Spoilers TOS: The Captain's Oath by Christopher L. Bennett Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Avro Arrow, May 17, 2019.

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Rate TOS: The Captain's Oath

  1. Outstanding

    22 vote(s)
    51.2%
  2. Above Average

    16 vote(s)
    37.2%
  3. Average

    2 vote(s)
    4.7%
  4. Below Average

    1 vote(s)
    2.3%
  5. Poor

    2 vote(s)
    4.7%
  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That's fine with me. I've come around to pretty much taking Roddenberry's view that what we see onscreen is a dramatization and artistic interpretation, so the underlying "reality" could have elements of every version. Each version is its own generation's best approximation of the same hypothetical future, so it's not unreasonable to favor the more recent version.

    For what it's worth, I considered some of the ships in the Starfleet task force in Chapter Six to belong to classes seen in the Battle of the Binary Stars.
     
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  2. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    Definitely looking forward to reading it. It's interesting to read in his review how he initially tried to visualize with Discovery in mind but sort of defaulted back to the original series. Perhaps because I've only seen season 1 so far I've only visualized Discovery in Discovery novels. Though I'll be looking to see if there are any Discovery nods in your book. Just because it might be best visualized through the eyes of the original series doesn't mean there can't be nods to Discovery.

    I remember something similar in Greg Cox's book a few years back that took place during Pike's command, if I recall correctly he tried to visualize Pike as seen in Star Trek (2009) to an extent, but even he fell back to thinking of Hunter's Pike. Or something to that effect.
     
  3. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    When Kirk was thinking about the Sacagawea not being upgraded as much as some other ships, I briefly considered imagining it with a big boxy cowling around the nacelle, like most DSC ships.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Only a few subtle suggestions. I was instructed to avoid any overt mentions. After seeing how season 2 ended, I understand why.


    The reviewer said he thought my version of Pike sounded like Jeffrey Hunter, but I think the way I wrote him is a better fit for Greenwood and Mount. I didn't see Mount's Pike until after I wrote the book, but I was pleasantly surprised by how compatible his version was with the Pike I wrote.


    I just assumed it was a Hermes-class scout from the Franz Joseph Technical Manual.
     
  5. JonnyQuest037

    JonnyQuest037 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Christopher, I'm not very far into the book yet, but I'm curious if there was any particular reason you chose the Sacagawea as the name of Kirk's first ship. Did you ever consider using any of the other names used for Kirk's previous ships in other Trek Lit, like the Saladin, the Hotspur, the Lydia Sutherland, or the Eagle?
     
  6. Desert Kris

    Desert Kris Captain Captain

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    Sounds like Children of Kings, I think...? It's a fun game to play, swapping out alternative performances and set visuals. Now there are three Pikes to choose from.
     
  7. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, Children of Kings. I was too lazy to try to look it up last night.

    I typically envision a book through the lens of the series it was based off of. I remember when reading Children of Kings trying to imagine Greenwood but I kept defaulting to Hunter. I think part of it was that all the other characters were consistent with "The Cage".

    The only exception might be that I usually imagine them with more modern special effects (I generally prefer the warp effect from TNG-Enterprise for instance, so that's what I usually think of when they are at warp---so with original series novels I generally think of the special effects we saw in the Enterprise episode "In A Mirror, Darkly).
     
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  8. Leto_II

    Leto_II Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Same here, re: warp-effects. "In a Mirror, Darkly" helped solidify that for me, re: ships at warp during the TOS era (though the remastered original-series episodes didn't use the same TNG-style that ENT retroactively did).
     
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  9. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, it's one of the things I loved about that episode when reading original series novels. It made it easier to visualize original series ships with more modern effects.

    While I loved the remastered episodes, I have to admit I was a bit disappointed they didn't update the warp effect. I think they wanted to retain the original intent, but I wouldn't have minded one or two upgrades ;)
     
  10. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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  11. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    I have to admit I read the review he posted before starting the book without considering that. But I didn't feel it ruined anything. And it did note at the top that it's a spoiler free review. There's very broad information in it but nothing that gives anything away.
     
