Star Trek
Captain's Glory (Hardback)

Author: William Shatner (with Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens
Pocket Books
RRP: 14.99, US $34.50, Cdn $25.00
ISBN 0 7434 5343 3
Available 04 September 2006

Somewhere, out amongst the stars, Warp Cores are breaching and destroying ships. With no access to Warp Core technology the Alpha Quadrant stands on the brink of disintegration, of fracturing into a thousand lonely and isolated worlds. Starfleet suspects an alien incursion, a suspicion which is fuelled by the concurrent death or disappearance of key personnel. On the planet Vulcan, Kirk - in defiance of Admiral Janeway's orders and accompanied by Bones, Scotty and Kirk's son Joseph - continues his search for the missing, presumed dead, Spock. Meanwhile Riker, commanding the
Titan, is investigating a supernova, before his ship also suffers a Warp Core breach, necessitating a rescue by the Enterprise. But what connects these events, who are the unseen enemy? The answer will bring together the most accomplished Star Fleet captains in their quest to not only save their own lives but the whole galaxy...

Captain's Glory is the new book from the collaboration between William Shatner and Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens. Straight off I had to admit to having studiously avoided these novels. I guess my presumption was that they would be vain glorious attempts to bolster Shatner's ego by portraying Kirk as the ultimate focus of fandom adoration. I'm here to admit I could not have been more wrong.

Captain's Glory is just about the best Trek novel that I have read in a long time. I have no idea who contributed what, but the synthesis makes for compelling reading. In fact I stayed up till three in the morning just to finish the book. Now that's a page turner.

The book has a nice punchy style, with relatively short chapters, which keeps the story moving along at a decent clip. With so many characters to contend with it would have been easy to concentrate on just a single characters journey which, to be honest, was my greatest fear. But the authors have sensibly used the space to give each of the characters their own voice and their own part of the action. Picard, Janeway, Riker and Kirk share equal billing here, a fact that should please fans of the individual shows.

Another part of the book that elevates it above the usual is its use of the Trek back story. Many authors attempt to do this and do not do it well. Elements of old shows are shoe horned into stories just to make them feel more connected without actually adding to the whole. In Captains Glory, the explanation for The Totality draws on elements all the way back to the first show, but in a way that never feels forced or false, allowing a genuine re-appreciation.

If anything recommends the book, it's that it is not only a superior Star Trek novel, but is also a good Sci-Fi novel which spends as much time on characterisation as it does on action. The book is never short of action or tension and for once you get a feeling that Starfleet might not win.

So, I humbly doff my hat in an apology to the authors for dismissing their previous books, if they are as good as this one, and I look forward to reading the next in the series.

Charles Packer

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