I’ve always been a BIG fan of Khan. I think I saw The Wrath of Khan before I saw the Space Seed episode it was based off of. He was just such a cool bad guy and Ricardo Montalban played him so well. I probably have watched the scene where the Reliant and the Enterprise first fight over 100 times! So when I saw on Amazon a book series that detailed his life from a young child through to what happened after he and his genetically engineered ‘supermen’ were marooned on Ceti Alpha 5 I said “Take my money!”
So now I’ve finished the first book and here’s a quick description to get you up to speed:
Even centuries later, the final decades of the twentieth century are still regarded — by those who know the truth of what really happened — as one of the darkest and most perilous chapters in the history of humanity. Now, as an ancient and forbidden technology tempts mankind once more, Captain James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise™ must probe deep into the secrets of the past, to discover the true origins of the dreaded Eugenics Wars — and of perhaps the greatest foe he has ever faced.
1974 A.D. An international consortium of the world’s top scientists have conspired to create the Chrysalis Project, a top-secret experiment in human genetic engineering. The project’s goal is nothing less than the creation of a new, artificially improved breed of men and women: smarter, faster, stronger than ordinary human beings, a super-race to take command of the entire planet.
Gary Seven, an undercover operative for an advanced alien species, is alarmed by the project’s objectives; he knows too well the apocalyptic consequences of genetic manipulation. With his trusted agents, Roberta Lincoln and the mysterious Isis, he will risk life and limb to uncover Chrysalis’ insidious designs and neutralize the awesome threat that the Project poses to the future.
But he may already be too late. One generation of super-humans has already been conceived. As the years go by, Seven watches with growing concern as the children of Chrysalis — in particular, a brilliant youth named Khan Noonien Singh — grow to adulthood. Can Khan’s dark destiny be averted — or is Earth doomed to fight a global battle for supremacy?
This book diverges a little from what I thought it would be. Yes, it does chronicle Khan’s early years and the events that turn him into the conqueror that he becomes, but it also adds in another story in parallel from shortly after Khan and his followers are banished to Ceti Alpha 5 where Kirk and the Enterprise oversee a diplomatic mission to an old colony that was established generations prior by scientists who were not a part of the Federation who were enhancing themselves through genetic engineering. The colony has been approached by the Klingon empire to enter into a treaty with them for ‘protection’. Obviously, the Klingons want their research for themselves. So, on the way to the diplomatic conference, Kirk engrosses himself in the Eugenics War of 1990’s Earth. And that’s where you start.
The ‘flashbacks’ follow Gary Seven and Roberta Lincoln as the investigate the Chrysalis project. I found the book interesting in how they try to integrate Seven into some major events of the day. I’m not sure if I like how they try to take Khan under their wing and expose him to their alien technology such as their servo pens, the Beta5 and teleportation. Khan made no mention of these things in the Space Seed episode or the movie. I would think having the ability to teleport around the world would have been something that would have been brought up. Especially when he found out that the technology was commonplace in the 23rd century.
I also found it strange that they integrated an ‘immortal’ into the storyline. They find him in Antarctica trying to fix the ozone hole. I don’t remember immortals being a part of any Star Trek story. I thought for a minute that they were going to try and merge Highlander into the Star Trek universe somehow! It seemed unnecessary and was left as a loose end that wasn’t tied up.
I will admit that, of the three books, this is the one I felt least interested in. I was more interested in how he rose to power, what he did while in power and how it all fell apart and how he and his followers managed to escape earth. Also, the third book is supposed to detail what happened on Ceti Alpha 5 after they were banished there and Ceti Alpha 6 exploded.
It is interesting to see further exploits of Gary Seven and Roberta Lincoln. However, they constantly allude to these many other missions they have been on but it’s hard to visualize them. They’re merely passing references with no details on what happened.
The author also seemed to change the scene from one paragraph to the next without any notice. Normally you’d either have a large space or maybe a dashed line or something indicating that something is changing but not here. You just transition from one scene to another. Takes a couple seconds to figure out what happened.
The book did leave a lot of holes regarding the years where Khan was growing up and focused more on Seven and Roberta. I would have liked to have seen it the other way around and Khan be the main character with Seven and Roberta bopping in from time to time.
I’m just starting the second book now and it’s going pretty well. Looking forward to seeing how Khan’s rise to power goes.