Star Trek: Myriad Universes: #3 Shattered Light: Tears of Eridanus by Steven Mollman and Michael Schuster
This review is about the 2nd story in this collection of short novels, Tears of Eridanus by Steven Mollman and Michael Schuster. And that it took me 5 years to pick up this book again to finally finish that story (after having read the first one, Cold Embrace of Architects, back in 2011), says much about its quality.
In this universe, Vulcan never found its way towards logic, being stuck in a civil war that's threatened to destroy the planet. The Interstellar Union (Andor, Earth, Tellar, just to name a few) established an outpost on the desert world that gets attacked by the locals who take the crew, among them Demora Sulu, hostage, demanding weapons in exchange for their release. Meanwhile Hikaru Sulu and his ship, the Kumari, patrol the border to the Klingon Empire which is on the verge of invading the Interstellar Union. When he learns of the events on "Vulcan" he volunteers his ship for the rescue operation - but his commanding officers focus more on possible trade than on rescuing the hostages. It becomes ever more obvious that the outpost wasn't there for mere observation, but for exploring the locals' telepathic weapons, the Stone of Gol.
This is by far the weakest of the Myriad Universes-stories that I've read. The prose doesn't flow, Demora Sulu is portrayed as some kind of wonder woman who, as a young, newly commissioned officer, doesn't bat an eyelash, having a telepathic presence in her brain and making one wise-crack after another, and the resolution is much too quick and simple. I think in the hands of other authors the main premise could have worked really well, and maybe it suffered from the short-novel format - but it, as indicated before, was a real chore getting through this story.
So far, both stories didn't meet my admittedly high expectations for the Myriad Universes-series - maybe the third one will.