Yesterday’s Son

Ann C. Crispin

reviewed by Diane Doyle

This novel is a sequel to the third season Star Trek episode "All Our Yesterdays," where Spock and McCoy traveled back to the Ice Age of planet Sarpeidon, with Spock reverting back to the behavior of his ancestors and becoming romantically involved with a woman named Zarabeth. The premise to the novel was Spock had impregnated Zarabeth while he was there.

Two years after that encounter, some Federation archeologists were studying remains from that world and discovered paintings in a cave dating back from the Ice Age of Sarpeidon which included a face with Vulcan characteristics, including upswept eyebrows and pointed ears. Upon seeing the pictures, Spock concludes that he had fathered a child via Zarabeth. Figuring the child would have a difficult time surviving in the Ice Age, he requests permission from the Vulcan leader T’Pau to bring the child to the 23rd century.

Hence, Kirk, Spock, and McCoy use the Guardian of Forever to go back in time to the Sarpeidon Ice Age to retrieve Spock’s son. However, instead of encountering a child, as they expected, they encounter a young adult in his mid twenties named Zar. His mother, Zarabeth, turns out to be dead, having fallen into a crevice of ice seven years earlier.

The novel describes how Zar becomes educated to life in the 23rd century, including the history and customs of Vulcan. It depicts the conflict between the reluctant father and his son. It reveals that Zar has not only inherited telepathic abilities from his father but also the ability to project emotions, such as fear. It also describes how Zar helps the crew of the Enterprise defend the Guardian of Forever from a Romulan attack, along with his eventual fate.

The novel is definitely a logical extrapolation of the events of "All Our Yesterdays." The author shows her affection for the characters, especially Spock, in her characterizations. Zar seems to display Vulcan personality characteristics, despite not being raised on Vulcan.  Many of his decisions are so reminiscent of Spock.

The novel is well-written and well-researched; it's a must read for any fan of Spock and anyone who ever wondered about what happened to Zarabeth.

Note: Later, a sequel called Time for Yesterday was published.

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