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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 9 May 2013
In this episode, we have Romulans, Remons, the next generation crew, Spock, scotty and McCoy and of course our two favourite captains and even Admiral Janeway and a well known EMH. It is amazing how so much has been packed into such a reasonably sized novel, the story twists and turns through space (not time) to reveal dark forces and hidden agendas and guess who has to sort it out? Kirk and his friends battle their way across the galaxy in this very readable epic tale. Buy this and you won't regret it.
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on 20 January 2004
After the slow paced, dissapointing Captains Peril, Shatner stikes back with this excellent story. Continuing to weave threads from established Star Trek stories into his books, this story picks up where Star Trek 10 : Nemesis, left off. While the film was ultimatly dissapointing, Shatner has picked up where the film left off, and delved deeper into the story, examining the Romulan / Reman relationship. Providing an explanation for Shinzons attempted attack, that we never got in Nemesis. All the usual suspects are here, and they are on a mission (or three) to Romulus, charged with securing the future safety of the Federation. This is what we had been waiting for, a top-notch Romulan story.
This book races along, with a story to match any other trek novel, and is most definatly one of my favourites.
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on 4 September 2006
There is no mystique as to whether William Shatner's novels in his Star Trek series are ghost written, as they are co written and all of them have been and this is not a secret, he thanks them at the start of the books and they are very well known writers of other Star Trek fiction. These co writers will obviously be in tune with the current Star Trek series even if Mr Shatner is not and what is wrong with a bit of continuity in Science Fiction, it is a good thing. Anyway the book itself, for its genre is excellent and the characterisation and interaction between, Spock, Kirk and Mccoy are always excellent and affectionately written. Looking forward to Captain's Glory, his books are not rocket science but they are entertaining..
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on 18 January 2004
Captain's Blood, the latest Kirk escapade penned by William Shatner and Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens, begins in the wake of Star Trek Nemesis. Spock, speaking for the cause of Unification on Romulus, is assassinated in the opening, fuelling Starfleet to request Jim Kirk, his son Joseph, Bones, Scotty, Picard, La Forge, Crusher and the holographic Doctor to go and investigate. A promising start indeed.
The story gets you involved rather quickly, with the Romulan Star Empire's stability on tenterhooks and the mysterious Remans looming over the page, you begin to expect good things from this novel. I was personally disappointed with Shatner's continuation of Kirk's adventures after Avenger, which was good, but not as good as The Return, or even The Ashes of Eden. The mirror universe trilogy bored me to tears. It seems so lame to me, so irrelevant. So I was happy when he left that one alone. But now I'm unhappy again. Shatner introduces Norinda, a character from Kirk's original mission aboard the Enterprise NCC-1701. Things start to go down hill around here; the story starts to put the breaks on. They never even get to Romulus, and get to unravel the political mess it is in, never encounter the Tal Shiar, because this wildcard character is responsible for everything.
As a fan, I personally believe that Star Trek literature should exist primarily to explore more of what has already been laid out in film and television. The return of Kirk was a welcomed exception. So when you start reading a book that starts with a nice Romulan adventure, and ends with the beginning of a galactic invasion, little or nothing to do with a possible Romulan Civil war, you feel milked. Milked for your money I mean, because it seems Shatner is reeling these books off for the hell of it now. The detailed characterisation we appreciated in The Ashes of Eden, The Return and Avenger are just not there. The exploration of the Star Trek universe has seemingly ended. This book was a perfect opportunity for Shatner and the Reeves-Stevens's to tell us more about the dichotomy of the Romulan people, to tell us the story of Picard and Kirk seeking the truth behind the apparent death of their friend Spock. It was also the chance for us to see the return of the Tal Shiar, the Romulan secret police, we all know how much fun they can be. But no, they may have gone to Romulus, they may be on Remus, but it's nothing to do with Romulans, nothing to do with Remans, its all thanks to an intergalactic shape-shifter. Woo.
This book seems to be the child of a misplaced hunger for surprise. It's as if Shatner said, well, this book is about the catastrophic possibility of a Romulan/Reman civil war. But I want to surprise the fans: I want to put a twist in it! I know what's original! An invasion from another galaxy! Nothing whatsoever to do with the Romulan Star Empire! Great thinking, Bill.
This book seems a purely empty journey, solely for the purpose of another sequel, Captain's Glory. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps, if the 'surprise' plot twist (that of Norinda being responsible for EVERYTHING), had been delivered with more skill and grace that it was, it might have been interesting. But it wasn't, because it's written like silly string.
