Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Review: Star Trek: Legacies: Captain To Captain by Greg Cox

*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.

Pocket Books; 360 pages; $7.00; Amazon
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Star Trek franchise. It's hard to believe that a low-budget science fiction television series from the 1960s is still popular today, let alone has become a huge worldwide franchise with 6 spinoff series (counting next year's yet to-be-titled series), 13 feature films, and countless merchandise.

The first Star Trek novelizations were published from 1967 from Bantam Books, which mostly contained short stories adapted from the television scripts; though original novels followed. Bantam Books continued to publish more titles until 1981. From 1974 to 1978, Ballantine Books published Star Trek titles. Then Pocket Books began publishing Star Trek books in 1979 and still releases at least one new title a month since then.

Being released to bookstores this week from Pocket Books is Star Trek: Legacies - Captain To Captain, book one in the special 50th Anniversary Trilogy. Written by Greg Cox, "Captain To Captain" is set in the year 2267, several months after the diplomatic conference on Babel ("Journey to Babel") which took place during the second season of the original series.

"Captain To Captain" begins with Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock and the rest of the U.S.S. Enterprise awaiting for the small cargo ship, Shimizu, to dock in their landing bay. The only passenger is Una, the captain of the U.S.S. Yorktown. She also happens to be the former crew-member of the space ship Enterprise; first serving under the command of Captain Robert April and then as "Number One" for Captain Christopher Pike. Both Kirk and Spock believe she is there to learn of what really happened to Christopher Pike, who is now listed as "missing in action."

However, Una's true intentions for coming back to the Enterprise are a little bit startling. It seems there is a secret that is handed down "captain to captain" throughout the years.

Nearly two decades earlier, the Enterprise, under the command of Captain Robert April, detects  a citadel on Libros III, a Class-M planet located near Klingon territory. Una leads her first away team on the planet to try to unravel the mystery, but sadly she is the only crew member to return safely back to the Enterprise. She brings back an alien "Transfer Key" that unlocks the ultimate weapon. In fear of it ending up in the enemy's hands, Robert April decided to hide it somewhere on the Enterprise. Only the future captains and first officers will know will know about the "Transfer Key."

Una has returned to her old spaceship to steal the "Transfer Key," travel to Libros III, which is now part of the Klingon Empire, and attempt to rescue her old crewmates.

Final  Thoughts: While it is well known that the fictional U.S.S. Enterprise was commanded by Captain James T. Kirk, some people might not realize that the ship was already 20 years old by the start of the original series' five year mission. The first captain, Robert April, never appeared in 1960s television series, but he did appear in an episode of animated series during 1970s. However, the second captain, Christopher Pike, did appear in the original pilot episode "The Cage" (footage was also used the two-part episode "The Menagerie") along with "Number One" (played by the late Majel Barrett).

"Number One" never had an actual name, though she is called Una, an Illyrian, in Star Trek: Legacies - Captain To Captain, but everyone still calls her "Number One." As part of the special 50th Anniversary Trilogy, Una is the main character as she briefly returns to the Enterprise to steal an alien key that will possibly help retrieve her missing crewmates, who were all sent to a different realm eighteen-years ago.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Star Trek: Legacies - Captain To Captain; which marks the first Star Trek book I have read that is set during the original series. The novel is split into three different parts - 2267, where Una returns to the Enterprise; 2249, a flashback when Una served under the command of Captain Robert April; and back to 2267, where Kirk and Mr. Spock beamed down to Libros III to search for the renegade Una. There is a lot of science fiction drama throughout the novel, but there is some action towards the end involving a few Klingon ships. Overall, I thought it was a really good read; I especially like the ending twist that sets up next month's book two, Star Trek: Legacies - Best Defense.

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