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Star Trek: Preserver

A book by William Shatner

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Excellent continuity with all Star Trek series

  • Feb 22, 2001
By far, my favorite episode of the original Star Trek series was "Mirror Mirror" where Kirk, McCoy, Scottie and Uhura are swapped with their counterparts in a parallel universe. However, the Federation in the parallel universe is an empire help together by brutality. The closing scene is when Kirk tries to persuade the parallel Spock that the empire is illogical and that in any revolution, there is one man with a vision. Right before the beam out, Spock replies, "Captain Kirk, I shall consider it." For years, I have amused myself by thinking through ways in which Spock could carry out a revolutionary plan.
This book is an extension of previous books where Kirk battles his evil counterpart Tiberias for control of both universes. Many of the events that occurred when Spock launched his insurrection are explained, including some that were worse than what would have happened had the empire remained intact. This part of the story moves along very well. Although you may be appalled at the incredible brutality of Emperor Tiberias, it is consistent with the original show and there is additional continuity with other episodes.
Kirk has survived to much later in time, which allows the Next Generation and Voyager crews to be included. Captain Picard proves to be a formidable person in both universes, yet he still is somewhat secondary to Kirk in power. In the end, Kirk converts his evil counterpart, sending him back to the universe as a changed man. Spock and McCoy also appear in roles that are consistent with their use as foils.
The basic plot is that there is an ancient species of preservers who have created duplicates of Earth and other homeworlds of powerful races. However, this group has no equivalent of the Prime Directive, in fact their goal is to destroy a universe. Kirk ends up in a fight to prevent that, one that he of course wins. However, the victory is a costly one.
I found the story to be one that moved along well, maintaining continuity with the previous stories of the Star Trek generations. One point that I found tedious was the levels of intelligence agencies in Starfleet who serve more to confuse things than anything else. Given his accomplishments, it is most unlikely that any secret could be kept from Kirk if he wanted to know, and yet at times he appears clueless regarding who and what these agencies are. Given that such a powerful threat to the Federation was present, even the most paranoid of intelligence operatives would consult with the man who knew more about it than anything else.
Additional characters that I found entertaining were the psychohistorians who predict the coming catastrophe. Psychohistory was created by Isaac Asimov in his classic Foundation tales, and is a science that uses mathematics to predict broad historical forces. The scientists who practice it come across exactly as you would expect such practitioners to be, although one is not what he appears to be.
While there are some stretches of the point, as a basic character Kirk is an overbearing, yet lonely hero. In this tale, he succeeds once again, and yet his battles with Tiberias cause a few cracks in the armor. We see him as a lonely man torn between a desire for quiet retirement and the thrill of command when things are at their worst. In ways, that is one of the best aspects of the book, and I look forward to more of the same.

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Quick Tip by . May 01, 2011
Shatner's books (ghost-written with the Reeves-Stevens) do stand apart from the other Trek books ... but since THE ASHES OF EDEN, the books have paled by comparison to one another. PRESERVER re-establishes Captain Kirk to his proper place in the Trek mythos ... and it re-establishes the team of Shatner, Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens to their place of authority in the Trek publishing circle. PRESERVER is, at times, befuddling and frustrating ... much like the lessons of life, the one …
About the reviewer
Charles Ashbacher ()
Ranked #2
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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For three full decades, on television and in film, actor William Shatner has portrayed one of the legendary heroes of science fiction: James Tiberius Kirk, captain of the Starship Enterprise™. Although Kirk was believed to have perished at the conclusion of Star Trek® Generations™, his amazing literary resurrection led to an acclaimed trilogy of national bestsellers, The Ashes of Eden, The Return, and Avenger.

Now William Shatner again brings his unique blend of talents as an actor, writer, director and producer to the conclusion of the new trilogy begun with Spectre and continuing with Dark Victory, as two men -- and two universes -- never meant to meet are drawn closer together toward an inevitable and destructive reaction....


The deadly and tyrannical Emperor Tiberius, formerly captain of the I.S.S. Enterprise, had great success turning captured alien weaponry to his advantage, but his failed attempt to sieze the tantalizing advances of the ancient First Federation has always rankled him. In the more peaceful universe of the United Federation of Planets, Tiberius sees his second chance. And a new ally will help him take it -- the counterpart for whom he has nothing but contempt, the man whose U.S.S. Enterprise™ made first contact with the First Federation: Starfleet Captain James T. Kirk.

Honorable, Idealistic, and decent, James T. Kirk is many things Tiberius is not. But he is also a man deeply in love with his wife -- and Teilani is ...

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ISBN-10: 0671021257
ISBN-13: 978-0671021252
Author: William Shatner
Publisher: Pocket Books

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