Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home by Vonda N. McIntyre
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Spock has been taken back to Vulcan to have his Katra returned to where it belongs and Kirk and the crew are preparing to return to Earth in their captured Bird of Prey to face charges. During the return trip subspace is flooded with numerous signals and noise, do not return to Earth save yourselves. Of course Kirk is not going to sit back and watch the fireworks and when Spock identifies the mysterious signal being aimed at Earth from a huge construct in orbit Kirk grasps at the slim chance that time travel could provide a solution to saving the planet one more time. They slingshot around the sun and find themselves in San Fransico of 1996 and surprisingly they don't look totally out of place:) We then get a clean action/drama which fully exploits the comedic opportunities for the fish out of water as well as the ongoing dynamic between the crew with spice added thanks to Spock (and McCoy) slowly recovering themselves. The novel of course as with many novelisations builds upon the theatrical narrative added more detail to scenes and characters. We didn't really need to know so much about the refuse collector and the writing of his novel but it added so much to the basic premise. I also preferred the novel clearly stating that the inventor of transparent aluminium was the character who got access to the formula rather than Scotty being more vague when arguing for the transaction with McCoy.
The Voyage Home is in many ways the most popular Star Trek movie due to it's more encompassing nature, the movie brought people to the cinema who were never before that interested in Trek or scifi in general. That said for the same reason the movie does split the hardcore fanbase so the novelisation will probably do the same yet I think the added content moves the story more into scifi then environmental and maybe hits the target more often for those who prefer Trek to be made in a certain way.
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