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Old January 16 2012, 07:15 AM   #1
Lange
Lieutenant Junior Grade
 
The "Shatnerverse" what do you all think-recommend or no

Hi all,

Wanted to see what you all thought of the "Shatnerverse" series of novels, with Ashes of Eden and so on. I have never read any of them but wanted some opinions before looking into it more. It is my understanding Kirk is revived after Star Trek generations and actually does not die with William Shatners take on the whole deal?

Honestly I hate that idea with a passion of Kirk being revived and really think his death was important and tragic and a resurrection is like countless others in fiction and I hate the idea that important characters can never be killed off because writers never have the (excuse my vulgarity) "balls" to do so because of how fans will react or other various reasons.

Now I haven't read these novels so I can't judge it just on that concept but as I am one of those fans who was satisfied with Kirk's because these novels revive him would I be upset? Or would I maybe not think of it as so bad because it does it in a good way? Is it a good storyline nontheless? Also since Shatner's novels aren't within the continuity of pocket books where do they fit into the Star Trek Universe?

Thanks all hopefully can have some good discussion.
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Old January 16 2012, 07:16 AM   #2
ICW
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Re: The "Shatnerverse" what do you all think-recommend or no

I remember really enjoying The Return but everything else being pretty "meh."
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Old January 16 2012, 07:32 AM   #3
Avro Arrow
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Re: The "Shatnerverse" what do you all think-recommend or no

The first Shatner novel, Ashes of Eden, was set before Kirk's death, so you could read it without the whole resurrection thing bothering you. It's been a long while since I read it, but I seem to recall it being pretty good.
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Old January 16 2012, 08:31 AM   #4
captcalhoun
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Re: The "Shatnerverse" what do you all think-recommend or no

i wasn't that impressed with AoE. i thought that The Return was a load of fanwanky pap. i don't remember the 3rd one of the first trilogy. the MU trilogy's not bad. i've not read any since Preserver.

thankfully i got Spectre and Preserver in a job-lot of 2nd hand books with a load of other better books, so i only really paid for DV.
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Old January 16 2012, 10:49 AM   #5
F. King Daniel
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Re: The "Shatnerverse" what do you all think-recommend or no

I loved every single one of Shatner/Reeves-Stevens books. Lots and lots of OTT fun - although the Totality trilogy's a step down from the rest.

As for how they fit in... a few bits and pieces aside (timing of events, Janeway being around still) one can pretty much pretend they're part of the regular novel continuity. Except for "Collision Course", which is a deliberately new take on Kirk's time at the academy (it's supposedly based on a TV series pitch Shatner made in the 00's), and feels a lot more like JJ's Trek than the Original Series.
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Old January 16 2012, 10:53 AM   #6
Kaziarl
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Re: The "Shatnerverse" what do you all think-recommend or no

I liked them. A lot of people seem to despise them.

I guess what I'm saying is: Read it, draw your own conclusions. If you like it, keep it and maybe read it again. If not, don't read it again.

As for whether I'd recommend it? Yes. Hell, even as much as I can't stand "The Great Gatsby," I also acknowledge that it is (for some godawful reason) a classic, so it should be read at least once. Same goes for any book.
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Old January 16 2012, 01:15 PM   #7
Therin of Andor
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Re: The "Shatnerverse" what do you all think-recommend or no

ICW wrote: View Post
I remember really enjoying The Return but everything else being pretty "meh."
I remember really enjoying "The Ashes of Eden", both the hardcover and the comic adaptation.

"The Return" is a pretty gripping page turner, but the returned Kirk is not really the Kirk we knew, and the ending made me angry. However, the Kirk we meet in "Avenger" has become SuperKirk, the being who one day will give Worf a run for his credits.

The "Mirror Universe" trilogy isn't too bad, and it starts out really well. But Shatner seemingly has a change of heart about using one particular guest character, who kinda vanishes from the action in the middle of a book.

The best thing about the "Totality" trilogy, set in the 24th century, are the 23rd century flashbacks. Maybe he shoulda just concentrated on 5YM stories after the MU, instead of trying to cultivate a new Kirkling for the Next Generation?
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Old January 16 2012, 01:19 PM   #8
Relayer1
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Re: The "Shatnerverse" what do you all think-recommend or no

I liked the first few - although I had reservations about bringing him back, I hated Generations and the end Kirk got.

With a better death, I'd have said don't bother, and two wrongs don't make a right.

