Time for Yesterday

Ann C. Crispin

reviewed by Diane Doyle

This novel is a sequel to the earlier novel Yesterday’s Son which, in turn, is a sequel to the third season Star Trek episode "All Our Yesterdays." It answers the question for anyone who wonders what happened to Zar, the son of Spock and Zarabeth, who they had rescued from the Sarpeidon Ice Age, but later returned to the Northern Hemisphere of that world, realizing that he was to be instrumental to the rapid development of the civilization there.

Fifteen years later, Admiral Kirk and Spock learn that many stars, including nearby star, Alpha Centauri B have been engulfed in waves of time displacement causing them to age rapidly. It is estimated that if this phenomenon is not stopped within the next ninety days, the damage to the universe would be irreversible. The source of the time distortion waves was traced to the planet of the Guardian of Forever. The Guardian appeared to be malfunctioning and was no longer responding to questions. Spock suggested that maybe a telepath should be used to contact the guardian.

As Zar was a telepath who had previously contacted the Guardian, Spock, Kirk, and McCoy go back in time to Sarpeidon to retrieve him. They encounter him twenty years later as a ruler of a small but technically advanced clan about to engage in battle with an alliance of enemy clans. The priestess, Wynn, who is the daughter of one of the enemy chiefs, has predicted his death in battle and declares that the alliance will only be denied victory if "he who is halt walks healed" and "he who is death-struck in battle rises whole." The "he who is halt" refers to Zar who currently limps due to a leg injury suffered in a previous battle. To increase his clan’s odds of survival, Zar marries Wynn, forcing her father to change sides. While the marriage was originally for "state" reasons, the couple discovers they have a lot in common, including telepathic powers and the fact they had previously lost a spouse and child.

Kirk, Spock, and McCoy convince Zar to come back to the future with them so he can contact the Guardian. While there, McCoy heals Zar’s leg so he can walk normally again, satisfying the first part of Wynn’s prophecy. Zar returns to the past to fight the battle. Spock also returns and is able to deflect the "death blow" meant for Zar so that it is not fatal. Spock puts on Zar’s armor, and shows himself to the army who believe he is Zar, fulfilling the second part of the prophecy. Zar’s army wins the battle. Spock returns to the present, leaving Zar in the care of his wife. The end of the novel includes a bridge to events depicted in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan.

The novel is well-written. Characterizations are very good. The scenes of McCoy treating Zar for his injuries are believable. It is obvious that Zar himself has Vulcan personality characteristics, with his references to logic. Admittedly, the novel includes the time-worn plot device of Captain Kirk and his crew saving the universe. Nonetheless, it is a very interesting read and well worth a reader’s time, especially one who read Yesterday’s Son and wants to learn what happened to Zar. While this novel could probably stand on its own, it makes much more sense to readers who have seen the episode "All Our Yesterdays" and read Yesterday’s Son. In fact, this novel is a "must" read for fans of Spock, especially for those who enjoyed "All Our Yesterdays".

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