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Unspoken Truth is a Star Trek: The Original Series novel by Margaret Wander Bonanno, published by Pocket Books in 2010. The book focuses on Saavik following the opening scenes of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home when she remained on Vulcan. It builds upon Saavik's backstory as established in the 1990 novel The Pandora Principle.


A social experiment was conceived. Its goal was to breed the best, the brightest, the most malleable and most loyal soldiers to ever serve. To this end, the Romulan Empire used its own children, blinded by the belief that anything that would bring glory to the praetor was justified. And when the winds of politics changed, these children were abandoned, left to die on a world so horrifying that it was dubbed—by those who dared to cling to life—Hellguard.
One wild child, Saavik, was rescued by Spock. He took the half-Vulcan, half-Romulan child home to his parents, knowing that if anyone could reach and rescue Saavik, it was them.
Now a Starfleet officer, Saavik has striven to honor her mentor and her Vulcan heritage. But recent events have shaken her. Left behind on Vulcan while the rest of the Enterprise crew goes to face court-martial for stealing and destroying their ship, the young science officer is adrift when two men from her past confront her. Tolek, another Hellguard survivor, tells Saavik that the survivors are being killed one-by-one and only they can discover who and why. The other, a Romulan who claims to be her father, swears it is the Vulcans who are eliminating the Hellguard survivors because they are an embarrassment to all of Vulcan, but that she has the power to stop it, by bringing down the Vulcan ambassador, Sarek.
Not knowing where to turn, not knowing whom to trust, Saavik must find her own answers, and discover who she truly is.



Pavel ChekovCheungEyrisGraanaAmanda GraysonJaouiJames T. KirkLeriusGwailim LothLumbricinaLeonard McCoyMetanaMikalGalina MironovaNarakNoderftPalousekRajekSaavikSarekScolexMontgomery ScottSimarSpockHikaru SuluTa'oobT'LarT'LengT'LoresTolekT'SaanT'VaakisNyota UhuraWorm
Referenced only
John DonneElementsJonathan EstebanGodKrugeAkira KurasawaGottfried LeibnizDavid MarcusPeltamPeter PrestonRejacRyūCarl SaganRota SevrinWilliam ShakespeareKhan Noonien SinghSurakT'PauT'plana-HathZora

Starships and vehicles

aircarHMS BountyCetacean ProbeUSS ChaffeeUSS EnterpriseUSS Enterprise-AUSS GrissomECS Kobayashi MaruUSS Reliantskimmer

Starship classes



40 EridaniAlpha QuadrantBabyloniaBeta QuadrantBiome 1ChinaCoridan IIIDeemaDeema IIIDeema systemDodge CityEarthEarth SpacedockEgyptEminiar VIIEnclaveEpsilon Hydra VIIGenesis PlanetGolHall of Ancient ThoughtHeliopolisHellguardIadara ColonyKiral ValleyMount SeleyaNah'namKirOmicron Ceti IIIOutmarchesPacific OceanPirAelimPiscine VRegula IRomulusSan FranciscoSector 5ShiKahrSimeranSolStarfleet Command HeadquartersStarfleet Headquarters VulcanStyxTellar PrimeTemple of AmorakTiburonT'KhutTrillVendikarVulcanVulcan's ForgeVulcan High Command

Races and cultures

BetazoidCardassianDeemanotDenobulanFabriniFerengiHortaHuman (CelticJapanese) • KlingonMazariteRomulan (Sundered) • ThermianTholianTiburonianVulcan

States and organizations

Bureau of SciencesEden MovementFederation CouncilInterspecies Medical ExchangeKlingon EmpireLebensbornMinistry of RecordsNairobi UniversityRomulan SenateStarfleetStarfleet AcademyStarfleet CommandUnited Federation of PlanetsV'SharVulcan High Commandvulcan High Council

Science and classification

Animals and plants

a'lazbAldebaran shellmoutha'morak bushcatceti eelchiachiropterach'kariyacreosotedogechinopsis cactifungusgaghgli snakeHirudo medicinalis leechKamor treekittenkrei'lale-matyalicelichenlizardmintmoss rosemothphytoplanktonportulacapseudolichenQueen Anne's laceratrosesquidstrangle-vineTaxus brevifoliathistleturtleverbenawhalewolfyewyonsavas

Materials and substances

3-nitrophthalic acidantimicrobial seraaugitebariumbasanitecarbonatitecoppercysteinefeldspathoidsfluorineilmeniteironkeratinmagnetiteniobiumolivinephosphorusplagio claseRapamycinRetnaxsaltsandalwoodsilverteakwoodthermocretethoriumtitaniumuraniumzirconium

Other references

Anatomy 101antigenArt DecobiotabootBlind HelmBook of the PeopleBringers of MedicinescancercardamomCarrington AwardCarstairs Medalchampagnechesscochlear implantCommunioncouchcreditdataslatedemonDenebian slime devildicedisruptorDocument of RecantationelfEugenics Warsfal-tor-panFederation Standardghostgravitic mineHansel and GretelhegiraHonor BladeIn the GrooveJameson Irish WhiskeyJefferies tubekahs-wankal-tohkatrakickballknifeKobayashi Maru scenarioKolinahrKropasar Journal of Applied BiotechnologyKroykahLost Library of SarpeidonMacbethmind-meldObservations of Interspatial Rifts Recordded in the Deema System and Artifacts Gathered TherefromPADDphaserpiplaberry pastrypon farrprune juiceQue Sera, SeraraktajinoRashomonregen treatmentrobotRosetta stoneRoyal Museum of Epsilon Hydra VIIsandalscotchSepec Awardsonic showerspectaclessquirtSunderingsyntheskinTasmeenteatharavultintocsintricorderuniformuniversal translatorvampireVulcanwitchZora's Equation


