After the last Star Trek book report which was Ascendance set in the DS9 universe I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep reading Star Trek novels or not. However, when Latter Fire by James Swallow arrived I decided to give them another shot and was very pleasantly surprised!
Star Trek The Latter Fire is set in the original series universe with the familiar Captain Kirk and crew. One thing I didn’t expect is that it actually takes place at the start of the cartoon universe with Chekov leaving and the alien that replaced him in the animated series taking his spot at the helm. Don’t know why they went that route, but whatever.
I don’t want to get into the plot too much, because fans that may be inclined to read a Star Trek book should check this one out. Basically, the Enterprise meets up with an alien species called the Syhaari that they made first contact with and helped out several years ago and now they’ve come to reestablish contact with them. They’re all surprised to see that the Syhaari have greatly progressed in their warp technology, almost too quickly. Then all hell breaks loose!
The characterizations are great and everyone acts just like they did on the series. One notable exception is Uhura who is given a lot more to do than she normally did on the show, which is pretty cool. You can tell that Mr. Swallow has gone out of the way to give her more meaningful stuff to do other than just answer the space telephone.
Star Trek The Latter Fire is an excellent read that has great pacing and perfectly captures the feel of the source material. It also thankfully doesn’t fall back on previous novels or have to explain what has gone before in other novels to be a worthwhile read for newcomers to the material. I’d gladly read another James Swallow penned Star Trek book.