You should probably only read half way through this book, and then put it on your shelf to collect dust. Yes, it would leave you wondering what happened; where did the story go? Well, I read the whole book, and I was still left wondering where the potentially engrossing novel I was reading went to. It must have been beamed out of Shatner's mind as he wrote it.
Out of 10, if 1 is 'a complete waste of time', and 10 is 'I'm a richer person for having read Captain's Blood', then I'd give it a 2, tops. These books continuing the adventures of James T. Kirk should be entitled 'Star Trek: The Continuing Adventures of Bill Shatner's Retirement Fund'.
At least we have the next instalment, Captain's Glory, promised to us. That will surely tell us more of the impending GALACTIC INVASION we can look forward to. I for one can't wait ;)
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on 12 June 2013
Interesting development which takes Kirk further towards an obviously oncoming legendary status. Not sure the relationship between father and son entirely works, but the pace and excitement are up to scratch
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on 7 June 2004
The name "William Shatner" on a novel can strike fear into the hearts of a lot of Trekkies (though I know some are fans). I gave up on his Mirror-universe series because it was just getting more and more dull and making Kirk more and more the center of the universe. It also seemed like every new book jumped on the bandwagon of the latest events on the television series, rather then telling its own story (Janeway (ok, a Mirror-Janeway) shows up after Voyager premieres on television, etc). Each book also contained a lot of new television series continuity. Since I know Shatner doesn't pay that much attention to the current series, it just adds to the "were these books ghost-written?" mystique.
That being said, when I heard that Shatner had a new Kirk book out, I decided to check it out. I was aware of Captain's Peril, but it sounded like a self-contained adventure that didn't interest me that much, so I avoided it. Captain's Blood, however, dealt with Spock and the Romulans. Anybody who has read my review of Star Trek: Nemesis knows that I love Romulans, so I had to check this one out. Captain's Blood is a direct sequel to Nemesis (there's that "jumping on the bandwagon of the current series" again) that deals with the fallout of Shinzon's aborted coup in that movie. So was I mercilessly teased into reading yet another Kirk-lovefest? In a way. I found it better than the Mirror-Universe saga, but it did suffer from some of the same faults.
Captain's Blood isn't quite as Kirk-centric as the Mirror-Universe books (though that's admittedly not saying much). Sure, Kirk is still the center of the action. Sure, Kirk gets to be all self-righteous to Picard and Janeway (though Picard is supposed to be his friend) and talk about how things were different (and better) in his day. Thankfully, that last bit is toned down to just a couple of comments, but it still grated at times. You would think that somebody who uses the current continuity to this extent would try not to denigrate it at the same time. However, Picard and his crew are fairly well characterized. Riker suffers a little bit from being treated too much like a new captain. Shatner seems to be forgetting that Riker was pretty well-rounded as first officer on the Enterprise under Picard, instead portraying him as a bit tentative and needing some of Kirk's instruction. Janeway has turned into a real hard-case, even more so than she was on Voyager.
Still, given all that, I have to say that the book isn't too bad. It's a quick read that grabs you and makes you say "just one more chapter." Shatner does have a way with action scenes, especially with Kirk and McCoy's escape from the ore processing plant (though this is one of the few times that Kirk actually seems superhuman). The main problem with the book, aside from some of the characterization issues, is the horribly abrupt ending. The plot is moving along, we find out who is behind the possible civil war, Kirk is able to stop the individual, and then it just ends with a totally different "to be continued." The villain escapes, an epilogue segues into the next book, and we never hear anything more about the Romulan civil war. What is it with the Romulans being treated like window-dressing? I WANT MY ROMULANS!!!
Ahem. Sorry. The lack of Romulans (despite their presence in the background of almost the entire book) is not my main problem with the ending. Along with the abruptness, we also find out that this is yet another ongoing series by Shatner. While it isn't absolutely necessary to have read Captain's Peril (there's a massive infodump about it right in the middle of a tension-filled scene, so don't worry), it's still the first cog in what could be another long-winded "epic" by Shatner. In fact, it seems that Captain's Peril is going to be another Ashes of Eden, a seemingly self-contained adventure that ends up starting a monstrosity. I hope history doesn't repeat itself, but I'm not holding my breath.
In the meantime, however, I'll give the next Shatner book a chance. It didn't annoy me as much as the Mirror-Universe books did. Ask me again in a book or two (or three?). Consider this a moderate recommendation.
David Roy
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