S. J.'s Reviews > Spock Must Die!

Spock Must Die! by James Blish
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's review
Jan 30, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: star-trek-novels, brilliant-averageness, sci-fi, media-tie-in, favorites
Recommended for: fans of Star Trek, people interested in the science of the show
Read in January, 2012

*3 Stars*

*The Gush*
As the first novel based on the Original Series, Spock Must Die! sets the stage for many works to come, both good and bad. The philosophical debate surrounding the entire book was something that, ironically enough, my husband and I had discussed not two days before I started the book. Perhaps this helped keep my interest through the philosophy banded about, which normally would bore me. To be fair however, the transporter has always bothered me. The in-depth discussion of the mechanics of the transporter, not to mention the idea of whether or not it is the actual person being beamed or a exact copy is interesting, not to mention terrifying.
Then you get duplicate Spocks and terrifying does not even begin to cover it. The book itself is not scary, but the idea behind the book is quite horrifying, in my mind at any rate.
And here starts the set up for future books: ideas taken straight or obliquely from the show itself. The Kirk episode has always been on of my favorites-a character forced to acknowledge his capacity for evil always makes for excellent drama. But Blish takes the same idea-two copies of the same person- to a new level. Both Spocks are the same, or so it seems, and both say the same thing: the other Spock must die.
A Vulcan wishing death on another? It seems completely out of character. Or is it?
Add Klingons, the Organians and their Peace Treaty, and a very interesting portrayal of Kirk and how he reacts to such a terrible idea-killing a good friend.

*The Negative*
While all the characters are done well, the science is actually interesting, and the plot handled well, I could not bring myself to rate this more than average. Perhaps because I was hoping that the first spin-off novel of the series would do more than begin using cliches from the series. I would hope that you could come up with something better than that. For what it was, it is very well done and well worth the read, but I had hoped for something a little...more?

If you are a Star Trek fan, particularly a fan of Spock, Kirk, and their friendship, this is well worth the read. If you have always been fascinated by the transporter, you definitely need to give this a read. If you want to read something that will jump start your interest in Star Trek and its novels-you might want to choose something else first.

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