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Uhura's Song

(Star Trek: The Original Series #21)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  2,015 ratings  ·  137 reviews
Years ago, Lieutenant Uhura befriended a diplomat from Eeiauo, a land of graceful, catlike beings. The two women exchanged forbidden songs and promised never to reveal their secret. Now the "Starship Enterprise(TM) " must race to save the Eeiauoans before a deadly plague destroys them all. Uhura's secret songs may hold the key to a cure, but the clues are veiled in layers ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published August 1st 2000 by Pocket Books (first published January 1985)
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rivka Yes, I think so. One of the pivotal Enterprise characters (in addition to the aliens on both planets) is one who appears only in this book and was…moreYes, I think so. One of the pivotal Enterprise characters (in addition to the aliens on both planets) is one who appears only in this book and was created by Kagan. Knowledge of the show is nice, but I don't think necessary, to enjoy this wonderful book.(less)

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4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,015 ratings  ·  137 reviews

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Feb 01, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This hardcover is one of nine titles Gregg Press published.

They are:

"The Abode of Life" by Lee Correy 1986
"The Covenant of the Crown" by Howard Weinstein 1985
"Corona" by Greg Bear 1985
"Mutiny on the Enterprise" by Robert E Vardeman 1985
"Black Fire" by Sonni Cooper 1986
"The Tears of the Singers" by Melinda Snodgrass 1986
"Uhura's Song" by Janet Kagan 1985
"The Final Reflection" by John M Ford 1985
"Triangle" by Sondra Marshak and Mynra Culbreath 1986

Sep 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
Rating-- 2.5
I picked this book up after I watched a round table discussion of Urban Fantasy writers that included Jim Butcher. One of the authors, I can't remember who now, mentioned this book in response to a question about enjoyable debut novels for authors they loved now. I had never read any Star Trek extended universe novels, so I figured it would be fun.

And it was. Reading characters you know so well from the TV Series was a lot fun, I could hear Dr. McCoy, Spock, and Checov's voices in m
Mikael Kuoppala
May 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Anthropological sci-fi is often excellent, and "Uhura's Song" is no exception. Solid, real characters and a fascinating imaginary culture studied in a deep probing way. Janet Kagan has managed to capture the characters in an innovative and extremely complex story that she manages to hold together only by uniquely talented writing and insightful characterization.

The premise of the story is simple enough: the planet Eeiauo is devastated by a plaque that hits its feline inhabitants once every few d
Bill Lynas
In the opening three chapters of this Star Trek novel author Janet Kagan achieves quite a lot. She sets up the plot & even moves it along at a cracking pace. In addition to this she quickly establishes Star Trek characters we know & love & entertains us with some wonderfully fun dialogue that ranks with the best in the TV series.
I wondered what else she could do after cramming so much into just a few chapters. Sadly, the answer is not much. There are still some good things along the
Christopher Rush
So Janet Kagan's a cat person, then. I had not read any Star Trek books in a while, so I picked up where I left off with this. Despite the overwhelming goofiness of this book, it did not make me regret my decision to read it or get back into Star Trek books. The book is a great example of the freedom and, again, goofiness of the early '80s numbered series era, in which authors could create new characters and do bizarre things provided they didn't change the "status quo" of the Star Trek universe ...more
Jun 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
I don’t think anyone who has watched The Original Series can forget the moment in “Charlie X” when Uhura is singing in the rec room while accompanied by Spock on the Vulcan lyrette. Her voice and songs are a reminder of beauty in an environment built for functionality and protocol. It is no surprise then, that a tie-in novel focuses on the power of Uhura’s songs and features worlds and aliens of equal power and beauty.

The Enterprise is orbiting Eeiauo (I pronounce this in my head like meow minus
My rating for this book was tricky to settle on. On the one hand, this book has so many great qualities that outnumber my complaints. On the other hand, my complaints hold more emotional and logical—I’d say—weight.

First, the good stuff:
The places they boldly go. Kagan writes wonderful anthropologic world-building of Eeiauo and Sivoa. Oh, how I adore these cat people! Sivoan culture takes center stage most of the novel, and it’s delightful seeing Uhura successfully making first, significant con
Bea  Charmed
I hadn't reread this book in many years and wondered how well it would hold up. Happily, it holds up well. Kagan wove an engrossing story about cultural change, shame, expectations, societal attitudes, and wrapped it up in humor, cleverness, and adventure. Most of ST 7 get a chance to shine with guest appear2by Nurse Chapel and Doctor M'Benga. Kagan's original characters, and species, are delightful. I'm sorry we never got another story with Tail-Kinker to-Ennien.

