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Shadows on the Sun (Star Trek: The Original Series)

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  637 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews

As a young doctor with a beautiful family and a promising medical career, Dr. Leonard McCoy thought he had it all. But when the woman he loved betrayed him, McCoy fled to Starfleet, hoping to lose his pain in the depths of space. Now, more than forty years later, the Enterprise


and her crew are ordered to transport a group of mediators to the planet Ssan, a world where a

Hardcover, 340 pages
Published August 15th 1997 (first published 1993)
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Community Reviews

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Rating details
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Jul 16, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Daniel Kukwa
Jan 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: star-trek
A bit of a non-starter. While the history of Dr. McCoy and his ex-wife makes for a sad & elegiac story, it doesn't alter the fact that this novel really seems completely superfluous, and without any imperative reason to exist. It's place post-Star Trek VI is equally unnecessary. Overall, this novel is just...there. Inoffensive, ocassionally sweet...but highly forgettable.
Jun 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, borrowed
I didn't think I would like this book as much as I do because I am more a ST:TNG girl than TOS right now. However, when I saw the cover of this book I gasped for joy because it seemed like it would have all the drama I would need in a Michael Jan Friedman book. And I was right. After reading the introduction, I thought, what the hell and dove nose deep into this book and haven't regretted it since.

The story takes place shortly before the retirement of the Enterprise crew (sans Sulu). The novel i
Michael T Bradley
James Doohan is a really good narrator. That's first and foremost here. Just a great person to have doing a bunch of these audio books.

Beyond that, enh. This book isn't BAD, and it tries to do some good things (a lot more depth given to McCoy's history with his ex, Jocelyn), but overall there's too much goofiness ("assassins as a cultural imperative" - no, really) to keep this book held together.
Joseph J Christiano
Fantastic read. And Mr. Friedman made me a character in the novel. How could I not like it?
May 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
another reread, this time from the nineties. I see why I kept this book, and I probably will again.
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Unapologetic Trekkies who want new content and aren't particularly picky.
No review of a Star Trek novel can be begin without a clear statement of bias: I am a huge Star Trek nerd. Huge. I love all things Star Trek “prime” universe. I acknowledge that not all Star Trek content created in the prime universe is great. Heaven knows how bad Enterprise and Voyager were, but I love the concept of the fictional universe in which the Star Trek narratives take place.

If that didn’t mean anything to you, the rest of my review, and the repeated casual mentions of characters Trekk
Dank Wit
Took a while to get into (was also reading a bunch of other stuff), but I ended up getting through most of the second half in the last 24 or so hours. Remember that being an issue with multiple previous reads of Friedman's longer/in-depth books, going back 15 years to my first exposure to Trek lit. I actually waited until I finished my TOS and associated movies "binge watch" recently because this was set right after Undiscovered Country, but that turned out to be all but incidental.

McCoy was alw
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek-tos
I honestly found this to be one of the best McCoy-centric novels in the entire collection of Star Trek novels I've managed to find and read. It gives us some insight into his past, his family life and we see an interesting glimpse into the life of pre-Enterprise McCoy and it ties into their present dilemma.

Like most ST:TOS novels it is likely not everyone's cup of tea but it does have really good characterization and easily paints the scene in the mind.
Sep 29, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

On the brink of retirement, Bones and the crew of the Enterprise are asked to travel with a pair of diplomats to the planet of Ssan to resolve a conflict between the government and a sect of Assassins determined to revive the tradition of Assassination as their cultural heritage. Bones must revisit his first youthful adventure as a Starfleet doctor on Ssan and reignite his first love when the diplomats prove to be his own ex-wife and the man who destroyed their marriage. Conflict and
Mike Crate
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, scifi
Shadows on the Sun is an unashamedly Dr Leonard "Bones" McCoy novel and sheds some not canon light onto his early years before and just after joining Starfleet. We learn about how he met his wife in high school and their relationship leading up to marriage and the birth of their daughter and then the collapse of the marriage which paved the way to joining Starfleet.
Present day Enterprise as it completes it's final cruise (post Undiscovered Country) receives new orders to ferry two diplomats to t
Jun 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy this one. There are a bit of issues to be sure (I've got typos, a weird bit of where I think Spock has too many hands and a bit of perhaps a bit of wobbly ness on what exactly McCoy's job here is) but I really enjoy this book and do like rereading it. It's not very often that McCoy gets his own story outside of Kirk and Spock so this has a special fondness for me in that regard.

