The novel begins after the events of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country™. Spock's mother, Amanda Grayson, is dying, and Spock returns to the planet Vulcan where he and Sarek enjoy a rare moment of rapprochement. But just as his wife's illness grows worse, duty calls Sarek away—once again sowing seeds of conflict between father and son. Yet soon, Sarek and Spock must put aside their differences and work together to foil a far-reaching plot to destroy the Federation—a plot that Sarek has seen in the making for nearly his entire career. The epic story will take the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise™ to the heart of the Klingon Empire, where Captain Kirk's last surviving relative has become a pawn in a battle to divide the Federation... and conquer it. With Sarek's help, the crew of the Starship Enterprise™ learns that all is not as it seems. Before they can prevent the Federation's destruction, they must see the face of their hidden enemy—an enemy more insidious and more dangerous than any they have faced before...
Ann Carol Crispin (1950-2013) was an American science fiction writer, the author of over twenty published novels. She wrote professionally since 1983. She wrote several Star Trek and Star Wars novels, and created her own original science fiction series called Starbridge.
Crispin also served as Eastern Regional Director, and then Vice President, of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. With Victoria Strauss, she founded Writer Beware, a "watchdog" group that is part of SFWA that warns aspiring writers about the dangers of scam agents, editors, and publishers. Writer Beware was founded in 1998, and has assisted law enforcement and civil authorities in tracking and shutting down writing scams.
Crispin, who also wrote a prequel providing the back story for the popular Pirates of the Caribbean movie series, died on September 6th, 2013 at the Hospice of Charles County in Waldorf, aged 63.
It was sad to know about the death of A.C. Crispin (back then in 2013), author of this novel and of many sci-fi books on Star Trek, Star Wars, V, her own series Starbridge, even Pirates of the Caribbean.
I want to read more of her.
However I am truly glad of having read this novel, back in 2000, when the book was barely printing its paperback edition.
IS THAT JAMES KIRK, ISN'T HE?
This is a great book set on the time of the original Star Trek films.
Actually set right after the events of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, and when you read it, you realized that there are even more elements from other films of this saga and also from the Original Series.
One funny thing when I bought the book, it was when I watched the cover and I thought: "Geez! That's a not very good painting of the face of James T. Kirk" but when I was reading the book, I realized that that face shouldn't being a portraiting of the face of James Kirk BUT his nephew, Peter Kirk. My best guess is that the artist tried to make a distintive face of Kirk but kinda less handsome to show an acceptable look of Kirk's nephew.
At least that's my guess, because or it's that or...
...certainly the cover painter didn't know how to draw James Kirk!
SAREK, HERO OF THE FEDERATION
Getting back to the story, this book has a very big scope developing a smart plot that not only touches the foundations of the Federation but also family values in the families of Spock and also Kirk.
Sarek has been one of the Federation diplomats, if not the best of all, and thanks to him, severeal civilizations have become part of the United Federation of Planets, his role in the inner politics of the Federation is overwhelming and his participation to avoid wars against powers outside of the Federation has been equally invaluable.
Sarek has been a hero to the Federation...
...but what was he to his son, Spock?
It's no secret that their relationship has been tense during years, and where during the events of Journey to Babel become easier to deal and after The Voyage Home came to good terms, but...
...Amanda Grayson, Spock's mother is dying, and logically, Sarek's duty is to be with her in this sad moment, but...
...duty calls elsewhere...
...the Freelans is an alien civilization, members of the Federation for years, even Sarek was key to accomplish its introduction to the UFP , but the Freelans are quite secretive about their physical appearance, a cultural taboo they explained, therefore, nobody outside of the Freelan homeworld has been able to watch how a Freelan looks like...
...Sarek believes that he was able to peak how a Freelan was like, but he must be mistaken, since what he watched was so absurd that it must be product of the "blood fever" of Pon Farr...
...or was it?
The Freelans have an insidious plan, a patient and careful design, to destroy the Federation from within, manipulating key players of the Federation's politics, but...
...also staging a war with the Klingon Empire, still having a too fragile peace treaty with the Federation, where Peter Kirk, nephew of James T. Kirk, and his last family member alive, will be put in peril.
Families is a complicating and fragile thing, where James Kirk is trying everything in his power to save Peter and seeing him again; in the case of Spock and Sarek will be taken to the extreme of tension since they'll need to work together to defend the Federation from multiple antagonists.
Also, thanks to the access to the pages of Amanda Grayson's journals, you'll get to know Sarek as never you know him before!