The Kindle edition had some form
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I quite enjoyed this focus on one of the more minor characters of the Star Trek TOS universe, and it makes me happy that she was such an integral part of the story. The action picked up from the first page, and while I seriously question some of the timing involved -- it seemed to move at the speed of the plot, not by any actual proper means, I could get past it. The plot twists came thick and fast, and I enjoyed the climax, but I would have preferred a little more resolution.
This combines pretty much everything I want and expect from a Star Trek book/story: spending time with the characters I know and like, some interpersonal stuff, getting to know another alien culture and a conflict that feels serious enough without making you feel uneasy.
A lot of time is spend getting to know the culture of this feline species, and thats just the way I like it. Maybe it harms the sense of urgency a little, but I dont mind.
The familiar characters were behaving in-character and the
Heather Domin
Apr 30, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: star-trek-books
I'm having a hard time with this review; I'm still not sure how I feel about this book. I was really looking forward to an Uhura-centric story, and I absolutely loved her in this, on her own right and also in her interactions with Spock. (By comparison, I found the human OC kind of annoying. She was a little too...something.) And I enjoyed how thoroughly the author created her world, with a complex culture and interesting philosophical points - but I agree with the other reviewer that it got a l ...more
Aug 05, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: sff
Um, it has cat people and serious Mary Sue problem. It also has some nifty world-building and anthropology going on, which TOS novels tend to kind of ignore. That being said, the author flails around a lot when it comes to lingustics (we have a universal translator! But that's a really stupid idea! So umm... it doesn't always work! Except when it does! Which doesn't necessarily have to do with how linguistically complicated a given thing is!)
Also, Uhura gets to do stuff (although it's annoying
Crystal Bensley
Jun 24, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 stars- wish the book didn't end with unanswered questions but mostly enjoyable
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book once before, 25 years ago, when I was a sophomore in high school. I remembered it as a decent story, and with it, one girl in my history class who saw the cover when the book fell out of my book bag as I was pulling out my notebook and pen, and classmate laughing at the cover.

Reading it through this time, though, with adult eyes... I'm impressed with the detailed world building contained therein. I understand much more of the science presented in the text. I appreciate the feli
Tommy Verhaegen
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paper_en, sci-fi
De belangrijkste karakters van de originele Star Trek nemen hier ook de belangrijkste rollen voor hun rekening. Een fantastisch avontuur met First Contact perikelen, buitenaardsen (katachtigen), een overlevingstocht door de jungle van een vreemde planeet, een dodelijke ziekte die een heel volk met uitsterving bedreigt, een race tegen de tijd, ...
Spanning, aktie en humor op zijn best. Janet Kagan heeft hier een snel boek in een vlotte stijl geleverd waarvan ze er wat mij betreft nog vele mag schr
Benjamin Plume
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, star-trek
OK, I get it... not all alien worlds would be easily pronounceable (or easily rendered) in English. You didn’t need to make me pronounce “Eeiauo” in my head over and over to make that point.

Now that that’s out of the way... this was one of the best “numbered” Star Trek novels I have come across yet. It had an entertaining setup and was a nice investigation of two cultures from the same alien race. The characterizations of the main crew as well as the original characters was very good.
Tasha Robinson
Jul 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
As many people have noted in reviews, this book is just the apotheosis of Mary Sue-dom. You could literally hand this book to a fandom newbie to explain the Mary Sue / Gary Stu phenomenon to them. While many of the Star Trek original-series characters (especially Kirk, Spock, Uhura, and Chekov) get plenty of face-time here, the center of the narrative is new character Evan Wilson, a brilliant doctor who's also a talented hand-to-hand fighter, an inspired anthropologist and first-contact expert, ...more
Mike Crate
May 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scifi, star-trek
A plague is running rampant through the felinoid population of Eeiauo and the Federation has sent the Enterprise to aid in treatment and research along with Dr Evan Wilson to handle shipboard duties while McCoy goes planet side. The virus then jumps species and a galactic pandemic is nigh but maybe there is hope as Uhura knows some old songs of the Eeiauoan people one of which tells of a disease very much like the "long death" but the final verses are missing. When the song is investigated the E ...more
Feb 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Star Trekkies, cat lovers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kam Oi
Jun 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: original Star Trek fans
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 23, 2015 rated it liked it
I understand why this one's a favorite amongst fans.

It's got space cat people.

It's got space ebola.

It's got some neat world building and problem solving.

But I gave the book 3 stars instead of 4 because of the Mary Sue that basically takes over the book, pushing Uhura right on out of her own story.

Now, before I keep going, I have to say I like Mary Sue characters. A cool, brilliant woman character is awesome and frankly, if she's Janet Kagan's author avatar then Janet Kagan is a pretty cool perso
Jun 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
So many Star Trek novels are more about epic battles than great stories. This novel is a delightful exception. The story line broadens the characters of Uhura and Chekov, allows delightful Spock insights, and introduces new characters that grab attention in all the right ways.

