Ishmael Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Ishmael

When Commander Spock suspects that the Klingons are "up to something," he engages in a bit of espionage to find out what they are planning. He manages to send two very cryptic transmissions back to the Enterprise before he is captured, and the Klingon ship travels through a strange phenomenon in that region of space, and vanishes.
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Spock is found unconscious by Aaron Stemple, a wealthy but hard-edged miller living in Seattle, Washington. The year is 1865. All Stemple knows is that this man is a stranger, an alien, and injured. Stemple cares for the injured man, and when Spock awakens with no remembrance of who he is, only that he believes he has something that he has to do, he takes him in as his nephew, calling him Ishmael Marx. Living as Ishmael, Spock wrestles to find a new life in place of the one he has lost. He befriends several women who have been brought to Seattle to wive the settlers, attempts to assist three brothers buy their way out of a bet with his "uncle" over the women becoming married by the end of the year, he works as the accountant at the mill - all the while he is plagued by a vague sense that there is something he must do, yet he does not know what it is. When Klingons arrive uninvited at a wedding he is attending, everything comes back to him, and he must take immediate action to prevent all of history from being corrupted.

Meanwhile, following the clues that Spock had transmitted, Captain Kirk and the Enterprise crew race to solve the riddle of where and when the Klingons have gone. Aided by a Vulcan historian who had worked closely with the Klingon historian they got their information from, they determine that the aim of the Klingons was to eliminate the person who had prevented a takeover of Earth by hostile forces in the 1870's. They then set about attempting to recreate the time travel which the Klingons had done, in order to prevent them from killing one Aaron Stemple.
The review of this Book prepared by Tabitha Higgins

Chapter Analysis of Ishmael

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 30% Tone of book    -   depressing/sad FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Inner Struggle    -   Yes Plotlet:    -   amnesia Kind of series    -   Star Trek Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Time Travel story?    -   Yes Cultural problems, alien culture    -   Yes Culture clash-    -   feelings as an alien growing up among humans Star Trek or Star Wars book?    -   Yes Story largely takes place in    -   Middle Ages-1899

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Alien Profession/status:    -   scientist If magical mental powers:    -   super strength Really unusual traits?    -   Super genius


Terrain    -   Forests Earth setting:    -   19th century Spaceship setting:    -   really, really giant spaceship/station Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes Takes place in spaceship?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   some scientific explanation How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Barbara Hambly Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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