The USS Enterprise-A got in the middle of a cunning secret scheme that was set into motion since several years ago!
The best Star Trek novel I've read in a while. Exciting at times, touching at others, this book shines a light on Spock's parents: Sarek, the Vulcan, and Amanda Grayson, the Earth woman. This is how you do a movie/television tie-in novel.
Quite a good story of Sarek unraveling a conspiracy to sabotage the Federation, with help from Spock, Kirk and the Enterprise. The story line ties into events from several ST movies, particularly "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock" and "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country", and involves all of the Federation's regular foes, some in unexpected roles. One of the better Star Trek books I've come across. Audio expertly narrated by Sarek himself, i.e. the great Mark Lenard!
When you write a novel with Sarek as your central character and have some pretty cataclysmic events take place you really need to get things right and Ann certainly did with this novel which looks at the events post Khitomer and a rising tide of anti-Vulcan sentiment on Earth. Against this background we have the abduction of Peter Kirk who is currently attending the Academy and Sarek who has finally proven to himself that his suspicions about the very secretive world of Freelan are correct. With the very existence of the Federation hanging in the balance Sarek seeks to find allies but a family crisis and ongoing renegade Klingon raids split his attention. It seems all out war with the Empire could still come to pass despite the cooling of relations with the Federations pledge to assist Chancellor Azetbur and there are those who would welcome the conflict confident they could exploit the chaos in it's wake regardless of who emerges victorious. Sarek is a very good read, Ann presents the reader with a lot of insight into the character and his interactions with his own people, the Federation officials, family and of course those within Starfleet. We see him struggle (well maybe not struggle in the human sense) with duty and obligation conflicting with family requirements but also just how powerful this being really is. It is no doubt the Federation and this part of the galaxy would be vastly different with the influence of Sarek of Vulcan and those he taught and mentored throughout the years. I would highly recommend the novel to anyone with even the slightest interest in anything Vulcan and particularly Spock's family and/or events after The Undiscovered Country, dealing with the Klingons was never going to be straight forward after the loss of Gorkon but we see honour and integrity is never a spent currency even deep into the darkest corners of the galaxy.
Years ago I read this book in audiobook, abridged format. Simon Schuster/Pocket Books rarely made an unabridged format in those days. I thought it was "good enough" and I probably didn't miss much. I was so wrong. Never before has there been a stronger case for unabridged audio performances. Staunch Trek fan that I am, I was so excited to see that the unabridged version could be paired on the Kindle for my first Star Trek immersion reading experience. The narration, although not one of the famous voices often pulled into the studio for the abridged versions, was top notch and carried the nuances fans have come to know for voices such as Spock, Kirk, Sarek, et all. The ability to be able to look on screen made the Klingon phrases much easier to decipher and follow.
Chronologically, the story is set just after Star Trek 6: The Undiscovered Country. The Klingons are still reeling from the ecological disaster of Praxis' explosion and a delicate peace is being forged between the Federation and their old enemies. Meanwhile, Spock's human mother, Amanda, is succumbing to advanced age. Through Amanda's journals and memories, this book walks through nearly a century of Federation history. Ms. Crispin does a great job tying together tiny little references in the series and movies as it applies to Spock's life and fleshes them out believably. She reaches beneath the Vulcan logic shield to reveal the true emotions of both Spock and Sarek in a way that fans will appreciate.
I listened through this slowly, mostly because I have a low tolerance for cursing in my reading. However, I will say that I knew to expect that going into this story.
This is only the third Star Trek novel I've completed and I feel like this was one that answered a lot of fan questions. Sarek has been a favorite of mine for a while and I felt this novel captured him well and gave a lot of insight into him. Crispin is a talented writer and managed to weave a story that was exciting and kept moving while still giving fans insight into key events from Sarek's life from the Orignal series onward. He even tied this story into events that would take place in Next Generation.
Warnings for some more conservative readers among my friends: There were quite a few sexual references, though nothing graphic. Also, the language wasn't super strong, but there were times it felt like there was an awful lot.
While I probably won't reread this book, I'm glad I read it. It was highly satisfying for a Star Trek fan.
I'm not the fanfic type. I never understood the appeal of hyper-fandom. This, however, is one damn good story. It's not just a good Trek story, but it's a good story about the dynamics between parents and children, the clash of cultures, the differences between the obligations people are expected to have and the ones they freely chose. I'm just sad that it was never made into a movie.
