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Star Trek: The Original Series: Devil's Bargain

(Star Trek: The Original Series)

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  260 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise are sent to evacuate the Omega sector frontier colony Vesbius—a pioneer settlement that is on the brink of an extinction-level event threatening not only all of the colonists, but biological products that are vital to Starfleet. However, rescue efforts are being thwarted by the colonists themselves, who refuse to ...more
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published February 26th 2013 by Pocket Books/Star Trek
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Average rating 3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  260 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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With what seems like hundreds of Star Trek tie-in novels published over the last forty-plus years, I understand that finding new, unexplored areas of the "final frontier" can be a bit difficult. I also understand there are only so many ways you can tie together elements from the original seventy-nine episode run and have it still feel fresh.

Much of Devil's Bargain has the feeling of "been there, done that," to it for the crew of the starship Enterprise. In many ways, it feels like a third-season episode o
Mar 18, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek
This original series book just didn't grab me at all. A predictable (and rather silly) romance for Kirk, prose that just sits there, wooden characters (including the main characters) and an uninteresting premise.

Cool to see the Horta again, and their story wasn't too bad, but it's the only thing that saves this one.
Mar 05, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm sorry but I don't understand how this book is getting 4 and 5 star reviews. The writing style is flat, the characters don't *feel* right, the plot is dull and the resolution isn't exciting at all. You aren't made to care about the characters, motivations come from nowhere ("Oh look! This guys suddenly a bad guy! With vague reasons for being bad!") and there's a frankly icky romance for Kirk. Very, very be honest the last 25% of the book was a case of "please let this be over" for m ...more
This is a typical Star Trek book, which is another way of saying "meh." It is pretty easy to see where the story is going, even though the situation itself was creative.

I thought that the "devil's bargain" in the last chapter was contrived. Kirk agrees to do something and feels like this promise has to power to radically change his career path. Really? I'm ok with Kirk being a man of his word, but this seems like a stretch.

Borrowed from my local library.
Daniel Kukwa
Aug 08, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek
After the Wagnerian opera of "The Art of the Impossible", this felt like attending a more laid back folk concert. A straightforward, linear story that makes for a pleasant & diverting tale -- "Star Trek" comfort food. That said, there are a few nice touches, particularly Sulu's moment of glory, and the best use of the Horta since Diane Duane's "Spock's World". But note to the publisher: your copy editors need to get their stardates in order...
Jul 12, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Daniel’s takes The Horta and does something interesting with them.

A great story that fits seamlessly with the televised series.
Tommy Verhaegen
A great novel. Getting to know new species, finding a solution for a catastrophe on a planetary scale, action, humour, tension, romance and lots and lots of space flight. This book has it all. Star Trek at its best.
Memphis Evans
Mar 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most twenty-first century authors gloss over some of the aspects of Star Trek: The Original Series that are rooted in the conventions of 1960s television; Kirk falling madly in love with a new spacewoman in each episode, for instance, or the three main characters slyly cracking jokes on the bridge while the credits roll. We more often get a slightly reconstructed crew that has values more in keeping with the 2010s. We often get references to subsequent Star Trek television serieses, as when the ...more
Patrick Hayes
An average outing for the crew of the Enterprise during their original five year mission, this one taking place three and half years in. They have to help evacuate a planet that was a former Federation colony since a doomsday meteor is about to strike. The problem is that the people can't leave the planet, for a plot twist. This reason was sensible, and I bought into it.

What I didn't buy into was a terrorist cell that wants to leave the planet. It's solidly established that leaving the planet w
Teenage Horta! A massive asteroid! I enjoyed this, it helped me through a particularly nasty urinary infection. Like the tv series my favourites bits were in the less actiony first half, it's awesome and comforting how familiar these characters are, and this was like watching a lost episode of the original series, but i especially liked the unnecessary reminders such as 'Chekov replied in his Russian accent, having trouble, as always, with the v sound.' I was less prepared for Kirk falling off h ...more
Greg Lindsay
Jan 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
If you like the Horta you'll like this!
Right from the start this had that classic Star Trek episode feeling. And I could easily see this story as a episode. The overall story is good and doesn't really slow down. A must read for classic Trek fans!
David R.
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"Captain’s log, Stardate 6397.3. We have established orbit around the frontier colony Vesbius, a settlement just outside Federation jurisdiction in the Omega sector. On the planet below is a colony of nearly 20,000 people, including many families. The conjugated orbits of the planet’s moons have unexpectedly perturbed an asteroid and the huge rock is now on a path to strike the planet—and destroy the colony. Although the colony is outside the Federation, the colonists are human and have strong t ...more
Gilbert Stack
The Enterprise is on a mission of mercy to the Vesbius system which is about to be hit by a killer asteroid, but the people are not worried about the cataclysm about to hit them. They have built underground bunkers which they feel will protect them from the coming disaster even though the Enterprise’s calculations decisively show that the entire planet’s biosphere will collapse after the collision. In addition to their unwillingness to consider evacuation, about a third of the colonists express ...more
Jan 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: media-tie-in
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

Papa Spock and teenage Horta. I really loved this aspect of the story! The Horta fascinated me in the original series and continued to do so in this book.

