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The Lost Years

(Star Trek: The Original Series)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  2,226 ratings  ·  79 reviews
After the end of the Enterprise TM's five-year mission, Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, and Dr. McCoy struggle to establish new lives apart from each other and the starship. The newly-promoted Admiral Kirk is placed in charge of a specially-created Starfleet division and attempts to defuse a critical hostage situation; Mr. Spock, who, in the midst of a teaching assignment on ...more
Kindle Edition, 10 pages
Published (first published October 1989)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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 ·  2,226 ratings  ·  79 reviews

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Sep 20, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Originally published in 1989.

The idea behind the book is interesting: What happened to the characters from the original Star Trek series between the end of their original five year mission and the events of the movie Star Trek: The Motion Picture ?

But, the follow-through is quite weak.

The characters feel like cardboard cut-outs of themselves, especially McCoy. Kirk's decision to become an admiral makes sense. but McCoy's outlandish, petulant, even childish response to Kirk's decision was simply
Mike Crate
Sep 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So what did happen in the year or so after the Enterprise returned after her first five year mission, much has been speculated in fan fiction but in The Lost Years we get as close to cannon as you can in novel form. Kirk is adamant he will not accept a promotion to the Admiralty and most of the core crew expect to serve with him once again. It comes as a surprise when Kirk is convinced to hold flag rank and Spock and McCoy do not take it well as revealed in the novel.
The core narrative focuses
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*my usual caveat here - I listened to the audio, have no idea how the book is compared to the abridged audio version*

Yes, this one, like many others have said, this is a story that happens just at the end of the original 5 year mission, so we see how they break up and how Kirk gets Admiral and Spock stays on Vulcan. But the main thing that I came away from this one with is how very Star Wars-y this one is. With the ancient Vulcan katra that came back that they had to fight and all this stuff- it
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in high school but forgot how much I enjoyed it. I thought it held up pretty well. This is the first of four books that speculates on what might have happened between the end of the five-year mission and the start of the Motion Picture. The story is good, holding its own with some good pacing and action. Some of the dialogue is a little cheesy and the characters certainly ring at times of somewhat tired ttypes. A semi-romance is shoehorned in that I thought could have been left ...more
May 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mostly good, though a scene involving tarot cards and a weird typo in the edition I had muddled things a bit for me.
Lisa  Reads
I so enjoyed reading this book that I kept delaying finishing it! I admit I am a Trekkie and also admit I could be a bit biased!
Oleta Blaylock
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In many ways this is a very depressing story. I knew that Kirk, Spock and McCoy went their separate ways at the end of their first five year mission, however I didn't realize that it could have been for such a devastating reason.

This story picks up as Enterprise is coming home after its five year mission in space. The crew is considering what they are going to do while Enterprise is in space dock for refit. She will be there for at least 18 to 24 months. There are parties and everyone says their
Rich Meyer
The Lost Years is one of the first Star Trek novels to address the murky period between the end of the original series and Star Trek: The Motion Picture. People at Paramount must've liked it, since J.M. Dillard replaced Vonda McIntyre at the helm of the prose adaptations of the movies. While it has it's moments, and has a lot of action, it doesn't compare to other examinations of the same period (like the first two books of the Crucible series).

The coup for me in this book was bringing back
Aug 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good Trek novel with a great premise - have a story that takes place between the end of the original series and the start of the movies. It has three separate stories at the start of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy that eventually intertwine. Kirk is an Admiral and a diplomat for the Federation and finds himself involved in diffusing a civil war, Spock leaves Starfleet to live on Vulcan but is drawn into action (won't ruin it), and McCoy leaves Starfleet for soul searching and plans to reunite with an ...more
Reading In The Dark
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: star-trek
This was better than "Death Count," but along the same lines of plot over character substance. Not super impressed.


1) Depiction of McCoy is annoying. He's just a whiny victim for the entire book, only slightly redeemed towards the end. I know he's not a fighter and I know he's irascible but in this book he's totally worthless aside from his medical abilities.

2) The Vulcan katra stuff is really fascinating and constitutes the one true Idea of this book. I loved that one aspect.

Mikael Kuoppala
"The Lost Years" is the first installment in a four book series wich tells us the tale of the crew of the original Enterprise in the years between the original five year mission and "The Motion Picture". The novel is very well written by Jean Mary Dillard and contains great characterization, but lacks somewhat in terms of plot developement.

The biggest problem with this novel is the fact that almost all characters involved in the story just happen to be the familiar characters of the Enterprise
Anja Braun
Nov 05, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This book was pretty awful to me. The characters did not sound like themselves. I have read better books. This also had too many characters that I didn't care about and frankly didn't know..I read to page 53 and gave up. Scotty doesn't have his scottish accent well then pretty much it's lost something. I have read William Shatner's Ashes to Eden and The Return..In Both books the characters talk like themselves and it's believable. This pretty much has everyone talking in the same way, nothing of ...more
Feb 02, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meh. None of the characters did things that were believable, the plot was difficult to follow, and it introduces a new villain that is too dumb to have more than 200 pages of fame, apparently. I'm not against the mystical elements per se since the Original Series has a ton of that, but McCoy is a scientist; he wouldn't have been that buddy-buddy with an Earth psychic unless she was really pretty.
Maurice Jr.
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of four books bridging the gap between the end of the Enterprise's five year mission and the first Star Trek movie.

