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The Lost Years

(Star Trek: The Original Series)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  2,403 ratings  ·  98 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 Vulc ...more
Kindle Edition, 10 pages
Published (first published 1987)
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  2,403 ratings  ·  98 reviews

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Dec 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just back from their five year mission on the Enterprise and now contemplating their future plans, McCoy, Spock and Kirk get tangled up in a plot involving an evil ancient Vulcan "wizard" and the Romulans. The main focus here is McCoy, which is a nice change from most ST stories, and the latent tension in the relationships between the three as they part ways.
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 simp
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
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
Sep 09, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek
I really really want to like this novel, but I cannot help but feel disappointed. “The Lost Years” is a somber story about our favorite characters, who just concluded their journey and now faced with decisions that would shape their future for better or worse. The opening is promising. We understand the pressure the crew experience, their sorrow and disappointment of having to say goodbye. We expect new adventures that will excite and bring them together once again, but the novel never delivers. ...more
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
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
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 Kev
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.

3) Th
Will Hoover
This book is actually a very mixed bag, but I still ended up giving it three out of five stars. But maybe I'm just a nice guy. Or maybe I just plain love, love, love, and am always rooting for, various interpretations of Star Trek to actually be... you know... good.

Unfortunately however, the first half of this book reads like typical "Trekker" or "Trekkie" fan fiction, with leisurely, even somewhat classic soap opera-style pacing. The author also seems to have gone to considerable trouble and ve
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 c
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.
Edmund Bloxam
Aug 14, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book ranks in the bargain bin of unprofessional rubbish. The editor needed to step in and point out the major flaws in the story construction. Embarassingly, laughably badly thought out on every level. Worse than fan fiction. Like I said, the editor took a break on this one. Inexcusable publication.

What's the plot? Yes.

A planet with a political crisis, poorly developed and explained. Completely unrelated to what may or may not be considered the 'main' narrative about a Vulcan wizard-any sh
Mar 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
TITLE: Star Trek: The Lost Years

AUTHOR: J.M. Dillard

GENRE: Star Trek/Science Fiction

PAGES: 321

FORMAT: E-book

I am a Trekkie. I have been for most of my life (I discovered STAR TREK on a Saturday evening when I was the tender age of 7…”Trouble With Tribbles”), and dove into the books series in the 70’s Star Trek Logs 1-5 on a Christmas break when I was 10. When the books series started in the 80’s, I was in seventh Heaven!

In 1989, J.M. Dillard released Star Trek: The Lost Years. The book was an in
Jul 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was going through my Star Trek hardcover novels a week ago (I think I have all of the except Spock’s World which was the first) and settled on the second. It had been years since I had read this version of the final days and those following the end of Kirk, Spock, Bones, and the rest of the crew of the Enterprise’s historic five year mission. Dillard answers a lot of questions we have all had between the time our friends said goodbye to the moment they were all brought back together for The (s ...more
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 in
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,
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.

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.
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.
Ryan O'Reilly
Jun 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Gets the characters and spirit

A satisfying star trek adventure that stays true to the characters and vision of the star trek film series (as a prequel). The author mostly nailed the dialogue and character motivations so that it's easy to envision Shatner, Nimoy and the others in their respective roles. Might start off a bit slow but it picks up steam as it goes along. Solid prose and pacing.
Emma Larsson
This was another book I simply couldn't stop listening to. I just wanted to continue listening to it - "just a few more minutes" each time! Maybe there was a bit of OOC moments but nothing that annoyed me too much to be honest.

... Also OH I JUST FELT SO SORRY FOR MCCOY throughout this whole book - why the fuck, why!? So much sadness, just stop!? He deserves love god damnit!!

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.
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.
Evan Leigh Warren
From Starfleet To Civilian Life

Kirk settles into his new life after his five years as Starship Captain comes to an end. Spock returns to Vulcan. Dr.McCoy falls in love and gets taken hostage!

A good follow-up to the original series which NBC canceled after 3 seasons.

Trekkies will enjoy all of the details. There are many ideas in this book used in the motion picture series.
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J.M. Dillard is the pseudonym under which Jeanne Kalogridis (b. 1954) publishes her Star Trek novels. ...more

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