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Literature / Star Trek: Cast No Shadow

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A novel by James Swallow, part of the Star Trek Novel 'Verse. Cast No Shadow is set seven years after Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, and reveals the fate of Valeris in the aftermath of her conviction for treason.

It also involves an attack by Kriosian rebels on a Klingon colony world, using a subspace weapon.

This book contains examples of:

  • Continuity Nod: Several, most notably to Star Trek: Forged in Fire, when Sulu recalls his friendship with Curzon Dax, and alludes to previous adventures in Klingon politics.
  • Covers Always Lie: The author wasn’t too pleased with Spock taking up most of the cover; while thematically the image made some degree of sense, Spock's role in the novel is limited to a cameo.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The Klingons are infamous for this, as the Kriosian terrorists reflect.
  • Emotions vs. Stoicism: The central character is a troubled Vulcan, dealing with her hatred for the openly passionate and aggressive Klingons, so naturally this trope comes into play. Also, the Kriosians are noted as passionate and prone to extremes of reaction, in contrast to the Vulcans (or the Vulcan ideal, anyway...).
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Suggested; Valeris explains to Spock at one point that the conspiracy assumed that Kirk would order the Enterprise to attack Gorkon's ship for real after it was attacked by the cloaked Bird-of-Prey. Hearing that assessment, Spock informs Valeris that if she truly believes that, she never knew himself or Kirk.
  • Freudian Excuse: Valeris comes to realise that her issues with Klingons actually date back to a childhood experience when her ambassador father was attacked while negotiating with a planet's government about their future membership in the Federation.
  • Gut Feeling: Vaughn has one, but Commander Egan doesn't want to hear of it. He tells Vaughn that his department deals with proven facts, not with feelings or intuition.
    • Valeris discusses the concept, in her usual curt manner, when the Kriosians want to meet her face to face in order to discover "the colour of her soul".
  • Heel Realisation: In her own way, Valerias has one over the course of this investigation when she comes to accept that her issues with the Klingons weren't based on the logical assessment of them as a future threat, but on her own personal issues with Klingons after her father's death.
  • I Was Never Here: Admiral Cartwright calls then-Cadet Valeris into his officer and tells her that 1) they most assuredly did not have a meeting, 2) Valeris did not submit a paper saying the only solution to peace with the Klingons was to attack them first as her Academy Thesis and 3) he did not receive a copy of that paper that does not exist and is definitely not intrigued by her ideas.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Colen, complete with blood.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: General Igdar challenges Kaj regarding her "communications with the - the Federation", and it's clear that he was going to say "with the enemy". The Klingons and the Federation have been at peace for seven years by this point.
  • Military Maverick: Sulu, to some degree, though this isn't always a bad thing when Klingons are part of the equation. Regarding the point that his assignment to the mission is potentially provocative, Sulu also recalls the words of Curzon Dax; "we'll burn that bridge when we come to it".
    • Vaughn is this at times, chafing at being stuck as a "desk jockey" analyst and wanting to get out into the field where the "action" is.
  • No True Scotsman: The House of Q'unat are renegades and thus no longer "really" Klingons.
  • Refused the Call: At the end of the book, Vaughn is approached for recruitment by Section 31. He tells them to pound sand.
  • Revenge: All over the place.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized
  • Sacred Hospitality: Following the first attack on Da'Kel, President Ra-ghoratreii uses the Klingon tradition of this to pressure their government into accepting Starfleet aid in hunting down the guilty party. He points out that the Federation citizens killed in the attack were under the official protection of the Empire at the time.
  • Shout-Out to Shakespeare: General Chang is involved in the backstory, so this is inevitable (Commander Miller’s suggestion that they “keep the Shakespeare appreciation to a minimum" notwithstanding)
  • The Stoic: Kasiel, by Klingon standards, and in direct contrast to his predecessor as ambassador to the Federation, Kamarag.
  • Suicide Attack: Seryl
  • Title Drop: The title refers to an ancient Klingon proverb that "Traitors cast no shadow", which was used as a battle cry by The House of Q'unat when they warred with the Empire.
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction