I have to say that this is one of the single best Star Trek novels I’ve ever read, from any of the various franchises. I’m a TOS man myself, and I’ve always liked the tales that center on the other crew members besides Kirk and Spock.
This book, featuring Dr. McCoy, covers two versions of the character’s life; the actual one that we know from the original series, the movies and the premiere episode of Next Generation, and a second trapped on Earth in the 1930s, after saving the life of Edith Keeler (from the classic episode “City on the Edge of Forever”).
The story seamless welds together the high points of the real McCoy’s career that we’ve seen with a bounty of new material based on those brief encounters. Both stories, told in alternating chapters, are fairly enthralling. It isn’t high literature, of course, but it is written just like the original series shows – fun, incisive, and full of meaning.
I wasn’t planning to read the other two books in the Crucible series, but I think I’ll have to now.