arrangement of crystal that would shatter if touched by anyone but is kept safe with inertia dampers. None of them are major characters, though K's't'lk rises to the level of minor one, but I love their inclusion. It shows the breadth of species that make up the Federation far more effectively when these characters are simply there without much comment.

There are some interesting details on Vulcan society that I would have liked to see further developed, admittedly. The first is the concept of a'Tha, which is that the Vulcans constantly experience the present of G-d throughout their lives in the way many humans do during religious experiences. Spock doesn't really unpack that idea, but it seems to me that it's just an evolutionary adaptation for a psychic race. If they're always in and out of each other's minds--or at least, were in the early days of their history--the constant feeling of a presence there would help acclimate them to the idea of mental contact rather than actually being any kind of religious proof. Though the existence of katras is already proof for the immortal soul, so maybe Spock has a point. The second is the argument that logic is not capable of understanding the universe because of the existence of non-causal sciences like warp travel, which is brought up briefly in a speech by K's't'lk and then dropped.

Overall, Spock's World is one of the books that stands out most strongly of all the books I read while visiting my grandmother as a child, to the point where I sought it out at a used book store and bought it specifically so my wife could read it. For me, this book is Star Trek. I cannot recommend it highly enough to anyone with even a passing interest in the series.
Profile Image for Juushika.
1,552 reviews163 followers
January 23, 2019
Vulcan debates seceding the Federation; the narrative takes a deep dive into the planet and the people's origins. Both of the Duane Star Trek spinoffs I've read impress me with their minutiae and scope, things the source material lacks as a matter of course. (It works as often as not--it doesn't feel particularly like Star Trek, but expands on things I wish the series could have explored.) It's a natural fit to an ethnography of Vulcan, although in combination with a political/low-action A-plot and episodic historical B-plot it can read as distant and slow. But it's always thoughtful--although I don't always agree, particularly as regards emotion. It sounds good on paper, particularly reframing things as a mastery of emotion rather than an absence or suppression of emotion; but in actuality, contemporary Vulcan emotion feels too frivolous and historical Vulcan emotion too tame--there's a lack of tension and therefore justification for Vulcan practice (and, well, the book itself). But it kept me thinking about that tension, about where it should lie and how it could be better expressed, about the line between cultural practice and sociological necessity, about the line between mastery and repression. I'd call this more engaging than successful, but I'm glad I read it.
Profile Image for Wendy.
397 reviews56 followers
July 15, 2012
I actually read this from 9 July to 13 July, but didn't have internet access at those times. Anyway, on with the review.

I didn't remember reading this when I was young, but certain passages were familiar as I read them, so I must have read this at least once before.... Anyway, the re-read was interesting. Some of the author's similes and metaphors don't really work...at all. It makes her attempts at lyrical, descriptive writing seem laughable instead. Also there were some minor errors at logic and, um...making sense. The beginning has a few passages that are slow and boring and, as I mentioned, laughable. 'The sea a blue gray like quiet eyes' in particular did not work for me. Like quiet eyes? What? As far as I know, eyes can't talk--they're always quiet.

But after she lets go of the lengthy bad descriptions and gets on with the action, the author weaves an interesting and enjoyable tale. I read it (this time, I guess) as a light vacation read, and it suited the purpose well. Highly recommended to Star Trek fans in need of a light but engaging (after those first few boring parts) read.
Profile Image for Mahala.
101 reviews1 follower
January 1, 2016
Diane Duane turns the Vulcans from aloof, inscrutable aliens into people - not just like us, but similar enough to make their differences intriguing instead of off-putting. Her snippets of Vulcan history and prehistory are fascinating, interspersed with the framing story of Jim and McCoy coming down to speak on Vulcan during a time of crisis. I'm not too big a fan of the T'Pring and Stonn storyline, which is a shame as it's so important to the story. But Duane as usual builds a world so rich in detail that it's a delight to live in it for as long as you read the book.

