Star Trek
Errand of Fury
Book 2: Demands of Honor

Author: Kevin Ryan
Pocket Books
RRP: 6.99, US $7.99, Cdn $9.99
ISBN-13: 978 0 7434 8054 3
ISBN-10: 0 7434 8054 6
Available 05 March 2007

As tensions between the Klingon Empire and the Federation escalate towards all out war, a group of anti-federation protesters cross the border on an ill thought out attempt to broker peace. With Koloth's ship heading for system 7348, to make diplomatic contact with a group of lost Klingon's, the
Enterprise must make a decision, save the civilians and be late for their meeting with Koloth or abandon them to Klingon interrogators...

Demands of Honor is the second book in Kevin Ryan's Errand of Fury trilogy. One of the really nice things about Ryan's writing is that he is able to bring together a great number of characters without the feeling that either, single individuals are hogging the spotlight, or that the whole thing remains sketchy. Being a Trek book, obviously the crew of the Enterprise get a look in, though this is nicely balanced with both Koloth's crew, Adon and his people and of course the Starfleet characters which were introduced in the previous book, Seeds of Rage.

Being the second in a series of three, I was expecting this book to be a bit of filler, but it seems that Ryan has thrown away the guide on how to write a trilogy. This is more The Empire Strikes Back than The Matrix Reloaded. In fact, the second book ties up so many of the story strands which started in Seeds of Rage, that I'm not sure what Ryan can do with the last book in the series. But, if the first two are anything to go by, you're going to get a lot of bangs for your bucks.

Thematically, the book is about Michael Fuller who has rejoined Starfleet after the death of his son at the hands of the Klingons, Adon who has to avenge his father's death and Karel whose brother had been sent into Federation space on a dishonourable mission. Through the actions of these three men Ryan explores the balance between honour and vengeance. Of course in order to explore honour you need to show its antithesis. Providing this is Duras (though I'm not sure which one it would be) and Gurn, both who trade honour for power.

There are some nice touches in the book. The ongoing problems with the Empire bring in the character of Ambassador Fox, who appeared in the original series. Whilst these events are used to integrate that overall story into canon, Ryan's book maintains the strength of having characters which never appeared in the show. This allows him to create and kill off new characters, which goes a long way to providing real drama in the action sequences.

So, Demands of Honor is a worthy successor to Seeds of Rage, providing, as it does, a nice balance of action, characterisation and plot. Personally I can't wait to see how this all turns out.

Charles Packer

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