I just completed my re-read of this first original Star Trek novel published by Pocketbooks. I read it many years ago, sometime in the early 1990's I believe and remember almost nothing about it, other than Sulu had long hair. So it was basically new for me. Despite the cover image, as was common back in the early days, this is definitely a 5YM story. The Stardate is 5001 (granted that doesn't really nail down the era all that well back then) and Memory Alpha lists the year as 2270, near the end of the 5YM which sounds about right. One giveaway is the ranks, Sulu and Uhura are Lieutenants and Chekov an Ensign here. In the timeline though it would likely be a post animated series story as it does depict Kirk's recommendation that Sulu be promoted to Lt. Commander (perhaps a nod to his rank in TMP?). The story itself starts off with the Enterprise on a weeks long mission to investigate a strange singularity. During critical experiments Spock is doing the Enterprise receives an emergency transmission from a Starbase names Aleph Prime. A scientist Spock admires, Dr. Mordreaux, has been convicted of murder and they are to take him to a rehabilitation center. While there Kirk meets up with an old flame of his, Captain Hunter, who Sulu also admires. Sulu wants to expand his experience and requests a transfer to Hunter's ship which Kirk grants. Sulu has also fallen in love with the new security chief, complicating matters. Due to a challenge Sulu is growing his hair long (hence one accurate part of the cover photo). Meanwhile there are some strange occurrences. Scotty and the prosecutor of the case, Braithewaite, see Spock in places that don't make sense, in Braithewaite's case before the ship is even called to the Starbase. After Sulu disembarks Captain Kirk and the security chief are brutally murdered. Spock and McCoy are besides themselves. Spock reasons he has to go back in time to stop an experiment by Dr. Mordreaux that is basically a time travelling device. At first he wants to go back primarily to stop Kirk's murder but he later learns in his travels, by a future version of Dr. Mordreaux, that his experiment has resulted in universal entropy expanding rapidly and he has to stop the experiment all together. So that's the basic gist. I liked the first half of the book better than the 2nd half. This book sort of brought Sulu up to a main character and McIntyre gives greater background on Sulu, including his first name (that would later be retained and 'canonized'). It was nice to see a focus on one of the 'also starring' characters. I liked the security chief as well, Lt. Flynn, and Captain Hunter. McIntyre brings up her idea of partnerships in lieu of marriage (which was revisited in "Enterprise: The First Adventure"), and it reminds me a bit of Denobulan society depicted in Enterprise. Kirk was offered the chance to join the partnership but he bowed out, something he wonders if it was a mistake. A few flaws in the book, this is one of those 'the universe is going to be destroyed if we don't fix the disruption to the time stream' stories. A bit overly melodramatic probably. But as a person who watches slasher films, I can play the old 'suspension of disbelief' game and just go with it. I was kind of surprised there was no mention of the events of "The Tholian Web" here, as it features similar circumstances with the belief that Kirk is dead. An odd omission I thought since this novel was written well after that episode came out. Braithewaite is a complicated character. He starts off relatively likeable but he becomes almost a villain with his belief that Spock, McCoy and Flynn (who was likewise murdered) somehow are conspirators in Kirk's death. And Scotty expresses doubts about Spock and McCoy as well which seems completely out of character to me. He is brooding a bit because Spock and McCoy won't explain things to him and McCoy is left in bridge command so he can help deflect attention away from Spock's trying to fix the timeline. And McCoy doesn't trust Scott enough to tell him what's really going on, which seems out of character as well. I think we all know Scott would do whatever it takes had he known what is going on to help Spock and McCoy and he could have been a valuable ally. And even if they couldn't tell him for some reason, he would still help in whatever way he can. I can't see him doubting their motives. It just didn't 'feel' right to me. Perhaps that was the point of the story, that things aren't right because of the 'entropy' effect. But it just wasn't working for me. And the final resolution appeared rather sudden. Everything was falling apart then poof, something happens and it's all set right. It felt sort of like she was running out of pages and had to come up with a resolution to close out the story. Eventually everything is reset, which it would have to be since we all know Kirk could not be left for dead and Sulu has to remain with the Enterprise. Kirk finds a way to help Sulu expand his experiences while staying with the ship. So overall the book started off above average for me. Then dropped to about average in the 2nd half. The story was interesting, it had it's good moments. And once you get past the melodrama of 'we have to fix the timeline to save the universe' plot it was a book I could get into.