Ps. This is really 3.5 or maybe 3.7 stars...curse your arbitrary star system, Goodreads!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Tommy Verhaegen.
2,290 reviews7 followers
July 14, 2019
I found that this book was much anticipated but i really cannot see why. Possibly because it gives some insight in both the history of Spock and his family as in Vulcan.
Mostly boring and psychologicial, chapters are switched with historical flashbacks that contain action and/or impartant events though often with dramatic endings.
Dr. McCoy steals the show while the title would insinuate otherwise. Some loose ends get cleaned up, for the rest a story to quickly forget. In my pile of over 500 Star Trek novels this one will definately stay at the bottom.
Profile Image for Jamie.
1,160 reviews105 followers
April 16, 2019
Vulcan Brexit! Seriously. This is about a divided Vulcan society seriously in an uproar about leaving the Federation. Scheming, lies and deceptions ensue. Just like the real Brexit. Quite a bit of interesting history on Vulcan itself, as well as Sarek, Amanda and Spock and their family roots. However, not all of it jibes with the canon I'm familiar with from the various television series, so beware ye faithful trekkers.
Profile Image for Dan.
312 reviews
November 10, 2012
An excellent entry into the panoply of Star Trek fiction, and one that should be a must-read for every fan of Star Trek novels. Diane Duane writes the characters pitch-perfect, and her presentation of the history of Vulcan is every bit as fascinating as the page-turning "contemporary" events of the novel.

Full review: http://treklit.blogspot.com/2012/11/s...
Profile Image for Sarah.
858 reviews69 followers
May 25, 2013
Another excellent Star Trek novel from Diane Duane. A must read for fans of Spock and the Vulcan culture. Also for fans of the Kirk/Spock/McCoy triumvirate, which I totally am.
Profile Image for Beta.
307 reviews13 followers
November 17, 2018
Immer noch das beste Star Trek Buch, das je geschrieben wurde. 25 Jahre später kann ich es immer noch gelesen und komplett eingesaugt Stunden über Stunden auf einem anderen Planeten verbringen. Die Ausflüge in die Geschichte sind toll, die Einblicke in Spocks Familienleben interessant aber das großartigste sind und bleiben die Debatten. Lieblingsbuch. :)
Profile Image for F. William Davis.
690 reviews19 followers
May 27, 2021
I'm a big fan of Duane's Trek. Diane knows our crew very well, always places them in spectacular stories and writes them as interesting human beings who happen also to be living heroes. The characterisations are near perfect and the dialogue is really good, the sense of humour feels natural.

"Jim shook his head, feeling sorry for this Engineering crew, all doomed to be turned into mechanical geniuses like their mad teacher." - This quote follows a scene where Scotty explains the rigour under which he's testing his newest recruits, perfectly reasonable hardships according to Scotty.

It is always excellent to see Horta in a story, though this story marks the first time I've heard a Horta described as a "Shaggy-fringed Rock". If you're now picturing a variety of Horta who could fill in for the Beatles, you're welcome and we can both thank Diane. This story also has some well constructed new alien species.

We get an impressive chunk of science fact in here and although I loved it, I remember thinking "what's the point of all this", but if you're paying close attention you'll see it all gets meaningfully referenced again through the story. Don't let the real science freak you out, there's a fair chunk of mumbo jumbo in it too.

The crux of the problem that Spock, Surak, Kirk and McCoy face is that political pressure has forced Vulcan High Command to consider parting ways with the Federation. Our familiars are back on Vulcan to put forward arguments against that decision. It turns out that the real problem is not as much the Federation as the humans themselves. Take that for a Vulcan slap in the face!

While much of what Diane creates in this story doesn't make it into eventual canon, this simple concept of anti-IDIC factions is definitely recognisable canon. So it wasn't until past half way through the book when I finally began to wonder exactly what event had occurred to spark this particular anti-human referendum.

Then, just as I was thinking it Spock runs off to obtain the answer in person. Surprisingly, the puppeteer confesses immediately to having pulled the strings and while I liked the reason given, it's about the least plausible situation in the story, (Other than learning a language through RNA treatments).

