The Klingon Gambit by Robert E. Vandeman is a Star Trek novel showcased in the Outpost 10F Library.
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The Klingon Gambit

Rating: The Klingon Gambit by Robert E. Vandeman is a Star Trek novel rated */5 by this reviewer
Series: The Original Series #3
Published: October, 1981
Author: Robert E. Vandeman
Review by: Cmdr. Kali D'or

The Enterprise is on a basic, standard, boring mission surveying a newly discovered planet and a "fascinating" life form - at least according to Spock. Suddenly, they are interrupted and called off to Alnath II. The T'pau, a Vulcan science ship, is dead in space, the crew unresponsive. And there is a Klingon Starship in the neighborhood threatening an archaelogical research project on the surface.

When they arrive on the scene, they do find the entire crew of the T'pau dead, the archaeologists stranded on Alnath II, and a very nasty Klingon in charge of the Terror, one of their most powerful fighting ships. Of course, Kirk needs to avoid an incident that could lead to war with the Klingon Empire. After beaming to the Vulcan ship, and finding the crew dead in their beds, the crew beams on down to the planet and finds that the Klingons have been there before them, and stolen a few small things from the digging site. Of course, this sets off a bunch of denials, a couple of fights and a retreat back to the safety of the Enterprise.

There seems to be something not quite right, and this is the dilema that now absorbs the energies of the crew. There is no reason why the Vulcans should be dead, the leader of the Archeology team has become a real pain in the butt, the Klingons are more and more unreasonable, and for some strange reason, Kirk has problems making decisions, and the rest of the crew is exhibiting unusual personality changes. Something is not quite right around Alnath II and Kirk has to figure it out before he and the Klingon's manage to blow each other up.

Taking into consideration that this is only the 3rd book written for the Original Series, it does manage to hold the readers attention. The story doesn't take away from the characters usual personalities, but it really doesn't add much either. The Klingon, Captain Kalan, that Kirk eventually begins to establish rapport with is a change from the usual, and that adds a bit more depth to the plot. I found the Andorian scientist, Dr. Threllvon-da, a royal pain in the butt, starts a little funny, but really gets on the nerves after a while. Since that is what he is supposed to do, the author was successful.

The story, as is usually rather predictible, ends with our heroes on the Enterprise solving the mystery and saving the day. As usual. There aren't really any surprises in this book, its a nice little story, good old fashioned Star Trek, not too many bells and whistles, but it served its purpose keeping the legend alive for the fans.

Title: The Klingon Gambit
Author: Robert E. Vandeman
Review by: Cmdr. Kali D'or