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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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03/31/2005 Archived Entry: "Trek book review: Captain's Blood (paperback edition)"

Star Trek - Captain's Blood
By: Willaim Shatner wtih Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens
Published by: Pocket Books (a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.)

*available as a downloadable eBook!

Review by Kathy LaFollett

I can't get past this, so I'll just write it up front and move on: it really bugs me when the author's name is larger than the title of the book itself.

It double bugs me when the author's name is three times the size of the title and ten times the size of the co-authors of the book. It's pretentious.

Any Trekkie knows Mr. William Shatner is a commodity unto himself. James Kirk is synonymous with Star Trek. He's the 007 of space.

It is accepted that Captain Kirk; his persona; his ability to never loose nor feel threatened; and his ability to leap and bound through danger like a kevlared deer, is an absolute force, like gravity. His is the story of epic proportions, his is the victory no other could attain in like manner, his is the story that never gives pause to the viewer or reader, because quite frankly, we already know Captain Kirk never fails.

Which is the problem with Captain's Blood.

The storyline is very interesting and well constructed. It doesn't cave-in under it's own weight. Spock is publicly assassinated at a Romulan peace rally. Starfleet and the Federation cannot search for the criminals responsible without triggering intergalactic war. Enter James T. Kirk, retired, to investigate his friend's murder. Picard, Riker and a few other standard Starfleeters appear. The key to the Captain's Blood lies in James T. Kirk's own son, Joseph. It seems Joseph is a hybrid entity with Romulan, Remus, Klingon and a few other bloodlines coursing through his veins.

Leave it to Kirk not to have a regular kid, he's got the be-all end-all hybrid kid.

Trapped on an alien world on the eve of a Romulan civil war that has the potential of dragging the entire galaxy into the conflict, Kirk discovers a hidden Reman fortress. There, he learns of the true threat facing the Romulans, and is forced into the heartrending realization that for peace to prevail, he must sacrifice the freedom of his son, whose very blood holds a staggering secret.

Which is the problem with Captain's Blood.

Kirk and Joseph's separation is not heartrending. I couldn't get enough adrenaline rolling to care. Kirk is Kirk, and nothing bad happens to him and you KNOW, you just KNOW that whole separation thing is a setup somehow and somewhere, and only Kirk knows that, while everyone else is running around ringing their hands in heartrending ways.

Unfortunately Kirk's son, Joseph is pretentious to the point of annoying (although, he's a hybrid, so... okay I'll accept that hybrid alien children sporting Klingon bloodlines are... pretentious).

Kirk is also pretentious, and he's not near as young or cute as his boy, so I'm not that forgiving. Captain Kirk's persona has been ridden hard and put up wet. He really needs to be a supporting character at best. He's too familiar, too grandiose, and overexposed.

Captain's Blood is an excellent Star Trek tale. Spock and his storyline draw you in and support the years of context before in TV and movie form. Spock's own storyline in the book is far more interesting and emotional.

Captain James T. Kirk is a bore. I think he had the right idea in the first place: retire.

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