Provenance of Shadows (Star Trek Crucible: McCoy)

Provenance of Shadows (Star Trek Crucible: McCoy)
David R. George III, 2006

These books have been tempting me from the shelf of the local library for a while now, and I finally broke down and borrowed this one. I used to read Star Wars novels, but I haven't read much licensed fiction in a while.

Premise: During the episode “City on the Edge of Forever,” Doctor McCoy went back in time, and created an alternate timeline. Kirk and Spock restored history, but on some level, McCoy both returned to the Enterprise with his friends and lived out the rest of his life in the 1930's.

This book started strong.  I really enjoyed the beginning; it was fun and fast, and the idea of following alternate McCoy was great.  The problem was, it couldn't sustain its pace.

The book is split between alternate McCoy living in the past and standard McCoy (of course, no relation to 2009's New!McCoy) living in the 2200's.  The story following AltMcCoy is actually really strong overall, it has good character work, interesting plots, etc.  The best scene in the book is when McCoy realizes how he changed history, and his horror that he can't do a thing about it.

However, the other half of the book devolves quickly into a fan-fic-esque tour through the rest of the Original Series and the movies. The narrative never stops in one time long enough for me to care about what is going on, and the connections to the other story are tenuous and obnoxious. Far too much of it is direct references to episodes, etc. It's a really frustrating read.

The end of the book was hokey, pandering and dull.  The beginning was intriguing enough and it was a quick enough read that I might flip through another book in the series next time I'm at the library, but if it's another “This is Your Life” ramble, I'll pass.

2 Stars – An Okay Book (only barely squeaks up to 2, entirely based on the 1930's storyline)


  1. I had the same impression - this has been languishing in my DNF pile for a long time. Great concept, and it started off wonderfully, but couldn't maintain my interest.

  2. Yeah, it wouldn't be so bad if you skipped all the 'future' chapters and the end. Which I know is not much of a recommendation, but I did like most of the 'past' chapters.


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