Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by AdmiralBruno, Nov 16, 2015.
Who has read these books? Are they worth the time investment?
I read a couple when they first started- not very good IMO.
Kirk resurrects and is always the smartest person in the room.
I actually enjoyed them a lot. But bear in mind that I *also* still have "Achy Breaky Heart" and "Ice Ice Baby" on my MP3 player. I enjoy good cheese.
They always seemed a little too outlandish for me, in comparison with other Trek. (not to mention self-aggrandizing. )
These books were co-written with the Reeves-Stevenses. I wonder how much of the workload was borne by whom, exactly.
By the way, there is a "Trek Literature" forum, specifically for discussion of novels and other written works.
As I recall their description of the process in interviews, Shatner came up with Kirk's storylines and dialogue, the Reeves-Stevenses developed and wrote the rest, and then they traded back and forth and rewrote each other's material, with Shatner getting the final edit and full approval over everything.
The Big Three all together again in the 24th century.
I'm not sure what's NOT to like.
That said, "Ashes Of Eden" in particular is more of a Kirk character piece in a TNG vein, but still!
What do you mean by "in a TNG vein," given that The Ashes of Eden is the only Shatnerverse novel that isn't in the TNG era (except for the last one, Collision Course)? Do you mean the style of the story? I don't recall anything particularly TNG-like about it; like all the Shatner novels, it's more a blockbuster movie-style story in prose form.
The Ashes of Eden is okay. Nothing great, but not bad either.
The Return is horrible. Kirk beats up the TNG cast then him and Picard make up and destroy the Borg homeworld, which is now revealed to be V'Ger's machine planet.
Avenger again is nothing spectacular but isn't a bad novel. The murder-mystery part of it is predictable right from the start and once again Kirk defeats the TNG characters far too easily.
I gave up on Spectre half way through. Since the TNG cast were otherwise occupied getting an asskicking elsewhere, Kirk takes on the rest of 24th century Starfleet and disables a Sovereign class ship with a runabout, which even Spock finds impressive.
Moving to Trek Lit.
The Return is hilarious especially when you consider Shatner intended it to be the direct sequel to Generations and tried to get Paramount to make it instead of First Contact.
"Here's this great scene where I -- mean Kirk gets seduced by a hot Romulan chick while these other Romulans watch and talk about how important I -- I mean Kirk is."
I couldn't have put this better myself.
The first 3 books are a lot of fun. Well worth reading.
"Oh, and this other scene where I beat up Worf, tie him to a tree, and hand-feed him roast whatever Klingon animal they eat."
I love The Return.
Ashes of Eden is probably the best of the bunch from a quality standpoint. The Return is silly as all hell, but I've always found it a fun read since it was first released, and it is one of the Trek novels I revisit every so often. Not everything has to be Shakespeare after all. I'd skip the rest, personally, as they get increasingly outlandish as they go along.
My opinion is that there's a feeling of diminishing returns as the Shatnerverse goes on. The first trilogy, Ashes of Eden, The Return, and Avenger, is fairly solid (The Return's Borg plot is a little iffy, but well written enough I can go along with it). The second, Spectre, Dark Victory, and Preserver, is still entertaining but not quite on the first's level. The third, Captain's Peril, Captain's Blood, and Captain's Glory, is where you see things start going off the rails entirely. And the 'meant to start a trilogy, but the second one never appeared' novel, Collision Course, actually broke my suspension of disbelief, even for a novel with a heavy Shatner hand involved.
I'd say check out the first two trilogies, and, if they work for you, poke around used books stores for any of the others. I wouldn't pay full price for them, though.
The Return is amazing, I loved its depiction of the Borg.
Spectre is good, silly fun.
The Ashes of Eden is decent.
Avoid all others.
I was never too fond of The Return. I didn't care for the way the deus-ex-machina device used to resurrect Kirk was there only to resurrect Kirk and then had no further impact on the story. I mean, if there's a device that can bring back the dead, surely that is important to the galaxy and worth telling a story about. But having something so monumentally transformative to life and death as we know them just conveniently being available for the opening chapter and then just being tossed aside? It just gives away what a blatant plot gimmick it is. I mean, when Genesis brought Spock back to life, it was in a movie that was actually about Genesis and its consequences. McCoy was brought back by the Shore Leave planet in an episode that was about the Shore Leave planet. Scotty was killed and revived by Nomad in an episode that was about Nomad. And so on. But here it was just "Let's bring him back with... technology!" "Okay, he's back, on with the story!"
And I've expressed on many occasions how much I dislike the idea of associating the Borg with V'Ger just because they're both technologically based, despite the enormous differences and contradictions between them. The book even admitted the inconsistencies, handwaving extensively about different branches of Borg with different attributes in order to rationalize the assertion, which instead just underlined how awkward and forced it was to try to conflate them.
I love Ashes of Eden. I think it's a great tale and other than the epilogue, I could see these events happening.
I really hated The Return. Kirk takes on the Borg. Yawn.
Avenger was okay but fairly unmemorable.
And dammit if I can remember what happened in his next trilogy. I don't think I ever finished it.
Never bothered with Collision Course.
The Shatnerverse are the popcorn blockbusters of Treklit.
There's one book in each trilogy I don't like -- Avenger in the first, Dark Victory in the second, The Captain's Peril in the third.
Collision Course is the (literal) "contractual obligation album" of the series.
My top five are The Return, Ashes, Spectre, Captain's Blood, and Preserver.
I read them all during a long vacation in Florida and loved them. The earlier ones were, for the most part, better than the later ones, but I had a lot of fun with them all.
Separate names with a comma.