As is typical anywhere, history forms the backbone of the philosophical and political ideals on Vulcan and Duane creates a rich account of events that have shaped current Vulcan culture. We pounce around through these events between the main story events, but even so I really felt these characters and their connections to the current script. In fact the "current" events are interesting but the historical aspect is really the greatest contribution that Spock's World makes to the Star Trek litverse.

Forget about in-universe historical accuracy, this book was penned well before many details were canonised. Duane imagines our first contact with Vulcans as us meeting them in space to assist one of their disabled vessels (a brilliant idea, in my view)... And by the way, we had met those lovely blue Andorians first!

Spock's World is a 5-star creation that could easily have sufficed as a satisfying basis for Vulcan lore.
Profile Image for Drew Perron.
Author 2 books9 followers
November 1, 2015
This is an interestingly different take on Spock, Vulcan, and the Star Trek universe. I don't know if I'd want it to be "full canon", but I respect it a lot.

Diane Duane wrote this one, and it's very steeped in her style of writing - down to the idea that Vulcans have a constant sense of the immanent presence of God. She does the deep dive, building up not only Vulcan history and culture, but day-to-day life on the Enterprise and even 23rd century Earth itself. And it's good stuff, treating Vulcans not as logic-run robots, but as three-dimensional people with a certain shared philosophy, who stick close to it or give it lip service, interpret it their own ways, because of who they are as individuals.

Chapters in the present day are alternated with chapters that take place throughout Vulcan's history and prehistory, showing how it became the kind of world we know, the kind that would spawn Vulcans (and, later, Romulans), the kind that would have the conflict described here. Each of them has a distinct tone, appropriate for the setting - some feel like Game of Thrones, others like gritty cyberpunk, still others like a fairy tale or a meditation. Nitpicks on these: This version of Sarek's story feels more Christian than Buddhist, which is what the character always felt like he was more modeled on. Still, it works. And some of the parts on present-day Vulcan, especially late in the book when it's focusing on debate and political intrigue, feel kind of dry, kind of cold, kind of emotionally detached - naturally, it took me a bit to realize how appropriate that is.

I definitely recommend this, not just to Star Trek fans, but to anyone interested in worldbuilding and how to make alien cultures feel alive and real.
Profile Image for Irrlicht.
185 reviews7 followers
November 16, 2013
Just like Uhura’s Song this book is as perfect as it gets, regarding writing a wonderful story and keeping everyone completely in character.

At least, how I think the characters should be.

I don’t know if the “Holy Trinity” is perceived like they’re written in Spock’s World by everybody or just by me, but THIS is how I’ve always imagined Kirk, Spock & McCoy to be: bright, well-considered, logical, sneaky, brave and capable of surprising not only Sarek and T’Pau but also the entire population of Vulcan.

To be honest: I’m not exactly a Vulcan fan. I’ve always liked Spock, of course, and I’ve always liked Sarek and Amanda (yeah, I KNOW she’s human, but still); I’ve even thought Vulcan customs and physiology (Hello!? Bones-fangirl talking!) fairly interesting – but I’ve never been thinking, “Wow! Vulcan is SO interesting! I desperately need to know its origin! And especially how Vulcan Religion and Philosophy came into existence!”


Therefore: If you’re like me, you can skip the Vulcan-titled chapters. I’ve read them and they are of no importance for the rest of the story.

Well, all but ONE. If you are interested in how Sarek came to be an ambassador and met Amanda, you should definitely read chapter Vulcan: Seven. It’s very cute.

I’m still a bit vexed about the whole T’Pring thing, though, but that can’t be helped. Obviously.

And even if I weren’t a die-hard Bones fan, I’d totally love McCoy in this book. He’s brilliant.

Like I said, as good as it gets. If you like Star Trek TOS even a little bit, that’s a total must-read.
419 reviews35 followers
August 26, 2010
This book begins with Spock and the Enterprise being called to Vulcan. A political situation has arisen on Vulcan, and the subject to be handled in a formal, public debate--a Vulcan custom--is whether Vulcan should cut off all contact with all other worlds.

