This book is a supposition of what may have happened in the early life of James T. Kirk and Spock. The book was written just before the movie, Star Trek, was released. They were projects independent of each other so the publishers held the book until well after the movie release so that the one did not affect the other.
I watched the movie again after finishing the book and thought it interesting that both projects aimed to give Spock a love life but in the book, he does not respond as he does in the movie.
The book is more about Carol Marcus, lover of Jim Kirk, as opposed to Jim Kirk himself. She becomes the mother of Jim's son. She is a scientist and has discovered a way, she believes, to turn non-viable dirt into a viable growing medium. Her goal is to enable each planet to grow their own food so hunger is eradicated. Environmental terrorists tamper with her experiments and almost cause a catastrophic disaster. Through the efforts and ideas of Star Fleet's, Spock and Jim Kirk as well as Carol and her team of scientists, are able to stop the process from taking over and, ultimately, destroying the planet Mars.
The story itself is interesting as is the "science" behind the plot. The book gives us a peek into the early lives of Spock and Jim but no other members of the original Star Trek cast. That is one thing that the movie did in fine Hollywood fashion. They gave us the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise and tied it up with a bow. They also gave us an alternate reality line that can be followed in a series of movies or television shows if they so desire. As far as I can tell, the book's reality was right in line with what we know from the original series.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It was a great book from the two creepy books I had just read. It was light, fun and fast. I would recommend the book to anyone who is a lover of Star Trek or science fiction.