Mirror, Mirror has long been my favorite episode of the original Star Trek series. The prospect of a parallel universe where there is empire rather than federation is one that seems more likely when human history is considered. In this, the second in a series written and narrated by William Shatner, James Kirk must come face to face with what his evil counterpart, Emperor Tiberius, has done in the parallel universe. After Kirk plants the seed of rebellion in the Spock of the empire, Tiberius is overthrown and seeks assistance from an alliance of the Klingons and Cardassians. With the help of Tiberius, they destroy the federation, enslave all member species and turn Earth into a dead planet. The story is one of the darker of Star Trek stories, in that it is one of a bleak future. Agents from the empire are filtering through and taking the place of their counterparts in the federation. There is a small rebellion in the empire, but it needs the help of James Kirk to have a chance. Kirk is hindered by his desire for the woman he loves and by the reality that he is battling himself. The other version is more capable, because it has no reluctance to destroy friends and even entire planets to get what he wants. Tiberius also knows every weakness that Kirk has and it is clear that only by becoming Tiberius can Kirk hope to defeat him. William Shatner is quite good as a dramatic reader. Some of the exaggerated mannerisms that he exhibited playing James Kirk come through well as he reads. There are some excellent sound effects that add strongly to the strength of the story. It is one of the best of the Star Trek books on audio, I listened to it in my car and often stayed in it longer than usual to listen to the end of an especially exciting section.
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Charles Ashbacher (CharlesAshbacher)
Charlie Ashbacher is a compulsive reader and writer about many subjects. His prime areas of expertise are in mathematics and computers where he has taught every course in the mathematics and computer … more
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In Dark Victory, the mirror universe is a dim shadow of the Federation, ruled by a cruel tyrant, Emperor Tiberius. Much to the dismay of James T. Kirk, Tiberius is also Kirk's double and is determined to destroy him, whom he considers to be a weak and embarrassing twin. The action can be a bit confusing for listeners unfamiliar with Spectre, the first title in this series, but it doesn't take long to get one's bearings. Unfortunately, those looking for a satisfying conclusion must wait for the third installment. Shatner is in top form and, along with great sound effects, does an admirable job of resurrecting his signature character. Trekkies of all stripes will clamor for this one, but be prepared to purchase the entire series, as individual titles do not stand alone. Recommended for all sf collections. A few galaxies over, the Star Wars contingent is having its own set of problems. Although Emperor Palpatine is dead, a powerful Ruling Council continues with the empire's plans. Dark Lord Carnor Jax is determined to claim the throne, but he must first eliminate Kir Kanos, the only member of the emperor's elite bodyguard to survive after Jax's treachery toward his emperor and fellow guardsmen. Seeking refuge from Jax, Kanos finds himself allied with rebel forces. But Kanos owes allegiance to no one, and rebel leader Mirith Sinn cannot trust the enigmatic warrior whose loyalty lies with a dead emperor. This dramatized production uses multiple voices and searing sound effects to ...