This Star Trek series book tells the story of Sarek in the time not long after the events of the movie Star Trek VI. In addition to the main plot, his life with Amanda is told through flashbacks and journal entries. The main cast also make appearances, at times unlikely but well written all the same.
Also unlikely is Peter Kirk, whose middle name might well be MacGuffin. This is a minor quibble, though, and Sarek shines through negotiation, strategy, and action. This stand-alone book was fun to read, and I understand an (abridged?) audio book is read by the actor who played Sarek, the late Mark Lenard. Look forward to finding that for a future re-read.
I read a number of reviews before I read this book, not that some negative reviews would have stop me from reading this book. I just wanted a idea about what the story was going to be. I was surprised and very pleased with this book. The Vulcan's of Star Trek have always fascinated me and have loved all the books that I have read about them, especially Spock. While there is a good deal about Spock in this story it is mostly about his father Sarek. I will also warn that there are some very sad parts to this story, the death of Amanda Grayson Sarek, and Amanda's journal entry on the death of Spock. I think that the death of Amanda was the hardest on my because my own mother past away almost three years ago. This is also not a story of Sarek from boyhood to adulthood. This is mostly about Sarek and his quest to solve a mystery that has been bothering him for years.
The book is actually three books in one. There is the story of Sarek and Amanda in which Amanda evidently passes away. The story of Peter Kirk and his last days before graduation from the Academy and all the things that happen to him. Finally there is the mystery of the Freelans and what they have really been doing all these years.
The story of Sarek and Amanda is told partly in the present and mostly through journal entries from Amanda's journals. I enjoyed knowing the Sarek felt so deeply for Amanda. They really were a match and they lived a fairly normal married life with all of its ups and downs.
The story of Peter picks up in the last days before he graduates for Starfleet Academy. He is a brilliant young man that is confused about what he should do after graduation. He thinks that he needs to be like his uncle, James T Kirk, but his heart is more set on being a diplomat. Through all that he goes through in the story he learns that he really would make a good diplomat.
The last part of a story is about a plot to start a war between the Klingon Empire and the Federation. The book is set in the time after the movie THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY. Praxis has exploded and the Klingon's need the Federation's help in saving their home world. Lots of action in this part of the story and the Enterprise crew is much more involved in this part of the story.
Overall I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to any Star Trek TOS fan.
So I listened to this one on audio as well. It was read by Mark Lenard who played Sarek in the tv show and movies and I've gotta say I could listen to him talk all day long. He has such a great voice!
The book itself is absolutely wonderful. It's, obviously, about Sarek and picks up after the Undiscovered Country movie and my goodness is it full of action. Sarek's wife Amanda is dying, his relationship with Spock is strained at best and he's in the middle of uncovering a huge conspiracy by the Romulans to cut the Vulcans out of Star Fleet and start a war between what's left and the Klingons.
It really, honestly is SO GOOD. It had me tearing up several times while I was driving and laughing outloud at some points. (Specifically Kirk's nephew trying to use some of that Kirk charm to get himself out of trouble and being surprised when it backfires and he falls in love.)
I can't recommend this book enough if you like Star Trek, especially if you like Vulcans. It's another one I need to go hunt down in print.
Solid, readable page turner for the Trek crowd. No real reason to recommend otherwise, full-on fan service here, entirely dependent on the original movies and series for context. You know if this is a book for you without reading any further in this review.
Sarek has always been an interesting, underused character, so I've been intrigued by this book for a while. It covers events immediately after Star Trek VI and gets into Sarek's background and seemingly inexplicable affection for his human wife (Vulcans generally being put out by disgusting human emotions). Also threads in a related story about Kirk's nephew Peter, and finds an excuse to get Kirk, Spock, and McCoy involved.
It was...fine. Great choice for some beach reading, I got through it in just a few days. Crispin is excellent with characters, though the plot is a bit uneven and convenient. I wouldn't say all my questions about Sarek were answered, and his story loses some focus to Peter, but I was interested enough in both threads and it was a worthy followup to Trek VI.
A great novel that gives a glimpse into Vulcan culture, and a more detailed look at the life of Sarek himself. For fans of the series and fans of Spock's parents you will love this revealing look into the personal life of Vulcan's most famous Ambassador, but bring the tissue. ***Spoiler*** Crispin deals with death of Amanda in a way that maintains what we have always known about Vulcans. They do feel, but it is controlled and kept in check by logic.