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country has just ended. The crew is off to be decommissioned but there's
Apr 28, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek
I was all ready to give this book four stars until the end, so I'm amending it to 3.5. I loved the book overall. McCoy is my favorite character and Friedman's characterization is better than others. The relationship between Jim and McCoy is highlighted well throughout the novel, as well as Bones' friendship with Spock to a lesser degree.

The flashback to McCoy as a 'trainee' did drag a bit in places, especially since it was placed right in the middle of the action. There was a bit of whiplash th
Cary Spratt
Mar 11, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, star-trek
I've definitely read worse, but if the ending sucks, it ruins the whole story for me, and this ending was a disappointment - no satisfying resolution, just kill 'em off? Really? Sad and disappointing.

And what was Clay doing in the diplomatic corp anyway? He seems to be the *least* diplomatic person in the entire novel. I can only imagine that any successes he had before his wife joined him were either blind luck or coincidence. I kept expecting a reveal that their success as a team was actually
Oct 14, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, star-trek
I read this because I'm a huge McCoy fan and I was dying to see him with a really fleshed-out story that hits his heart and soul. This didn't quite cut it, as the characters and the conflict felt more like it was going through the motions of a predictable plot than anything truly enlightening or deep about anyone's character (Kirk, McCoy, Jocelyn, or her new husband). The Ssani culture was, however, interesting, and I loved the philosophical discussions we saw between young McCoy and one of thei ...more
This is another book I read in middle school and recently reread because I started watching TOS. I think I sort of remembered that this book was angsty, but I didn't remember the ending at all and so I was surprised at how sad it was. It was fun to see McCoy's work in more detail, and hard to watch him make mistakes as a young trainee. The TV series itself definitely paints the crew as very idealized characters, who always do the right thing. The idea of assassins as part of a culture took a lit ...more
Dec 28, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was okay - light and escapist reading (as are most Trek novels). I really didn't care for the ending, however. That's probably the eternal optimist in me. I thought Dr. McCoy had suffered enough throughout his life and it would have been nice if he could have spent it with someone he cared about.
I liked the exploration of the Ssana culture. I couldn't help thinking it had many parallels to the Jidhadist mentality and the Japanese Kamakazi in our present society.
Dec 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This Star Trek novel, taking place after the 4th movie, is quite good. Since this has a focus on McCoy, I like it.

The most infuriating thing is the crappy e-book format—OR LACK OF! There are no spaces or stars or break to signal a change of scene/viewpoint and it’s so annoying. I began highlighting the first word of each new scene in case I ever re-read it.
Oct 29, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the most un-Trek novels I've read. Not really technological or sweeping, it is insetad a tale of personal recollection and reflection about troubling experiences and near friendships with an ailen adversary. Good.
Dec 03, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction, sff
This book is rated exactly the way the Goodreads star system works: 2 stars = it was okay. That's pretty much all there is to say about this. I liked the "bad guy."
Veronique Perrot
I registered a book at!
Nov 17, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not Good!!
I was a bit unsatisfied. I think the author could have made more of the idea that the assassins were specifically asking to see Bones... But overall an interesting story.
Ken Poirier
Jan 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, favorites
A great book set in epilogue of the original cast motion pictures. A strong focus on McCoy and his past.
Another good Star Trek book, this one centered around one of my favorite characters, Dr. Leonard McCoy.
Anja Braun
I am halfway done with this book unfortunately I'm getting bored...I think maybe I wanted more info on Bones..big disappointment..

Revised: The book gets better towards the end...
Logan Tanner
May 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love the original series, and this was a fun, quick read.
Charity Bradford
Oct 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
I read it 2 or 3 times before it disappeared from my bookshelf. Bones was always one of my favorite characters, and this story really stuck with me.
Sarah Schanze
Oct 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Not sure I liked the ending but overall this was fun to read.

Look what you've done to me, Alex.
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Goodreads Librari...: Wrong ISBN 5 34 Apr 18, 2013 10:48PM  
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Michael Jan Friedman is an author of more than seventy books of fiction and nonfiction, half of which are in the Star Trek universe. Eleven of his titles have appeared on the New York Times Best Seller list. Friedman has also written for network and cable television and radio, and scripted nearly 200 comic books, including his original DC superhero series, the Darkstars.
More about Michael Jan Friedman...

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