provides an alternate biography for McCoy--what would have happened if he had prevented Edith Keeler's murder and remained in her world--with a parallel plot providing him with a romance in the "real" world of the 23rd century where the timestream was returned to normal
I'll save you some time right now: if you're interested in a rambling character study based on a Star Trek character, read this book; if you want an action-packed Star Trek adventure with photon torpedoes and bad guys, read something else.
The reason this novel garners so many scathing reviews is because it doesn't deliver (in 640 pages, mind you) the climatic payload that many fans of the franchise expect when they read ST novels. This is not to say the author just rambles on endlessly until he comes to page 640 - that isn't really the case. But this book delves deeper into Leonard McCoy's character than the series did, and certainly more than any other ST novel I have read so far. And that is precisely where the focus remains.
This book was not an easy read for me, at first anyway. I literally took a year to read this; I picked it up, put it down, and picked it up again. The author pays a lot of attention to detail, and the events don't exactly happen at warp speed. Having seen the episode of the Original Series that this book (and the two that follow it) is based on, I had certain expectations...prejudices, if you will. I expected the book to flesh out the events of the episode. Which it did, but not to the extent I had anticipated.
Think of it this way: this book is kind of like a condensed life story. Life doesn't really follow a specific chain of events - or it does, depends on whom you ask - but events take place more or less at random. We live here, then we live there. People step into our lives, and sometimes disappear. That is life. There is rarely any one villain, rarely any final showdown, and rarely any explanation as to why things happen the way they do.
If you are more interested in the character than whatever shenanigans he might get himself into, you are likely to enjoy this novel. Otherwise, look elsewhere.
A well-written and interesting tale of Dr. McCoy's life after the incident in the episode "City on the Edge of Forever."
I wish I could be more positive about this book, but as a long-time Trek fan and McCoy fan, I just can't. The reader reviews on Amazon.com are all over the place -- some readers loved it, and you might be one of them! But I found it overlong, plodding, and emotionally sterile.
Sorry, guys -- I gotta be honest!