Book Review: ‘The Search For Spock’

March 3, 2022 at 12:53 pm | Posted in Books, Reviews, Sci-Fi, Star Trek | Leave a comment
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Star Trek III: The Search for Spock is a novelization of the movie screenplay written and produced by Harve Bennett and adapted by Vonda N. McIntyre.

I have not reviewed too many movie novelizations before, mostly due to the fact that I generally don’t like them as much as original books. However, after the wonderful experience I had with J.M. Dillard’s The Undiscovered Country novelization, I thought I would give this one a try. The Search for Spock is up there as one of my favorite Star Trek movies, and I thought the book might provide some great insights…which it did!

The first 75 pages of this book is entirely new material. These are new scenes and new viewpoints that we never got in the movie. It does an excellent job of bridging the gap between the end of The Wrath of Khan and Search for Spock. Several characters are given viewpoints that the movie doesn’t, and I quite enjoyed them.

It isn’t just the beginning of the book that features original material. Throughout the book, each chapter includes new moments, new perspectives, and new mini-scenes that add so much to the movie. I’m surprised at how much Vonda McIntyre was able to include in such a short page count!

The two standout characters in the book are Savik and David. Both of them have lots of page time in this book, and their original scenes really added the most. David has this sense of despair about Genesis, as well as a burgeoning love for Savik. Savik has conflicted feelings about David, as well as mournfulness for Spock. Their interplay throughout the book was really great and made their moments in the movie so much more impactful.

Other characters also get new scenes and moments. Although they aren’t quite as impactful, they do provide some great context. Scotty has some time in the book to mourn his nephew who died during the battle with Khan, and he takes the opportunity to meet with his family. Uhura gets some pagetime and her escape in the movie makes much more sense now, as well as why she is already on Vulcan. Carol Marcus also gets some new scenes of her mourning her lover’s death, but those scenes were the weakest in my opinion. 

The book does tell the story faithfully and does have the same tone and general flow. McIntyre does have a good handle of writing prose for Star Trek, which is why she wrote so many ST books. McIntyre’s description of Genesis and what it looks like was truly excellent and showed excellent skill at general science-fiction writing, not just adapting a screenplay. I would be interested in reading some of her other Star Trek and even original works after reading this book.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was an easy and fast read, but it added so much context and history to the story! I give it a five out of five!  Excellent work indeed!

Reviewed By: Jonathan Koan

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