In my mind, I can never fully accept Amanda's death; and since this is fiction, I will constantly rewrite any version of any story that kills her off. Despite her death here, I would not shy away from reading it.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
One of the best Star Trek books I've ever read. The main story consists of a plot against the federation, mixed with flashbacks into Sarek's past. The plot moves along at a brisk pace, and the last hundred pages are incredibly intense. Throughout the book, the reader gains insight to Sarek, and what shaped him into the recurring character we saw on screen. This is a rare successful blend of character analysis and action.
Read long, long ago but very much enjoyed. I'm just guessing at the date, of course. But seeing the cover in my updates when a friend added it reminded me of how much I enjoyed it and I had to add it to my books.
This is the story of Sarek, Vulcan Ambassador, his marriage with Amanda Grayson, and his complicated relationship with his son, Spock.
We also follow Sarek's investigation of a plot he first began to suspect years ago, which seems to be coming to fruition now--but he doesn't yet have solid proof.
The Keep Earth Human League, which wants to expel all nonhumans from Earth, but especially Vulcans, has crept along as a minor fringe group for years. Suddenly it has become larger, more active, more visible, and better-funded. Part of Sarek's diplomatic duties has been meeting periodically with a representative of the intensely private Freelans, who reside on a planet in the region otherwise controlled by the Romulans. For some reason, the Romulans have never claimed this world.
The Freelans garb themselves in all-encompassing robes that conceal even their faces. That pinged my "yeah, right" response, and apparently it bothered Sarek, too. He is stepping up his efforts to gather real proof that he can present to the Federation without simply fueling the KEHL conspiracy theories about Vulcans.
Meanwhile, James Kirk's nephew, Peter Kirk, is preparing for his final exams at Starfleet Academy, feeling the pressure of being the nephew of his famous uncle, and realizing he'd really rather be a diplomat. He accidentally finds himself caught up on the edges of a KEHL riot, and turns it into an opportunity to infiltrate and see what information he can retrieve that authorities might find useful. After all, it's what a real Kirk would do, right?
If that's not enough for you, Amanda is dying. Sarek and Spock have both come home, and their fragile rapprochement is holding well--until an emergency on the Klingon Neutral Zone results in Sarek being called back to duty. Amanda doesn't want him to go, but recognizes his strong sense of duty. For Spock, though, Sarek is just once again ignoring Amanda and himself in favor of duty--while Amanda is dying, and unlikely to live to see Sarek again.
All of these plot lines become entangled, with interesting consequences that enlighten our understanding of all the major characters. It's rich and satisfying, for anyone who cares about any of these characters.
This is one of the few Star Trek novels that managed to make me cry. Sarek’s bonding with Amanda is written beautifully. While the flashbacks can sometimes be intrusive, they highlight the profound connection between the two individuals, Vulcan and human, husband and wife. Crispin painted a striking picture of the Vulcan heart: a tempest of unbridled emotions underneath a cold and logical veneer. There is so much love and gentleness in Sarek, but the Vulcan also carries plenty regrets he was too proud to vocalize or concede. Nothing is more reflective of this than his shaky relationship with Spock, who, through stubbornness and lack of understanding, he had pushed away. The forgiveness they eventually offered one another provides much closure to this story.
Unfortunately, I find the other parts of the novel rather lacking. Peter Kirk’s predicament is never interesting enough to draw me in. What accumulated to this plot line is a generic rescue mission and a charming yet somewhat hackneyed romance. Crispin lost the opportunity to polish the Romulan characters and solidify the tenuous friendship between Sarek and Taryn. The ending would have been so much more meaningful if we had had more time to explore Freelan and its people instead of getting stuck in the Klingon conspiracy.
Still, this is a good book. A personal tale about Vulcan as a culture and a touching story about family, duty, and sacrifice. It’s compelling enough to lure me into revisiting TOS’s Journey to Babel and TNG’s Sarek, which remind me how fascinating Sarek is as a character.
This book has huge problems, some of which are because it was published in 1993 and our understanding of females in Klingon culture now, after DS9, is different than is represented here. And there are logistical impossibilities here that will make your head explode if you really examine them.
Still, the overall “situation” is solid, and it allowed me to spend time with some of my favorite sentients in the Federation. So it’s actually a 5 in how the author handles Amanda, Sarek, and Spock, and a 1 for plot holes and violating the rules of internal consistency in terms of space, time, and distance, which averages out to a 3.