Read them and make up your own mind - I'd prefer a return for Kirk in the normal continuity - Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Checkov and Scotty are still around (what happened to Sulu ?) but I am probably on my own in that....
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Old January 16 2012, 02:34 PM   #9
The Wormhole
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Re: The "Shatnerverse" what do you all think-recommend or no

The Ashes of Eden is an okay book. Nothing too special, but entertaining all the same.

The Return is pretty terrible. Avenger is better, but keep in mind, at this point the Shatnerverse is basically just "Kirk kicking TNG characters' asses." The next one (Spectre?) I only got about half way through before deciding to just give up on the series.
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Old January 16 2012, 02:50 PM   #10
MikeRy71
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Re: The "Shatnerverse" what do you all think-recommend or no

I enjoyed Ashes of Eden and have read The Return twice (something I rarely do with a book). Avenger was my first audiobook and I didn't retain anything from it.

Like others have said...Read them, enjoy them and make your decision on where to place them continuity wise. In my mind, since reading the Destiny trilogy, I pretty much look at Shatnerverse as a "what if?" storyline.
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Old January 16 2012, 03:17 PM   #11
Christopher
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Re: The "Shatnerverse" what do you all think-recommend or no

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
"The Return" is a pretty gripping page turner, but the returned Kirk is not really the Kirk we knew, and the ending made me angry. However, the Kirk we meet in "Avenger" has become SuperKirk, the being who one day will give Worf a run for his credits.
"One day?" It was in The Return that the infamous "60-ish Kirk beats up 30-something Worf" scene happened.
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Old January 16 2012, 05:16 PM   #12
bullethead
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Re: The "Shatnerverse" what do you all think-recommend or no

Here's my impressions of the Shatnerverse books that I've read:
-The Return was pretty interesting in how it handled the Borg and Starfleet's efforts to combat them. It also gave the Romulans something interesting to do. A bit wanky in terms of Kirk beating the crap out of people, but he was flooded with Borg nanoprobes at the time, so it isn't like he suddenly became an uber badass with no explanation.
-Avenger was pretty freaking forgettable. I read it once and I don't remember anything about it besides the plot revolved around a disease.
-Spectre is pretty good, balancing out the TNG and Kirk plots fairly well. A pretty interesting take on the Mirror Universe and a decent cliffhanger ending.
-Dark Victory is really "meh." The beginning and end, which involve the Mirror Universe, are interesting, but the middle part about the Starfleet conspiracy and Kirk's weird ass kid is not really interesting.
-Preserver is the last one I read, and the beginning is the most interesting part, because it involves the Mirror Universe and the First Federation. It's kinda weird though, because it starts in media res and doesn't really bridge the gap between the end of Dark Victory and the beginning of Preserver. Some of the stuff relating to the Preservers is kinda interesting, but it doesn't really mesh and the ending is kinda incomprehensible.
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Old January 16 2012, 05:56 PM   #13
Broccoli
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Re: The "Shatnerverse" what do you all think-recommend or no

I loved the Shatnerverse. I feel that, like many other Trek novels, it is totally fanwanky, but, unlike many other Trek novels, it fully realizes this, embraces it, and is completely unapologetic about it. Because of that, the novels are very fun.

As others have said, Ashes of Eden and The Return are probably the strongest. The MU trilogy is pretty solid, though the ending to that is a little "off" (my theory is that Shatner's personal life really affected not only the events in the book, but how they were written). The Totality trilogy had a weak structure, and suffers from it. Particularly in the first book where there were two alternating plots, one during the 5-Year-Mission (which ties into the overall trilogy) and another with a completely unrelated Picard/Kirk adventure.

Collision Course
, I really enjoyed. Much more character driven than the others, in my opinion. I am disappointed that the follow-up, Trial Run, will likely never see print.
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Old January 16 2012, 06:19 PM   #14
Rowan Sjet
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Re: The "Shatnerverse" what do you all think-recommend or no

The most interesting thing I found about the Shatner books is the explanation for the Mirror Universe, its a shame Enterprise ended up contradicting it.
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Old January 16 2012, 06:41 PM   #15
FredH
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Re: The "Shatnerverse" what do you all think-recommend or no

Although I drifted away from the series somewhere around the Captain's Noun books, I did like that Kirk had gradually evolved away from still being the guy who Must Command A Starship -- although that did unfortunately seem to mean turning him into SuperShatner.
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