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522535,211 (3.31)2
Ravaged by a killer virus, the Romulans enter Canara, where the only antidote can be found. Desperate, they incite a victorious U.S.S. EnterpriseTM attack on one of their vessels, but Kirk discoves their ruse. Meanwhile the central computer has fallen in love with him, severely crippling the Starship EnterpriseTM. Somehow Kirk must overcome the lovesick computer and bring the antidote to the Romulans, before the galaxy crashes over the brink of war.… (more)
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Showing 5 of 5
Ever since I first watched it in reruns, I felt that the Romulans were the orphan stepchildren of the original Star Trek. Appearing in just two episodes, supposedly they were shunted aside in favor of the Klingons for the simple reason that the makeup for the latter was cheaper. Nevertheless, their first appearance (the superb "Balance of Terror") hinted at a long involvement with the Federation that went unexplored, which made them a promising source of material for authors when the original novels started rolling out in earnest in the 1980s.

Though M. S. Murdoch's novel wasn't the first in the Pocket Books series to include Romulans (a few were included in Sonni Cooper's [b:Black Fire|216674|Black Fire|Sonni Cooper|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1266498271s/216674.jpg|209775], published six months previously), it was the first in which the Romulans served as the main antagonists. When the novel begins theirs is an empire in crisis, ravaged by a plague that is decimating the population. Faced with their destruction, the Romulans embark on an audacious plan designed to obtain the cure from he nearest available source — a planet on the Federation side of the Neutral Zone.

As the first book to utilize the Romulans as the main antagonists, Murdoch has a good deal of latitude, and it testifies to her restraint that she doesn't overdo it. Her Romulans are true to their depiction in the original series, and point to the rich possibilities that would be developed profitably by subsequent authors and in subsequent series. Yet this is offset by her incorporation of a subplot in which the Enterprise's computer falling in love with Jim Kirk, creating chaos aboard the ship as a result. While such a contrivance is necessary for the plot, the silliness of the concept Murdoch uses (which originated in a story she wrote for a fanzine in the previous decade) detracts from the gravity of the situation facing both the Romulans and the Federation, and might have been better saved for a novel lighter in tone ( )
  MacDad | Mar 27, 2020 |
Historia terriblemente lenta... ( )
  maxtrek | Jan 30, 2019 |
Unlike the last older TOS-set Trek book I read (the excellent "Uhura's Song"), Web of the Romulans has problems from the start, mostly in the Enterprise scenes where the computer tech of 2018 has so far surpassed what the Federation uses that the story just seems dated and silly. It doesn't help that the plot starts out with the Enterprise just past the episode where the computer refit insists on calling the Captain pet names, now go to such extremes that it erases the rest of the crew from it's memory and refuses to respond to them. Even the doors won't open. It may have been funny in 1966 (or even the 80s when the book was written) but now we know that computers and AI don't work that way. Interesting bit of "almost there" tech - pulling up tactical maps on a tabletop flat screen display... and then sitting ship models on the table like 1960s wargamers. The malfunctioning computer plot takes over the Enterprise side of the story but the Romulan side stays interesting.

The computer plot becomes even more unbearable by half way through, both sexist and absurd, but then vanishes without sufficient explanation once the two sides begin interacting (finally!) The Romulan story is interesting but also comes with the standard incompetent/evil Star Fleet Admiral, though there are actually some knowledgeable bureaucrats for a change as well. The last third of the book is much better than what came before, once the actual problem in the Romulan Empire is explained and the solution worked out by diplomacy and compromise. If you read this, just skip all the Enterprise scenes until half way though and you can increase the rating by one star.

And just to nit-pick - the cover picture must have been flipped (insignia on the wrong side) and the uniforms are the wrong era anyway. ( )
  SF_fan_mae | Feb 13, 2018 |
A well-written and intriguing Star Trek tale of desperation, trust and suspicion when the Romulans are forced to venture into Federation space for an antidote to the virus that is killing their race. Kirk must contend with the Romulans and those in the Federation who would argue to let the race die out, saving the galaxy a large source of turmoil. For comic relief, the ship computer has been imbued with a female personality which has fallen in love with Kirk. ( )
  burnit99 | Feb 13, 2007 |
Good book better on tv ( )
  rzornow | Feb 8, 2007 |
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Ravaged by a killer virus, the Romulans enter Canara, where the only antidote can be found. Desperate, they incite a victorious U.S.S. EnterpriseTM attack on one of their vessels, but Kirk discoves their ruse. Meanwhile the central computer has fallen in love with him, severely crippling the Starship EnterpriseTM. Somehow Kirk must overcome the lovesick computer and bring the antidote to the Romulans, before the galaxy crashes over the brink of war.

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