8000 BCE
The Book of the People is written. (Referenced as a historical example)
Thousands of years ago
The Deemanot visit the Earth cultures of Egypt and Babylon. (Referenced while reviewing a museum of sorts)
4th century
The Sundering occurs on Vulcan. (Referenced in internal monologe by Saavik)
The Lebensborn eugenics program begins in Germany. (Referenced in conversation by Saavik)
The Eugenics Wars end. (Referenced as historical by Saavik)
Eminiar VII and Vendikar begin their computer war. (Referenced while reviewing a museum of sorts)
Long ago
Zora engages in brutal medical experiments on the planet Tiburon. (Referenced in historical diatribe)
Before 2264
Narak is ordered to give his genetic material to the Romulan Star Empire's eugenics program. (Referenced in personal backstory)
Saavik is born on Hellguard. (Referenced in personal backstory)
Prior to 2267
Redjac kills on Heliopolis. (Referenced in conversation)
Saavik is determined to be a 'reject' of the Romulan eugenics program which created her. When the Hellguard facility is deserted, she and other 'rejects' are left behind, forgotten. (Referenced and throughout the story)
Stardate 3141.9
Khan Noonien Singh is exiled by the USS Enterprise on the planet Ceti Alpha V. (Referenced by Saavik as example of eugenics)
Stardate 3196.1
Spock mind-melds with a Horta. (Referenced by Spock to a young Saavik)
Stardate 3372.7
Spock fights James T. Kirk in traditional Koon-ut-kal-if-fee. (Referenced by Saavik for explanation of personal choices)
Stardate 3614.9
Redjac is defeated by the crew of the USS Enterprise. (Referenced in conversation)
Stardate 5832.3
Rota Sevrin leads the Eden Movement until his death. (Referenced by Saavik about Tiburon movements)
Saavik is rescued from Hellguard by Spock. (Referenced throughout story)
Saavik is raised by Sarek and Amanda Grayson on Vulcan. (Referenced in flashbacks)
Saavik chooses to join Starfleet and Sarek agrees that she will be wed after her graduation. (Referenced as Saavik considers her options in marriage)
Stardate 8130.3
Saavik receives guidance from James T. Kirk during his battles with Khan Noonien Singh. (Referenced in Saavik's decision making process)
Saavik engages in a romantic relationship with David Marcus. (Referenced in personal backstory)
Stardate 8210.3
Saavik locates Spock on the Genesis Planet and aids him in pon farr. The USS Grissom is destroyed. David Marcus is killed by Klingons. (Referenced to explain current mental state)
Saavik questions her role in Starfleet. On Vulcan she meets another survivor of Hellguard who warns her that the others like them are being killed. Saavik ships out on the USS Chaffee to Deema III and begins a romantic relationship with Mikal. (In-story)
Saavik returns to Vulcan, meets her father and half-sister, learns the Romulans want her help in ending Sarek's career, and returns to Starfleet. (In-story)


Related media


From an interview with the author
"It starts with the scene in The Voyage Home where Saavik and Amanda are watching the Bounty take off for Earth and the trial of the Enterprise Seven. Saavik is more or less at loose ends, a bit shell-shocked from recent events, and trying to decide what to do with the rest of her life. She signs up for what she hopes will be a quiet mission on a science vessel cataloguing plants on a distant world, and ends up fighting for her sanity and her life against forces from her past trying to lay claim to both. It's a bit of a murder mystery, a bit of a spy novel, with a love affair tossed in for seasoning. Have to leave you with that for the moment, I'm afraid."
Besides her appearances in the movies, Saavik has also appeared elsewhere in Trek literature, which leads to the question of where Margaret turned to when working on her interpretation of the character. "I'm relying somewhat on Carolyn Clowes' excellent novel The Pandora Principle," she reveals. "In the novelization of The Wrath of Khan, Vonda McIntyre makes passing reference to Saavik's being half-Romulan and an orphan from a planet called Hellguard, but isn't able to go into a lot of detail. Clowes takes that concept much further, showing us a feral child surviving on a hostile world when the Romulans abandon it. I'm paying homage to that in a number of flashbacks, tweaking it a bit to fit my story.
"Simultaneously," she adds, "I'm trying my best to stay true to the onscreen Saavik, but leaning more toward Robin Curtis rather than Kirstie Alley in both appearance and performance, and here's why: Vulcans may say they have no emotions, but that's only one of many unspoken truths. The emotions are there; they're just constantly held in check. Add Romulan heritage to that, and you've got a simmering volcano, which cannot allow itself to erupt. That's what I saw in Robin's performance, and that's what can be explored in a novel, through internal monologues, that can only be hinted at onscreen."
  • Jameson Irish Whiskey is referenced in this novel as a scotch, which it is not.



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Its Hour Come Round
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Chronological Order
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Scotty's Song
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When You Wish Upon a Star...!

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