Jack C. Haldeman II
reviewed by Randy Landers
While long over-due for shore leave at Starbase 6, the Enterprise is attacked by a Klingon battlecruiser under the commander of Commander Korol who has sworn a blood oath against James T. Kirk for the death of his brother at the captain's hands. Able to overcome their attackers, the Federation starship is limping back to Starbase 6 when they are ordered to Perry's Planet to represent the Federation to the Earth colony there.
The Enterprise arrives and its crew finds a utopian society, albeit a tad primitive by Federation standards. They beam down, and are pleasantly surprised by the colony, but are absolutely astounded when they meet Captain Wayne Perry who founded the colony some 300 years earlier. Realizing quickly that this Perry is actually some sort of computer-construct, Kirk sets out to have a landing party explore the city.
While in a bar, Sulu is about to blow a gasket when suddenly he collapses. He's returned to the Enterprise to discover that some sort of "pacificist-creating" virus is literally causing these collapses among the crew, and the air-borne virus has now infected the entire crew. The real reason why Perry's Planet is so peaceful, is that the virus itself forces its inhabitants to be that way. If that weren't enough, Commander Korol and his battlecruiser have shown up, firing on the Enterprise while no one aboard can return fire!
When I first read this novel in 1980, I hated it, and not for the slightest valid reason. I hated because I'd been dumped by a girlfriend for a guy named Perry. LOL - I kid you not.
This book, however, is a well-written tale, even if a bit evocative of "The Return of the Archons" with Perry taking the place of Landru. To be honest, it's probably one of the better Star Trek books from Bantam. It's nicely done, nicely edited, and above all, very entertaining. Highly recommended.
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