Star Trek: Troublesome Minds
By: Dave Galanter
A few months ago, in July, Bobby bought me this book in celebration of our eight years together. I actually received two Star Trek books and although I finished this one in less than two weeks, I have just recently picked up the second novel and am still currently reading it.
This book , Troublesome Minds, is about an alien race called the Isitri. The Enterprise rescues one of them named Berlis and soon Kirk and his crew find themselves involved in this race’s power struggle. The Isitri are a telepathic race and Berlis is a troublesome mind; a rare oddity that happens every so often where a mind becomes so influential it overpowers the others and takes control of the wills of those Isitri who are nearby. Once they are under the troublesome mind they do the bidding of that person and that is why Berlis was running for his very life when the Enterprise rescued him. The Isitri discovered Berlis’s influence and due to the pact they had made with the inhabitants of their neighboring planet, the Isitri had to eliminate the threat of this troublesome mind before it overtook all the Isitri and thereby endangered their neighbors the Odib.
This is a classic Star Trek tale where the Enterprise encounters an alien race and, due to their actions, become involved in the story. I enjoyed the book and the adventure the Enterprise crew found themselves in, however, as the story progressed and you learned more about the telepathic powers of both the Isitri and Berlis I found myself wondering how these powerful beings were going to be contained or how Berlis was going to be stopped. Of course most of it fell on Spock’s shoulders since Vulcans use a form of telepathy and can mind meld with others (themselves and with different alien species), but as I read I wasn’t convinced that he could defeat the mighty Berlis, even with his Vulcan mind disciplinary techniques.
Reading the last chapters, which involved the battle between the aliens and the Enterprise, I found that the story’s ending didn’t quite satisfy me as much as I would of hoped because the ending’s resolution wasn’t one that I was convinced could actually settle the situation. This made me a little disappointed in the ending but as a whole I enjoyed the book. Part of the reason I did enjoy the book was the interaction of the characters which brought back the familiarity of the series. And I was happy with the camaraderie between Kirk, McCoy, and Spock.
The author, Dave Galanter, did a great job of making this story feel like a Star Trek adventure. I am sometimes leery of buying a Star Trek book by an author I’m unfamiliar with because sometimes the story can be a bit dry, but that wasn’t the case with this book.
If you are a Star Trek fan I believe you would enjoy this book. For those who are interested in Science Fiction, this would be a nice book to read. Due to the content I would recommend this to any aged reader above 14 that is familiar with science fiction terms and language. Some Star Trek knowledge would be helpful too, but not necessary.