Tuesday, 26 April 2016

The Tears of the Singers by Melinda M. Snodgrass

The Tears of the Singers (Star Trek, #19)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Klingon Empire and the Federation send ships to investigate an anomaly which is causing issues with shipping and threatening the region in and around the Taygeta system. Taygeta V is the home of a creature that is reported to sing constantly and is being hunted for a jewel created by ocular secretions at the time of it's death. The Enterprise "drafts" one of the Federations premier musicians to aid them in their research and he isn't very happy about it but Uhura already has a "relationship" with him one which grows ever deeper during the mission. Spock begins to believe that the singing of the creatures is complex enough to be considered a language and so the task of understanding and translating begins while the Klingons handle scientific research their own way but time is short, this system is doomed and left unchecked the anomaly could wreck habit on dozens of star systems.
The Tears of the Singers is very well written and complex piece of Star Trek story telling entwining some romance for one of the bridge officers and opening up some of the more practical considerations for Federations citizens not in Starfleet. The use of an existing Klingon character adds immensely to the story and makes it easier to accept how he handles working with Kirk without taking anything away from the tropes that are Klingon. There is also the ecological element of the story with both the slaughter of creatures for nothing more than a bauble and the consequences of choices and their impact on the environment both planetary and galaxy wide. Overall this is very good Star Trek story with more than it's first share of depth and genuine emotion.

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