Star Trek: The Motion Picture Thoughts
First book published under the Pocket line way back in 1979 (yikes, 5 years before I was even born!), and first book I read as part of this Great Reread project. Although I have seen the film, I hadn't read this novel before I started this adventure. So, thoughts?
Overall, I enjoyed it more than I did the film. The book seemed to have a more interesting pace, delving into just enough of the thoughts and backgrounds of the characters to add something, without becoming bogged down in what could have been pages and pages of description as the crew of the Enterprise encounter the V'ger entity.
I doubt I have to delve too much into the plot of the book as it follows very closely that of the movie. Suffice it to say that everything is here, from the Klingon ships being destroyed at the opening of the story through to the creation of a new entity through V'ger's joining with her Creator at the end. That first scene I felt was especially well done, even though it occured only thanks to a technological device that has never again be mentioned anywhere in Star Trek lore as far as I know. Still, this allows Gene Roddenberry to show the important scene of the Klingon attack through the eyes of James T. Kirk, thus introducing us to our main character at the same time.
The characterisation was excellent, as could be expected of a novel coming directly from the pen of Star Trek's Great Bird of the Galaxy himself. Kirk, McCoy and Spock especially were very well drawn, and it was as much of a thrill to read about their return aboard the Enterprise as it was to see it on film. The novel also delves a little bit more into exactly how Kirk comes back to be in charge of the Enterprise, giving us a glimpse at two characters who will be familiar to readers of either the Lost Years Quadrology or the Vanguard series, namely Lori Ciana and Admiral Nogura.
Overall, a good beginning to the Pocket line of books, a good start to this Reread and a fine companion to the movie that - no matter what else we as fans may think about it - made all the rest (Wrath of Khan, the other movies, TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT) possible.
Next up - The Entropy Effect