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The Captain's Peril

A book by William Shatner

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Grossly Underwhelming PERIL Reads Like Fan Fiction ... And BAD Fan Fiction, At That!

  • Aug 19, 2014
To be perfectly honest, I didn’t expect much going into William Shatner’s CAPTAIN’S PERIL, but it might not be for the obvious reason.  Bill gets a lot of negative press about how (A) his books are vanity projects so they can’t be all that good and (B) he doesn’t even write them (it’s been disclosed that they’re heavily ghostwritten by Judith and Gar Reeves-Stevens).  That’s why most folks don’t give the man all that much credit; still, that had little to do with my two cents.
I hate to sound snarky, but I haven’t really enjoyed these Shatner novels after his first one – THE ASHES OF EDEN.  Frankly, that’s one stellar piece of Trek fiction – one that quite frankly stands about as well alongside any of the later Trek movies for the classic cast – and it’s even had a comic book adaptation to give it the look and feel of a big budget movie.  Where EDEN had all of the elements in the proper measure to make for a compelling yet formulaic outing, PERIL squanders whatever trust it earns by revisiting ideas already touched upon or explored to greater effect in the original Trek as well as its subsequent TV incarnations.
Frankly – as a novel – it just isn’t all that interesting.  Now, add to that the fact that this was supposed to be a STAR TREK novel, and that reality compounds the negatives quite heavily.
What makes a compelling STAR TREK novel – especially when you’re dealing with any member of the Classic cast – is the camaraderie between the captain and his crew.  Sadly, Kirk and Picard spend the bulk of this novel “on vacation” (funny, ‘cause it feels like this book was written ON someone’s vacation), so the reader is treated to an endless string of what I’d call almost Abbott and Costello routines by two men who probably would’ve, should’ve, and could’ve behaved better.
I won’t belabor it more than that, other than to point out that fact that I’m not all that certain PERIL didn’t come as an afterthought: there’s clearly a foundation being laid throughout much of the novel – actually, the book reads kinda/sorta like two shorter novellas fused together for purposes of bringing Kirk’s past into the modern Next Generation era, and I’m not sure that served the narrative as best as it could’ve either.  I’ve done a bit of research, and it certainly looks like that ‘foundation’ might pay off with the next two Shatnerverse novels.  PERIL is only the first leg of a trilogy, but – like any good leg – it ought to be able to stand on its own.
This one just doesn’t.

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More The Captain's Peril reviews
review by . December 08, 2002
There are two concurrent story lines in this book, and they both provide us with additional information about the Star Trek universe. The first is a joint vacation by captains Kirk and Picard on Bajor. Their goal is to join an archeological dig on Bajor, in an attempt to uncover some ancient religious artifacts of deep significance to the Bajoran people. It starts with what must be one of the ultimate of extreme sports, as Kirk and Picard sky dive from orbit. Kirk's equipment fails and Picard manages …
review by . November 05, 2002
Three stars is perhaps being generous. It starts off really interesting with an appearance from one of Deep Space Nine's best characters. Then what? It turns into Kirk and his little buddy Jean-Luc Picard. I found a lot of things to be just plain silly. You have chapter after chapter of Kirk and Picard having philosophical debates. Okay, a went a tad bit over board. Where's all the action and excitment we saw in Ashes of Eden? Where is the interesting plots such as those found in The Return, Spectre …
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Ed ()
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What? You don't know enough about me from the picture? Get a clue! I'm a graduate from the School of Hard Knocks! You can find me around the web as "Trekscribbler" or "Manchops".   … more
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The Dominion War is over. The Federation is at peace. What better time for two legendary starship captains to set aside the demands of duty and simply take some well-deserved time off?

But when James T. Kirk and Jean-Luc Picard arrive on Bajor to dive among the ruins of an ancient sunken city, conditions are far from what they had planned. The small group of scientists the captains have joined suddenly find their equipment sabotaged -- isolating them from Deep Space Nine™ and any hope of rescue -- as one by one, a murderer stalks them.

Cut off from the people and technology on which they have always depended, Kirk and Picard must rely more than ever on their own skills and abilities, and their growing friendship, to solve the mysterious deaths and protect one of Bajor's greatest living treasures.

At the same time, Kirk finds the events he and Picard struggle with are similar to one of the first challenges he faced as the new captain of the Starship Enterprise™, less than six months into his first five-year mission.

Now, with time running out for a dying child trapped in the scientists' camp, and Picard missing after a diving disaster, Kirk must search his memories of the past to relive one of his earliest adventures, propelling him into a harrowing personal journey that reveals the beginning of his path from young Starfleet officer to renowned legend, and the existence of a new and completely unsuspected threat to the existence of all life in the universe.


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ISBN-10: 0743448197
ISBN-13: 978-0743448192
Author: William Shatner
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Publisher: Star Trek
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