This book certainly felt like an episode of the tv series. Kirk had his unnecessary flirting/romance bits and the plot was predictable, but seeing Spock in a father role really delighted me. Also Horta deserve more attention. They are adorable.
I say the story was bland, but what I found kind of interesting was how the character of Horta was portrayed and used in the story. I say the Hora should have been portrayed differently. Instead of teenagers maybe shape shifters, some kind of unknown new secret quality or gift bestowed upon them that the readers would not expect, an eye-opener.
Judith Paterson
Better than average Star Trek story. Nice to see the Horta making an appearance. And Captain Kirk fallsin love - again!
David Hamilton
Love the Horta. Not so thrilled with Captain Randypants Kirk. He needed a bit more shore leave.
Keith Bell
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tony Daniel wrote a clever novel. Nods to Classic Star Trek culture and stories and even a vague Star Wars reference.
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek, space-opera, sf
Nice set of ideas and concepts. The characters felt a little "off" of how I picture them from video/film/books, but the story and ideas were fun and an interesting imagining of Horta culture. Perhaps we know how Ensign Naraht came to be!
Nov 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read a lot of Star Trek novels over the years. Some of them are amazing adventures that still manage to break new ground in a setting that has had thousands of stories already written about it. Others are a bit formulaic. This one is extremely formulaic. It breaks no new ground. It isn't even super exciting. It is a basic adventure for the crew of the USS Enterprise. However, it gets the formula of the series so well that it ends up being a delight to read.

This could have been a
Jul 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first book in a while I've found easy reading- whether it's because of the style or because it's actually something I like- it was a joy to read.

It flowed nicely, the plot was good and had a particularly nice twist, although those with more know in them may find it predictable. I also found some moments laugh out loud funny, so that's good.

Although at moments the characters were OC, which was frustrating.
(Prepare for my two cents) Especially Kirk- I never like the idea tha
Paul Lunger
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In "Devil's Bargain", Tony Daniel gives us a story that has been long overdue in the "Original Series" books. With this one, we have an asteroid that is threatening to wipe out the people of the planet. The Enterprise is sent there in an attempt to evacuate the planet only to find the rulers of the planet not so willing due to a secret that they hold which involves them being tied into the planet in more ways than one. In order to save them, though, Spick devises a deal with the devil so to spea ...more
Apr 14, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
We're 3.5 years into the first 5 year mission and Kirk and the crew are faced with a unique problem with a planet population who cannot leave their world, even though there is a planet destroying asteroid heading their way and there's no way to divert it. Kirk of course (much to my annoyance and much eyerolling) falls in love with one of the advisors and really, really wants to help. Spock, despite being distrusted by most of the planet but the sole virtue of being alien, suggests a certain spec ...more
Apr 30, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek
Not a bad read, but this book was a bit too predictable for my tastes. Kirk and the Enterprise crew are faced with an insoluble dilemma, a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. So of course they solve it. The details of how they solve it may be a bit surprising, but the broad strokes can be seen coming a mile away. And of course, Kirk has a doomed but passionate romance with a woman who he can never be with for life. All pretty much straight out of the "stock Star Trek plots and sub-p ...more
Nov 25, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tos, star-trek
An enjoyable outing for Kirk and the crew. I particularly enjoyed the juxtaposition of the racism and bigotry of a few of the Vesbians with the willingness to offer aid displayed by the Horta. Some interesting parts for Spock to play in this one, as well as the excellent characterization of the Horta characters, especially "Slider Dan." The numerous continuity nods were also nice, and it's clear that Tony Daniel is someone who known his Trek. I'm definitely hoping to see more from this author in ...more
Nov 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book! My favorite TOS episode is The Devil in the Dark, which introduces us to the species called the Horta. In this book, we revisit the Horta and even ask them to join along on an adventure.

There were definitely some cheesy parts, and it was hard to get past the beginning because a lot of it was so obvious (the author was trying to create some conflict, but it didn't really make sense), but overall I had fun reading this.
Kristina Brown
Aug 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek
An enjoyable read although I found some parts less engaging. The asteroid and genetic tampering of the Vesbians was intriguing and I thoroughly enjoyed the proposed engineering solution, especially as it involved Spock dealing with the Horta. The Captain's involvement with Hannah was less pleasing although admittedly completely in character. As Dr McCoy might say "Nobody's perfect".
Amy Bradford
Oct 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall this is well written and interesting. A little too many references to episodes/storylines for my taste, but then again I'm more than familiar with Star Trek's "Original Series."
If you enjoy Star Trek go ahead and how this a go.
Aug 25, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek
It really wasn't the worst Star Trek novel I've ever read, but it wasn't really worth my time, to be honest. The writer was obviously familiar with the series, but tried too hard to make it all fit.
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Star Trek Reads: Devil's Bargain 5 37 Oct 12, 2017 02:35PM  

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Tony Daniel is an author of science fiction novels, short stories, and radio dramas.

For the comic book author, see Tony S. Daniel.

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