STAR TREK: BEST DESTINY is a book that both a prequel and a sequel. The book actually begins not long after the events of STAR TREK: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY. Capt. Kirk and the rest of the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise have been ordered to return to Earth for the decommissioning of the ship. Along the way, the Enterprise receives a distress call from near the barren planet of Faramond. The message reminds Kirk of his first real voyage in space after having returned and lived on Earth for several years. The book then rewinds to that earlier time nearly forty-five years before. The events from that period are connected to what is happening at Faramond in the present.
Jimmy Kirk is a troublesome teenager. He's extremely intelligent and bright, but has a deep resentment towards his father for leaving all the time to travel in space. After being taken into custody aboard a sea vessel while running away from home, George Kirk is convince by his wife to take Jimmy with him into space. At first George is opposed to the idea, but comes to see the wisdom in his wife's suggestion. Under George's guardianship with the approval of his commander, Capt. Robert April, George brings Jimmy into space and aboard the starship Enterprise. The ship hasn't even been commissioned yet and has only traveled out on one test run. Capt. April is convinced that the voyage on what is to be the Federation's command ship is just what Jimmy needs to turn his life around. George and Capt. April take Jimmy with them aboard a shuttle to examine a peculiar astronomical phenomena. This short jaunt isn't meant to be a very long journey and the small craft is supposed to meet back with the Enterprise at Faramond several hours later. While examining the strange star, the shuttle is attacked by rogue space pirates and left semi-disabled. With the Enterprise unable to return for hours it's up to George, Capt. April, Jimmy, and the other members of the crew to figure out a way to distract the pirates and buy themselves some time.
I must confess that until rather recently, I was never a huge fan of the original Star Trek. I was always more of a Star Wars guy. However, I did become interested in the Star Trek universe when I started watching some episodes of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION while in high school and my interest in the Star Trek universe has grown ever since then. Overall, I found STAR TREK: BEST DESTINY to be a very enjoyable novel. A reader only needs a basic understanding of the characters of Star Trek to enjoy the book. The book was originally released shortly after STAR TREK: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY, so if a person has seen that movie it would probably suffice. Unlike some other Star Trek novels I have skimmed before, BEST DESTINY does an excellent job of explaining what little technobabble there is (since this is Jim Kirk's first adventure in space, everything has to be explained to him). At the same time, even though all a person needs is a basic understanding of the characters, there are all kinds of information in the book that major fans of the Star Trek universe will find particularly interesting. Overall, an entertaining Star Trek novel that would stand as a good story even if it wasn't set in the Star Trek universe.
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