When I finished this book I knew I would miss all my friends in this story. I immediately went online to see if this author had penned other ST stories. Alas, she did not. However, it was interesting to see that many peopl
I dearly loved this book. It has a compelling plot, great pace, equal parts adventure, drama with adorable funny moments. The characterisation is remarkable, especially for the Enterprise members se get to see more of. I especially love how the author wrote the friendship and team work between Uhura and Spock, and Kirk and Spock. The alien races are a blast. If I absolutely had to complain about something, I'd say the Enterprise original character took up a bit too much "screen time". Other than ...more
Cass ☘
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Undoubtedly my favorite star trek book. I have re-read it many times. I wish Kagan had written more books, because she had a.way of putting you into the story. The characters are fun and ones I'd want to be friends with. The story himself reminded me of the beginnings of the AIDS crises in the 80's when I worked at a hospice.
Jun 29, 2011 added it
Probably one of the most Mary Sue of all Star Trek novels (the author even wrote in engineering terms named after her real last name, and one main character is obviously her Mary Sue counterpart) and yet it's one of my favorite TOS novels of all times. It's a fun adventure, it has prehensile-tailed cats, and a good storyline. I've read this one several times, much to my shame.
Aug 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi
As my first Star Trek novel, I wasn't quite sure what to expect but I found this story to be fairly entertaining and it certainly held true to the characters and plotlines that I have come to know in watching the old television series. Overall, a very enjoyable read.
Nov 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was one of my favorite books in high school, and upon a more mature reading of it, I still adore it. Sure, you've got to like Star Trek and cats to enjoy it, but if you do, Kagan soundly deposits you into an interesting world with your favorite ST characters. Worth a read on a rainy day!
Feb 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant Book. Read it. NOW. :3
Oct 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Enjoyable...but not great.
Nov 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek, sci-fi
I would have liked this book more if Evan Wilson wasn't such a Mary Sue. The mystery of the song, First Contact with a race that hates another that needs its help, learning the culture of big cats, Chekov being awesome, etc. There is a lot to like in this book but for the first third it was frustrating seeing Kirk on the sidelines in favour of this character and then her having the solution to pretty much EVERY problem. It did get kind of annoying and her being everyone's favourite person made t ...more
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Star Trek Reads: Uhura's Song 7 23 May 11, 2017 07:16AM  
Women At Warp Boo...: Uhura's Song - General Thoughts 8 52 Nov 23, 2015 09:35AM  
Women At Warp Boo...: Ending - What Did You Think? 5 37 May 26, 2015 05:55AM  
  • My Enemy, My Ally (Star Trek: Rihannsu, #1)
  • The Vulcan Academy Murders
  • Ishmael (Star Trek: The Original Series, #23)
  • The Tears of the Singers
  • The Pandora Principle
  • Yesterday's Son (Star Trek: The Original Series #11; The Yesterday Saga, #1)
  • Rules of Engagement
  • Black Fire
  • Mindshadow (Star Trek: The Original Series #27)
  • Legacy
  • Timetrap
  • Enemy Unseen
  • Killing Time
  • Dreams of the Raven
  • Dwellers in the Crucible
  • Pawns and Symbols
  • The Kobayashi Maru

Other books in the series

Star Trek: The Original Series (1 - 10 of 113 books)
  • Star Trek I: The Motion Picture (Star Trek: The Original Series #1; Movie Novelization #1)
  • The Entropy Effect (Star Trek TOS #2)
  • The Klingon Gambit (Star Trek: The Original Series #3)
  • The Covenant of the Crown (Star Trek: The Original Series #4)
  • The Prometheus Design
  • The Abode of Life
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan (Star Trek TOS: Movie Novelizations, #2)
  • Black Fire
  • Triangle (Star Trek: The Original Series #9)
  • Web of the Romulans (Star Trek: The Original Series #10)
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“so who's more adult- somebody who works like mad to avoid a problem or somebody who works like mad to solve it?” 35 likes
“we're looking for a planeet on the strength of a song. it's crazy I know, but its the only chance we have to do something useful." ...Evan Wilson said gravely "I think you're as crazy as Heinrich Schliemann - and you know what happened to him!"
"What" ...
"you don't know what happened to him?" she asked her blue eyes widening in astonishment."Ever read Homer's Iliad, Captain?" ...
"I don't know what translation you read Doctor, but there was no Heinrich Schliemann in mine - or in the Odyssey."
"That depends on how you look at it." smiling she settled back into her chair and went on,"Heinrich Schliemann was from Earth, pre-federation days, and he read Homer too. No, not just read him, believed him. So he set out at his own expense-mind you, I doubt he could have found anyone else to fund such a crazy endeavor - to find Troy, a city that most of the educated people of his time considered pure invention on Homer's part."
"And he found it. Next time you're on earth, stop by the Troy Museum. the artifacts are magnificent, and every one of them was found on the strength of a song.”
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