Book Reviews

Book Review: Eugenics Wars Vol 1 by Greg Cox

This book was purchased for my own reading pleasure


I purchased the paired non-canon Eugenics Wars books by Greg Cox many, many moons ago. Khan is one of the most enduring and well-known of Kirk’s many adversaries. I was quite pleased when a version of Khan made an appearance in the new reboot of Star Trek.


This is the first of two books focused on the rise and subsequent fall of Khan Noonien Singh, one of several genetically augmented humans created by Dr Sarina Kaur and her Chrysalis team. This group of cultish scientists followed Kaur’s belief that what the world needed was an evolutionary​ boost. Khan was Kaur’s son, and told from birth that he was superior to ‘regular’ humans. Baby Khan was adorable and precocious. He was calm, and protective to an extent, especially with Isis.


Gary Seven and Roberta Lincoln infiltrate Chrysalis and shut it down, ending the programme. This was 1974, and Khan was 4 years old. The first volume of this set follows Khan into the late 80s, seeing him grow to a young man. Gary and Roberta cross paths with Khan several times over the years. The question is- can these two agents coerce Khan to a more peaceful path? How different he might have been if raised outside of Chrysalis, if nurtured properly. There was evidence enough that he had plenty of empathy. He did care about humanity. Sarina had instilled in him a measure of steel that manifested as ruthlessness. Like Ozymandias and Ra’s al Ghul, Khan wanted to protect and shepherd humanity, and felt the ends justified the means in achieving that goal.


I love this book. Rereading it after so many years brought with it a measure of nostalgia. Khan’s story is nested inside the story of the Enterprise’s trip to the planet Sycorax, who wish to join the Federation. The only problem is that Sycorax is a colony of humans who practise genetic engineering, which is illegal within the Federation. To better prepare, Kirk spends the days approaching Sycorax reviewing the history of Khan, and Earth’s Eugenics Wars. Rereading it also showed me my tastes had refined over the intervening years. Cox has a habit of ‘head-jumping’, skipping character perspective in the same section, sometimes several times in a row. I can flow with it easily enough, but now know it is a less refined technique.
???? Recommended for any Star Trek fan, and especially those who love the handsome canny Augment who shaped the path of the Federation, and became one of Kirk’s most fearsome adversaries.

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