The sections in Spock's modern time alternate with various historical events in Vulcan's history. Although well written, I sometimes read some of the historical chapters and thought "Vulcans would not do that". Of course, this is just one author's ideas on Vulcan's past.

I did prefer the 'modern' sections. Of course, the Federation does not wish to lose Vulcan as an ally, so Spock and Kirk are scheduled to testify in the public debate. The scens where the two testify are high points of the section set in the current time on Vulcan, and Ambassador Sarek as well. But McCoy also testifies, and Duane did a really good job with his testimony--his scenes are great!

Also, while the debate is going on--it takes several days--our Enterprises crew gets curious about the events behind this sudden move to secede, and start snooping around......I will not spoil it to tell you what they find, but it was certainly a surprise for me!

Well-written and true to the established characters of our well known crew.

Recommended for all Star Trek fans--this is one of the superior books in the series. Highly recommended if Vulcan is a subject that you have always wanted to her more about.
Profile Image for Erica.
126 reviews9 followers
March 19, 2017
I have liked Star Trek for over ten years by now, and have loved and even been a little bit nerdy about it for almost three years. So when I came across this book, about not only my favorite character from The Original Series - Spock - but also about a species that is so very central to Star Trek, I knew I wanted to read it. And I was not disappointed.

I liked that the book is divided into two really good stories that we get to follow in different chapters. One about the possible secession of Vulcan from the Federation and one about the history of Vulcan where we get to read about people and events that in different ways have shaped the people of Vulcan. I found this to be very interesting and had a great time learning more about Vulcans and their heritage. It gives a new and more profound understanding of them as a species that also gives an important background to the discussions about secession. It also gave good stories about Vulcans living in what is now their history, and this was written very well. I felt that I got close to the characters and in some ways got to figure out for myself why certain things took the path it did.
Profile Image for Eric Mccann.
37 reviews
March 28, 2013
Let me preface this by saying I'm not a "trekkie." I couldn't tell you the difference between a tribble and kibble, and really don't care which captain is "best" or anything like that. I usually am not fond of TV or movie tie-in novels - especially ones that make up a library of such size as those tied to the various Star Treks.

That said, this one hit me on all the right levels. I do enjoy getting into backstory, and you get to see the development of Spock's planet, culture and people interspersed with a "current" crisis, and they tie together very well.

This was not just a good read through, but one I've enjoyed reading a few times - I've owned it a few years, so about every other year or so it gets pulled out and read through again, not because I know I haven't read it in a while or need, for some reason, to look something up (something that, as far as star trek, I've never had reason to do,) but simply because it's an enjoyable book.

And I can't think of higher praise than that.
Profile Image for ambyr.
879 reviews77 followers
January 11, 2018
I am not a Star Trek fan (I don't mean I dislike Star Trek; I just mean I have no exposure, beyond a couple of the recent reboot movies). I am, however, a Diane Duane fan. I picked this up because her name was on the cover, and as a Diane Duane book, it did not disappoint. The historical sections are basically Young Wizards/Star Trek crossover fic, to the point where I wonder how much sense moments like Surak making the Choice for his species made to people not familiar with Young Wizards metaphysics.

The present-day plot, with Kirk and Spock and McCoy, was less interesting to me, because I don't really care all that much about those characters. (Also: a tragic lack of Uhura.) But it was still entertaining "I am home sick with a cold" reading.
Profile Image for Mark.
41 reviews1 follower
December 1, 2009
I'm not usually a big fan of Star Trek books (though a huge fan of the original show, TNG, and some of the movies), but Diane Duane's writing is so beautiful and so tactile that this book has become one of my favorites.
Profile Image for Arthur Sperry.
381 reviews6 followers
July 14, 2018
Every once in a while, I relax by reading a Star Trek book, since I am a lifelong fan. I got this one at a library book sale for five cents. I chose it because I heard it was one of the better ones, and it was not bad at all. I read it in a day.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 234 reviews

Join the discussion

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.