Michael Jan Friedman
reviewed by Carolyn Kaberline
The survey of Octavius IV is supposed to be peaceful and totally routine; however, it soon proves to be anything but. Spock is attacked by a large grub-like creature that injects him with a substance that speeds up all his life processes. While McCoy beams back to the Enterprise with the Vulcan, what seems to be a localized earthquake, envelopes Captain Kirk and three crew members. As the ground opens up below them, the four soon disappear into a rapidly collapsing hole.
Meanwhile, one Merkann, Acquisitor Hamesaad Dreen, has just arrived at the Beta Cabrini mining colony now under the direction of Bradford Wayne. This is Dreens first acquisition trip since he was disgraced by the Enterprise under Captain Pike ten years earlier; not only is he out to acquire as many minerals as possible from the colony, hes also out for revenge on the Federation.
When Wayne is able to get a brief distress call out, its the Enterprise that answers. Although search parties have found no evidence that Kirk and his party have survived the grounds collapse, the Enterprise, under a heavily medicated Spock, reluctantly leaves Octavius IV.
Dreen knows that its only a matter of time before a Federation vessel will arrive to try and stop him; however, he cant believe his good fortune when he finds its the Enterprise and that the ship is under control of the individual that engineered his fall so many years before.
Legacy is a fast-paced tale that keeps the reader in suspense as he/she follows Kirk and his team as they struggle to escape the cave that holds them and as they try to find a way to contact the ship. Interspersed with Kirks story is Spocks story as the Vulcan struggles to maintain control under the influence of the substance in his bloodstream and also to escape Dreen who has found a seemingly unique way to dispose of him. Legacy is also the story of the colonys attempt to remove the Merkaans before they can depart with the colonys riches. The novel also provides a look at Christopher Pike and Vina on Talus IV as Pike seems to feel that something is wrong with his former ship.
Despite the fast pace and intriguing storylines, many seeming coincidences are used to advance the plot. For example, Kirk and his team just happen to find plants with berries that contain an acid that will dissolve enough of the organic material on the canyon walls to form handholdsand of course the residual material dries fast enough for them to avoid any chemical burns. Another coincidental find leads to the eventual cure of Spocks medical condition. And while the look at Pike and Vina and their caretakers on Talus IV is interesting, it seems to have little to do with the main story linesand its obvious from some of Pikes conversations with the caretakers that even though he is curious about the fates of some of his former shipmates, there is nothing that he can do to help them with their current plight.
Despite the coincidences in the story, most readers should find Legacy a good read that will hold their attention until the end.
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