I've polished off a few Trek books lately, but I keep neglecting to post spotlights on them. I'm going to correct that in the next couple of weeks, so expect 2 or 3 more of these "reading room spotlights" in the next month... First up: The Sorrows Of Empire by David Mack!
In case you didn't know, I'm a HUGE fan of the Mirror Universe... So when I saw this cover staring at me from on my local book store shelf, I gleefully snatched it up. A book that explores how Spock and Moreau reshaped the Terran empire!? Sign me up.
The book picks up right where the original series episode "Mirror, Mirror" leaves off- The Mirror Universe version of Spock has now had the seeds of change planted in him by Captain Kirk and must decide how he is going to affect a change in the Terran Empire. At his side is Lt. Marlena Moreau, who has also been inspired by the words of our universe's Kirk and stands as Spock's only true confidant. Opposing them is the entire Terran Empire- led by Empress Hoshi Sato II (a great carryover concept from the Enterprise 2-parter "In a Mirror, Darkly"). Spock must somehow move up the ranks of the Empire and set forth a change that will have ramifications for not only his time, but into future centuries as well (leading to the state of the Empire in the DS9 "Mirror" episodes).
While the book isn't quite as "action-packed" as I'd hoped, I found myself engrossed in every chapter. I had expected the book to just take a quick romp in the Mirror Universe, exploring Spock's machinations relating to the TOS universe only. Boy, was I wrong. Spock's overtaking of the Enterprise is actually only the start, with the rest of the book following his story throughout the movie era as well. Familiar faces and concepts are seen again here, but this time through the broken reflection of the Mirror Universe. Mirror versions of characters like Sarek, Amanda, Garth of Izar, Will Decker, Carol Marcus, and Saavik all show up, each one with their own unique and integral contribution to the overall story. Mack masterfully works the existing Terran Empire timeline, making every action Spock takes fit into existing canon while establishing plausible causes to the effects we see in the DS9 episodes. It's almost like they had planned it this way all along...
So yeah, I liked this one. A LOT. If you are a fan of the Mirror Universe (and who isn't), I highly recommend picking this one up. Unlike some of the other books I've spotlighted, you should be able to find this one on book store shelves still. It retails for $7.99... and is worth every penny. Go buy it.