Captain Kirk brings his ship home. He champions promotions for his whole crew, but resists one for himself: to admiral. He just wants another ship to captain, and when the Enterprise is through with refits, he wants it back.

He reluctantly accepts the promotion when he's promised the role of troubleshooter. Instead of riding a desk, he will work with Admiral Lori
R J Mirabal
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Can’t miss with this one for true Trek fans. The first quarter of the book was too slow paced that I considered skipping over those sections. But I’m too dedicated to reading to allow myself that luxury which is fortunate because almost all the details in those chapters are critical to understanding and enjoying the rest of the book.

Just enough serious material, science fiction details, and our favorite Classic Trek characters to make this a good read. The author gives us a good in depth look
Jul 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Ever wonder why Spock had secluded himself? Why Kirk accepted a desk job? Why McCoy left the fleet? This book connects the dots and gives a bonus. We learn some more about the Kolinharu. I enjoyed the interAction as the three get slowly driven apart. My one criticism is the amount of time spent developing the Dwen character. It wasn't enough. The end would have been more effective had the author spent a chapter on making her more substantial. In all it was a good read.
Anne-Marie Whisnant
This was my first Star Trek novel. I've been a fan of the original series and Next Generation for years, but have only just now gotten around to reading any of the books. I enjoyed it very much. The characters were well fleshed out, and it did homage to the original series by honoring the characters. The story was good as well. It ends a bit abruptly, but considering the plot, that doesn't seem odd, I think I'll keep reading the series books, if they are all this engrossing,
Michael R. Nelson
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
I woke up on Monday and thought to myself, what happened after the end of the Five Year Mission and the Motion Picture. Then I remembered that I bought this book back in high school. Reading it now all I can say is that it is not good.

An interesting setup with Enterprise's return to Spacedock falls apart quickly.

Wooden, workman prose, a contrived villian, poor characterization and motivation, insipid romance, sexism, and painful dialog are all to be found. Not recommended.
Chuck White

This is the story of what happens to the Enterprise crew between the end of the Original Series and the first motion picture.

This book does a great job with the characters we all know and love from the series, as well as introducing and fully fleshing out a dozen new characters introduced in this story.

I could easily visualize the whole thing and wish they had made this into the first Star Trek film.

Highly recommended.

Devin Copes
Read this book over the course of 2 days. At the time this came out I believe it was the first time in fiction that the aftermath of the five-year mission was explained. Sadly for me coming into his book I had already read two other tales, both in comic book form, that chronicled the aftermath as well. I felt that those comic books did it better. This is still a good read though, and I recommend it for anyone who considers themselves a fan of the original Star Trek series.
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Filling in the blanks....

I've enjoyed Dillard's many Trek books - a touch of horror (vampires, demons, magicians) lurks there within the SF world of Trek. This is a good story that provides answers to the Trekkers - how did Kirk wind up an Admiral? Why did Spock attempt kolinahru? And it's all wrapped up in a story with ancient Vulcans, Romulans and more.
C Moore
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A much-needed — Spock might say “fascinating” — first installment of a series of narratives that bridge the gap between the original series and Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Dillard weaves a tale that both separates the core three (Kirk, Spock, and McCoy) and brings them together, beginning to suggest where they ultimately have been by the opening of TMP.
Pat Hauldren
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Love lost, and bring hankies

This one brought tears to my eyes. Love lost, not all ends well, and now I have to know what happens next? Another rollicking Trek adventure. Is there a sequel to this story?
Jeremy Yoder
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable story fills the gaps between TOS and Star Trek: The Movie

I enjoyed this take on the time between TOS and the first Star Trek movie as Admiral Kirk and company confront an ancient Vulcan threat while adjusting to their new post-Enterprise lives.
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was the perfect setup for Star Trek the Movie, If I had read this first I think I would have enjoyed the movie much more. This was a Good Read.
Teresa Cervera
2.5 stars. Story picks up a bit towards the end but the writing is very dry
Monica Leigh
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fun, fast read that filled in some of the gaps after their five-year mission.
Av Fitch
A solid piece of classic original Star Trek scifi. Nothing extraordinary, but entertaining and nostalgic.
Dec 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek-tos
While not the most memorable book I enjoyed it. It was interesting to see how things were falling apart around Kirk, McCoy, and Spock.
Coleman Wigger
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful way to fill in some gaps even the movies didn't with the main characters.
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J.M. Dillard is the pseudonym under which Jeanne Kalogridis (b. 1954) publishes her Star Trek novels.

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)
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“Spock smiled without smiling—something McCoy had seen him do once or twice before, and damned if” 2 likes
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