The Tholians have offered an unexpected opportunity to negotiate peace and the Excelsior under Captain Hikaru Sulu and First Officer Pavel Chekov has been assigned mission. Of course there are a few problems, the Federation Ambassador is almost more hostile to Star Fleet than the Tholians and Admiral Nogura has ordered them to gather intelligence discreetly, as in spy, and if the Tholians find out about this, well, there goes the peace.
As things progress the problems come to include a spatial rift, a war-like race that turns out to be of human origin and Sulu fighting a duel with molecule thin monoblades in the Tholians natural environment, super hot and with a highly toxic atmosphere. At least they allow him an environmental suit.
Oh, well, I suppose it just another day in the life of a starship captain.
This book was a lot of fun. I just hope they will give Sulu and Chekov more stories.
Five years after the presumed death of Kirk the USS Excelsior commanded by Sulu is at the forefront of exploration, diplomacy and defense.