This is going to go down as one of my all-time favorite Star Trek stories. There is such a wealth of Star Trek Lore interwoven with hints at future plot connections and interspersed easter eggs. The story plots a course between TOS stories and movies 2-6 while hinting at future TNG episodes. Richly written with well researched Klingon and Vulcan vocabulary, the story adds depth to existing canon characters while introducing a few more who could definitely be the stars of follow-up books.
I bought this in 2000 and it's sat on my shelf since then... I recently felt like reading a Star Trek novel and picked it up... it's a little long winded and very much a Star Trek novel in the sense that it would be good for the reader to be familiar with all the characters and major races of the Star Trek universe to figure out what is going on. I liked it... just read that AC Crispin has since passed... I've read several of her books and hadn't realized she was gone.
I loved this book. It wasn't a whole lot of action like most Star trek books but it provided a deeper intimate look at some key characters. I really loved the writing style as well, easy to follow but not simple, a great in between. I will definitely be checking out the other Star trek titles by this author.
An incredibly emotional book, considering the titular character is a Vulcan. This is a story of grief and loss that strikes very deeply, especially considering the connection we have with the characters from the television show/movies. But this does a good job of covering events that happened after the end of the the Star Trek movies.
Slow, but very well-written Star Trek Adventure taking place after the final TOS film and before Sarek's final appearance on TNG. I'm impressed with how well the character voices are in place in these licensed Star Trek novels.
It was a great panel, primarily because it was so lovely to see women being so supportive of one another, and so excited to see novels that center on women characters. It made me want to go back and read some. Someone recommended this book (Sarek) because it also really focuses on Amanda, Sarek's wife (and Spock's mother). I really enjoyed it. It had good writing and several engaging plotlines.
I also learned in the panel that many early women sci fi authors abbreviated their names to initials, as AC Crispin did, in order to not put people off. I am glad to put a reverse spin on that and support women writers.
Spock's father Sarek, though just a minor recurring character on Star Trek TOS and TNG, has always been a secret favourite of mine, mostly thanks to actor Mark Lenard, and I was happy to learn there's a novel about him, exploring his relationships with both his son and especially his wife Amanda.
It started off quite good. All the established characters felt more or less 'real' and were, at least occasionally, spot on. The plot is not exactly innovative, but follows good old Star Trek traditions and filled me with a warm and fuzzy feeling of familiarity. The perfect comfort zone. The parts dealing with Sarek and his wife, often via Amanda's journal entries, were touching, very emotional, but never too soppy. So far, so good.
Unfortunately the author thought it a good idea to bring back Kirk's last living relative, his nephew Peter (from the episode Operation - Annihilate!), and throw him unprepared into a cold war that's about to become a very hot one. He falls in love with a very unlikely candidate, and that part didn't work for me at all, for various reasons. Also, it distracted far too much from the person who gave this story its name, and it made the plot unnecessarily convoluted.
Altogether, "Sarek" is an enjoyable read that could have been better if it had been more streamlined and less 'romantic'.
(Not the authors fault, but the ebook which I bought via Amazon.de was an embarrassment and obviously not proof-read at all. Text passages in italics were particularly butchered, missing spaces between words all-around. Within the chapters, paragraphs are missing entirely. A change of setting isn't indicated in any way, and there's a fair share of typos. Just a heads-up for those who intend to purchase the Kindle ebook.)
So I had remembered this being my favourite Star Trek novel. But it turns out the bit that I remembered were in fact from Spock's world, not this. So I'm sure I must have read this before but have ordered Spock's world to read anyway.
But this was lovely. I don't think a Star Trek novel has ever brought me to tears so much. It's basically a love story of two old people when one of them is dying. And Amanda and Sarek were my favourite couple in star trek, so that was extra sweet. It was done beautifully. And there was a plot about racists surgeing in support because of Romulan mind control, which made me a little sad, because of course there are no Romulans behind the actual rise in racism we are currently facing. Then there was the female Klingon fighting the patriarchy, even though she needed the help of a male Kirk to do so. She was still pretty great. I'm really glad I read this. Now I want to find some of Anne's Non star trek novels and read those. Definitely recommended.
I really enjoyed this book! I don't know if non-fans would like it, but this is a treat for Trekkies like myself. It's a well-written mix of romance, adventure, and just excellent story-telling.
I loved the back story with Spock's parents and the strained relationship between Spock and his father. It was really well-done.
I highly recommend the audiobook version of this. Nick Sullivan's impressions of Spock, Bones, and Captain Kirk are delightful and perfect. His Kirk was so amusingly spot on I laughed aloud the first time I heard it. It really is pure joy.