Monday, December 21, 2015

Its Hour Come Round

Star Trek
Mere Anarchy, Book Six
Its Hour Come Round by Margaret Wander Bonanno
First Published April 2007
Re-published in the omnibus collection Mere Anarchy in March 2009
Read December 16th 2015

Previous book (Mere Anarchy): The Blood-Dimmed Tide

Original e-book cover

Trade Paperback: | |
Kindle E-book: | |

Spoilers ahead for Its Hour Come Round and the rest of the Mere Anarchy series!

From the back cover:
Captain James T. Kirk is dead, lost during the launch of the U.S.S. Enterprise-B. His former shipmates are not the only ones who mourn his passing: Raya elMora and the people of Mestiko are stunned to learn that the man who has played such a pivotal role in their lives over the past three decades is now gone.

But Kirk’s passing comes as Mestiko is on the threshold of a new era, as they have come from near-destruction to contemplating membership in the Federation. The surviving crew of the Starship Enterprise gather together at this strife-torn world one last time as its future hangs in the balance...

My thoughts:

Here it is at last: the final entry in the Mere Anarchy series, celebrating the 40th anniversary of Star Trek back in 2006 and 2007. Over on the podcast, Literary Treks, co-host Matthew Rushing and I have been talking about each of the books over the past few months. Now, we are finally at the end.

And what a way to end this series! Veteran Trek novelist Margaret Wander Bonanno has crafted a beautiful and bittersweet finale to Mere Anarchy. The year is 2293, and Captain Kirk has recently been lost, presumed killed during the maiden voyage of the Enterprise-B. As the former crew of the Enterprise mourns the loss of their intrepid captain, Mestiko debates whether or not to join the United Federation of Planets.

The loss of James T. Kirk in Star Trek: Generations weighs heavily on the events of this story.

In Star Trek fiction, we haven't gotten many stories dealing with the aftermath of the loss of Kirk in Generations. While reading Its Hour Come Round, it occurred to me what a huge impact this loss would have on the galaxy. We see the effect it has on Mestiko, but there would be hundreds of worlds that Kirk influenced deeply during his Starfleet career. How would they react to his supposed death?

We also see the effect the Kirk's death has on his former crew, most notably Dr. McCoy. His depression following the loss of his friend was very poignant, and rang very true to the character. The author is able to draw an interesting parallel between the experience of the Payav people of Mestiko and the experiences that Kirk's crew are going through. Both have suffered a tremendous loss, but by the end of their respective stories, both are on the path to recovery. The future is bright for Mestiko, and with time, things will be brighter for Kirk's former crew as well.

Chancellor Azetbur leads the Klingon delegation to Mestiko in Its Hour Come Round.

The idea of shared hardships bringing people together is an interesting theme that appears in Its Hour Come Round. Most notably, the Klingons are used to good effect in this story, having themselves recently gone through a world-changing cataclysm. The destruction of the Klingon moon Praxis (in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country) has given the Klingons their own experience with extreme hardship, and we find them actually learning from the Payav in this story. It was fascinating to see a different take on the Klingons in the time period immediately following the signing of the Khitomer Accords. Under Chancellor Azetbur, the Klingons and the Federation are on the road to a very interesting partnership indeed.

An interesting aspect of the end of the story is that we never actually learn whether or not Mestiko joins the Federation. I have seen a few reviews online that show a great deal of annoyance with this seeming oversight. However, I have a different view. The whole point of the story of Mestiko is not whether or not they will join the Federation, but whether or not they will recover and be "alright" in the long run. With this story, we know that they will. It doesn't matter if they ultimately join the Federation; Mestiko will prosper regardless.

Final thoughts:

A very fitting and excellent ending to the Mere Anarchy series. The story is at times contemplative and reflective, but necessarily so given the events that immediately precede it. Margaret Wander Bonanno has crafted a very touching story to finish off this series, one that definitely celebrates what was great about the original Star Trek.

The Mere Anarchy series as a whole:

This has been a very interesting book series with some definite highs and lows. While the storytelling was at times a little uneven, what is abundantly clear is that each of these stories was a labor of love for the author telling it. A fun and generally exciting examination of the entire range of settings and time periods that were experienced by the original Star Trek crew, Mere Anarchy was a fitting celebration of the 40th anniversary of Star Trek, and I'm glad to have read it now on the cusp of the 50th.

More about Its Hour Come Round:

Also by Margaret Wander Bonanno:

Star Trek: Mere Anarchy:

Next time on Trek Lit Reviews:

The final book in the Q Continuum trilogy: Q-Strike by Greg Cox!

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