Enemy Unseen by V.E. Mitchell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A routine assignment to ferry diplomats and to prepare the field for discussions between two worlds over the disposition of a third seems to be an opportunity for the crew to take it easy but things rarely turn out well especially when the senior diplomat is married to a woman who Kirk had a relationship with in the past and was manipulative and dangerous maybe if proof could have been found at the time treasonous. Spock has taken a busmans holiday and two new crew members are onboard for the journey and it's all the new faces which complicate matters when the negotiations falter and a spy/assassin has come onboard.
Enemy Unseen worked well as a story of Kirk and the Enterprise in their second five year mission, the lack of Spock was an interesting choice but did allow the introduction of an old friend of Kirk who was shortly to move onto a new ship and a Deltan science officer who I would certainly liked to have read more of. The Deltan element of the story was fascinating, we've never gotten a huge amount of information about the race barring the minor TMP element and one of two novels but I did like the chemistry between the half Deltan officer, her mother and the science officer which fueled part of the narrative. The complex social aspect of the alien race did show some of the complexities of understanding another's worldview and the spy's ability was unexpected but very effective as was the Deltan fly in the ointment which added suspense and drama to the story.
Overall an entertaining ship bound mission of the Enterprise, some good additional characters and a solid story.
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