From the Depths by Victor Milán
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Conflict rages on Okeanos between two species one of which derives from the planet Earth. The other people known as the Susuru are being partially aided by the Klingons and call upon the Federation to remove the humans. The Enterprise along with the Federation Commissioner for Interspecies Affairs one Moriah Wayne make initial contact and learn that the humans have their roots in the genetic experiments during the age of the Eugenic Wars and fled into deep space to live free and not be constrained by laws preventing the use of genetic manipulation. The result is a wide variety of human life which is more or less tailored to support an ocean world, the Commissioner is appalled by this and automatically supports the view of the Susuru who she accepts as the native population and she is also smoothed talked by the Klingon commander who has more political savvy than most in his position. Kirk insists on conducting face to face discussions between the two parties but the Susura and the Commissioner being skillfully manipulated by the Klingons threaten and then carry out their threats in their own particular way. As the situation begins to spin out of control the true intent of the Klingons is revealed leaving the Enterprise alone to face far more than they bargained for.
From The Depths is certainly a novel that takes a different approach to a Klingon themed story of conquest, the use of the eugenics war and the desire for people to live as they choose certainly provided a solid base to tell a Star Trek story. The Klingon commander Kain was a great villain and written in the true classic "Kor" style, he had style and flare which was used to confuse Kirk while moving pieces as if on a chess board. The only real weakness in the story and alas it's a big one is the character of Moriah Wayne who is way over the top in her reactions to the situation even before being manipulated by Kain. The story does try to explain away some of her actions but she is too extreme and her actions by extension are as well and ultimately the world building and the Klingons fail to make up for her abruptness which is a shame.
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