Starfleet Academy: The Assassination Game by Alan Gratz

Jim Kirk has convinced Bones to play the Assassination Game simply because Bones has a crush on the game’s leader. Each person draws a name and has to hunt down and “kill” their target with a metal spork. Meanwhile, Starfleet Academy is on edge with its latest visitors the Varkolak, a violent dog-like race. And Cadet Uhura has been invited to join a secret society at the Academy with an unclear agenda. When a bomb explodes, almost killing the President, clues lead to the Varkolak. But Kirk has reason to believe they are being set up.

The Assassination Game is the fourth installment in the Starfleet Academy series marketed for teens and based on the most recent Star Trek film. And this may be my favorite installment yet. Certain parts of the mystery are a bit predictable to those who read closely and pay attention to details. But the plot is so complex; there are still plenty of fun twists and surprises along the way. Kirk, Bones, and Uhura get the most “face time” in this story. But there are some great cameos by Sulu, Chekov, and Spock as well.

Fans of the original series and latest film will want to check out this exciting and highly entertaining story. With plenty of adventure, intrigue, and humor – this latest installment is captivating. Each of the Starfleet Academy series are stand alone, without any overlying arc, so they don’t need to be read in any order. This series has become just as much as a must-read for me as the rest of the Star Trek novels, if not moreso.