Where Angels Fear
|Title:||Where Angels Fear|
|Publisher:||Merry Men Press|
|Cover Artist(s):||Chris Soto|
|Illustrator(s):||Shelley Butler, Pandora Guy, Terri Rett, Chris Soto, Kay Wells|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: TOS|
|External Links:||zine on the MMP site|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Summary from the publisher, "Kirk is tricked into bonding with another Vulcan and finds himself in an abusive relationship that causes problems -- both physically and mentally ...But wait -- the evil Vulcan is not who he is supposed to be!...Can the bonding be broken so that Kirk can finally be with the one that he truly loves?"
From Gilda F: "Kirk ends up bonded to another Vulcan when the alien goes into pon farr while stranded with Kirk and an injured Spock following a shuttle crash."
Reactions and Reviews
A great story. I like this author's explorations of Vulcan mind-ways. Fine language, except too-long sentences sometimes, hard to follow.
Kirk bonds with another Vulcan in an emergency, so the story revolves around getting them unbonded, and getting Kirk and Spock bonded. A basically simple idea but turned into an intriguing and complex tale. Deep, intense, full of detail and atmosphere. One interesting scenario after another; never lagging. Some horrible elements and also some heartbreakingly thrilling times.
I thought everyone's characters were portrayed perfectly; a good villain character too. And a convincing yet manageable jeopardy.
One little quibble: When the ship is "overbooked" during an emergency situation, it seems the captain and first officer would be exempt from having to share quarters. Unless Kirk offered to share with Spock so Spock would not have to share with someone else.And the best part of the story, a wonderful continuing tension between Kirk and Spock. A long, drawn-out resolution, the kind I like best.... 
Kirk and Spock and a Vulcan named S'relo land a shuttle when returning to the Enterprise from Vulcan, While Spock is in a healing trance after having been injured, Kirk is coerced into having sex with S'relo under the false pretense of saving his life. S'relo forcibly bonds with Kirk which eventually causes much angst as S'relo, in reality an impostor, mind controls Kirk and sexually abuses him.
There's a very good, fully developed scene in the beginning of the novel as S'relo forces sex with a mentally dominated Kirk. Sexy, yet tense and terrible, this sets the stage nicely for the future events.
But not without a lot of problems. This novel really held a very interesting and powerful story, but it was so loaded beneath tons of poor writing that it was difficult to see.
One major problem with the writing was almost every single scene opened without any indication where the characters were. Not until farther into the scene do we ever learn where they are, what they're doing or who is with them. This makes it extremely difficult to visualize and understand.
Another major problem is over-explaining everything. Almost every time anyone says something, the author proceeds to explain what the character felt when he said it, what he really meant by it and how anyone who heard what was said felt about it. It was as if the author didn't believe that the reader would really "get it".
Lastly, there are so many speaker attributions that it was overwhelming. Only some examples are: "She swore disgustedly", "he asked uncertainly", "he remarked diffidently". "she shook her head emphatically" and one of my personal favorites, "she nodded agreeably." If she's nodding, doesn't that mean she's agreeing?
I don't mean to imply that speaker attributions are never necessary. As an example, a woman says " 'They also agreed to modify their selling technique,' she added a little smugly," This seems perfectly appropriate. But when everything is explained and then re-explained, it's just frustrating.
There were countless scenes that had absolutely no time transitions. A woman security chief is speaking with Spock, then, suddenly, it's evening and she's speaking to him again. We didn't know if they left the room, stayed there for hours or beamed away. There was even a scene where McCoy casually mentions that now it's three months later!
Kirk, Spock and McCoy's characterizations are, for the most part, on target. There are a few missteps like Kirk running to the bathroom to throw up after deciding to share a room and bed with Spock. (And just a question— what in the world is the "cold freezer" that he thrusts his head into?) Also, I wonder if McCoy would really come up with the solution to Kirk's problem as being a nice, healthy trip to a whorehouse. And would Spock sigh in the presence of a stranger? Or, more importantly, would he hear Kirk's cry of pain, confront S'relo, know something was wrong, but leave anyway?But I must say again that the ideas this writer has are terrific. Anyone with as much inventive plots and original story-telling could really put those talents to use with a few tips on writing. I'm not saying writing this novel should have been an easy task - it's one thing to critique what I see and another thing entirely to create it. But there was a lot about this that I liked, I just had a really hard time getting to it. 
- from Come Together #12
- from Come Together #13