"Star Trek VI " was the first Star Trek movie i watched on theaters on 1991. It left quite the impression, it never lost its bite, and it never gets "old", which is funny ´cause it´s a movie which talks mostly about age.
"Star Trek" its always best when it tackles about real world issues, and in this case was no exception. As any kid growing on the 80s, we always had the looming threat of the nuclear war looming in our nightmares. The "Usa Vs Soviet Union" theme was everyday issue since airing of the the movie "Day After" in 1982. I watched "Rambo II" and "Rocky IV" on theaters so the cold war was always something to discuss about in school. So, when the Chernobyl accident occurred, our folks discussed "now this is it", the end of the world is near. It didn´t, soon followed Perestroika and slowly the nuclear war menace was vanishing from our nightmares (only to be replaced to nightmares about calculus tests).
So, "Star Trek VI" was riding this wagon. The villains Klingons were always proxies for the "otherness", the "bad guys", the savage villains to be defeated. May it be the "huns" or the "soviets" or "biker thugs", they represented the adversary for the idealistic humans from the Federation. Like a comic strip "Sev Trek" once said "Someone has to make us look good". So, in "Star Trek VI", the Klingons "chernobyl" exploded, leaving them vulnerable and wishing to end the cold war, only to have saboteurs from both sides trying to stop the incoming peace. War is profitable and some people were addicted to it and unwilling to change, Captain Kirk included.
The novelization of "Star Trek VI" follows the pattern of many book novelizations. Pick some scene from a movie and extend it in both ends. Make it start before the scene you know from the movie and let it end after the same scene. In some cases it works brilliantly and in some cases, becomes a little tiresome cause such scene was just fine as it was.
In this book, some extra elements were added to make Kirk be angry with the Klingons. In the third movie of the series, Kirk´s son was killed by the villain Kruge and this is reason enough to make him hate all the species.In this book, Kirk´s former girlfriend Carol Marcus was also wounded by a Klingon attack, making Kirk extra angry, a fact which is repeated a little too often on the book, which makes the movie a little lacking in comparison, as no mention of Carol is made or implied.
Aside of that, everything else that works very well on the movie, works very well here. As most characters have "thought balloons" making the story even more personal. The drama is there, the urgency is there, and so the stakes.
In short, this story never gets old. :)