Triangle by Sondra Marshak
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I recall reading this when I originally bought the novel and not being that enthralled, a couple of decades later and I have a different opinion. This story would never work as a tv episode but it has the scope and depth to make a movie that's for sure, there is little space based action but plenty on planet coupled with tension and conflict between characters.
Triangle offers up a future of sentient life in the galaxy moving towards a collective consciousness and Starfleet and specifically the Enterprise are caught between two competing systems. The Oneness seeks a willing communion between individuals while the Totality are using force to impose a collective but are these two paths really evolution or a blind alley which would remove the passions and drive that have driven life to the stars and beyond? A test by these powers have been devised to find the answer and by extension bring Captain Kirk into a unity by persuasion or force. Kirk is such a well known figure and representative of the establish individual order his embrace of unity would shake the galaxy, yeah public relations future style. To add spice a Zaran female who is a Federation free agent has been added to the test, she is an ideal companion for Kirk but Spock is the unexpected twist, the book is called Triangle for more than one reason:)
The novel steps aside from what you would consider the norm from the tv series but Star Trek has proven over the years that there is room for all ideas even those that at the time may not quite fit but later seem perfectly acceptable as the tv and movies catch up with what the novels have been providing for many years.
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