Allegiance in Exile
was okay, but not great. This, I feel, was DRGIII's weakest Trek effort. Of course, seeing how great all his other efforts were, that isn't necessarily bad.
At any rate, although I liked the exploration aspects of the story (as well as the first contact situation at the end), I found both Sulu's and Kirk's subplots to be greatly annoying, especially Sulu's. I know Sulu isn't just a drone and has his own opinions and feelings, but his entire situation in this book just seemed to come out of nowhere. I literally asked myself "Where did that
One of the bigger problems with Sulu's subplot is that if this woman truly meant so much to him and her situation truly affected his relationship with Kirk that much for that long, why is the first time we've heard of this? The obvious answer is because the idea never came up before this book was written (one of the problems with trying to provide character development for such previously established characters). I just couldn't get past the idea that I really don't think Sulu would have gotten that bad.
Someone else mentioned that they didn't like Kirk moping around about the end of the 5YM. I agree. To my mind, Kirk knew that the mission was coming to an end, but he fully expected to go out again. Granted, being in a "military" force, he goes where he is ordered to go, but there was really no reason to expect that he wouldn't continue commanding a starship, if not specifically the Enterprise
. I don't think he'd be getting so down about the end of the mission, especially since he is the type that is always looking forward.
I will say that the reveal of the identities of the aliens at the end did bring a smile to my face. I can't help but think this is DRGIII throwing a bone to those who are truly unhappy with the way Pocket has handled certain aspects of the Novelverse since the editorial shakeup. Maybe nothing comes of it, but it's nice to think it was on purpose.
Overall, it was okay, but I was disappointed.