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Sunday, June 16

Summer Reads: Star Trek: The Captain's Oath


If you're a diehard trekker or just a casual Star Trek fan, then you've probably read at least one tie-in novel.

The first Star Trek tie-ins were episode novelizations of the original series were written by James Blish and published by Bantam Books from 1967 to 1978. James Blish also wrote the very first original Star Trek novel, Spock Must Die!, which was published in 1970. Bantam Books continued to publish Star Trek titles until 1991.

From 1974 to 2006, Ballantine Books (and Del Rey) published the Star Trek Log book series by Alan Dean Foster, novelizations of the short-lived Star Trek animated series.

From 1979 to 2017, all Star Trek tie-in novels, anthologies, and novelizations were published by Pocket Books (an imprint of  Simon & Schuster). The books are now published by Gallery Books, which is also an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

AMAZON
The newest Star Trek novel "The Captain's Oath" written by Christopher L. Bennett was published at the end of May and marked the first new story of "The Original Series" since 2016.

"The Captain's Oath" is a prequel spanning several years - 2261 - 2265. The prologue begins in 2265 on the very first day James T. Kirk is given command of the U.S.S. Enterprise and meets Mr. Spock. The novel jumps back and forth to tell how and why Kirk was given the U.S.S. Enterprise.

In the years 2261 to 2264, we see Kirk taking over the captain's chair of the U.S.S. Sacagawea and his brief stint overseeing the Starfleet archaeological station in Eagle's Landing. From early battles with the Klingons, encountering mysterious sphere ships, to saving endangered civilizations, Kirk learns the discipline he'll need to become a great captain.

Final Thoughts

Author Christopher L. Bennett isn't just an amazing science fiction writer, he's also a brilliant Star Trek writer, which isn't an easy thing to accomplish. Star Trek: The Captain's Oath is not only a beautifully written Kirk origin story, it's also a great novel, as well as being one of the better books I have read recently.

I noticed a "reader" on Amazon stated that the Kirk in this book isn't the same one he had always envisioned. After reading this, I wondered which version of Kirk was he referring to - the classic television series, the original movies, or J. J. Abrams' Kirk? To me the novel represents the exact same Kirk from the original series, at least that's how the author wrote the character in this tale to represent.

Speaking of characters, besides from Kirk and Spock, Dr. McCoy, Sulu, Uhura, Gary Mitchell, and the Captain Christopher Pike make appearances throughout the novel. 

Overall, Star Trek: The Captain's Oath is a well-written and entertaining read! Out of the handful of Star Trek novels I have read throughout my lifetime, "The Captain's Oath" happens to be the best thanks to a talented author who understands what "Star Trek" is really about - space exploration.
*Note - I received a review copy from the publisher.
All opinions are my own.

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