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  12. AutoAdmin

    AutoAdmin Machine of Death Administrator

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    A new news article has been published at TrekToday:

    Star Trek: The Original Series: The Captain’s Oath by Christopher L. Bennett THE STORY: “Set during the original series era, Star Trek:...

    Continue reading...
     
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  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Spoiler alert: Kirk gets command of the Enterprise. ;)
     
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  14. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    Ah man. You totally ruined the ending now :wah:

    ....or the beginning since the novel starts with that :lol:
     
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  15. Little_kingsfan

    Little_kingsfan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Another good job, Christopher. I liked all of the cameos and name drops (including those in the quotes at the top of the chapters) - it was fun to see just how many of them I knew off the top of my head (I got the Federation Councillor from the 2160s, the future Captain of the U.S.S. Hypatia, Worene's species) and how many I needed to look up (I didn't recognize the U.S.S. Kongo's captain, for instance). I also liked how you mentioned that Kirk knew how to have a good time during shore leave but once he was back aboard his ship, that was it, and I laughed out loud alongside Sherev when Spock - 15 days into their working relationship - thought that Kirk was as logical and dispassionate as himself (at least on duty) due to his rigorous command discipline. And her follow up comment on Vulcans and their need for logic to control their own passions made complete and total sense and I'm surprised that it took so long to be articulated like that.

    You also came up with two great Executive Officers for Kirk on the U.S.S. Sacagewa, Commanders Mehran Egdor and Eshu Adebayo; the former was a good foil for Kirk, the ambitious Starfleet officer with almost two decades of service feeling passed over because his Captain - the youngest officer to ever sit in the center seat - may have/almost certainly benefited from unconscious bias and privilege, and the latter a fifty-year veteran who was fine with teaching young Starfleet captains how to command ships (I definitely felt like Cmdr. Adebayo and Cmdr. Lorna Simon from Capt. April's Enterprise were cut from the same cloth and were probably even peers and/or friends).
     
  16. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Oh well... I will still keep on reading it.
     
  17. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    I'm about 3 chapters in and yes, it has a far different feel than Enterprise: The First Adventure. The Captain Kirk in that story actually reminded me a lot of Chris Pine's Kirk in Star Trek (2009) (though when Kirk reflected on his actions in E: TFA a bit of the responsible Kirk did manage to peak through).

    He actually reminds me a bit of the early Kirk portrayed in the My Brother's Keeper trilogy--in that trilogy Kirk was the straight laced, responsible one and Mitchell was the one goading him to think more outside the box. Things between that series and this novel may not fit nicely from a storyline perspective (for instance Kirk hadn't encountered the Klingons in MBK until he had command of the Enterprise--though I suppose some elements from the Republic and Constitution novels may still fit). But when it comes to the characterization of Kirk it has a similar 'feeling' for lack of a better word.

    Christopher has said he really didn't look to MBK for background since it didn't really fit the story he wanted to tell. But it's interesting to see he and Michael Jan Friedman had what I call a similar feel for Kirk in those early days. It might just be a simple case that the two of them used similar source information or at least interpreted what little information we had about young Kirk in a similar fashion, which of course is not really uncommon.

    I'm sort of glad I read MBK back a year or so ago and recall much of that trilogy, and even E:TFA recently. I love doing comparing and contrasting of novels by different authors that cover a similar period. It's interesting to see how each author interprets things and what similarities may arise in 2 different stories. Vonda McIntyre was definitely coming at Kirk from the more brash young captain angle, someone who even argued with his superiors, where Friedman seemed to come of it more from the 'stack of books with legs' angle as noted by Gary Mitchell in WNMHGB. I think we already know where this novel will come at a young Captain Kirk based on just the acknowledgments.
     
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  18. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I really liked this book and Kirk is alot like he was portrayed in my Brother's keeper trilogy straitlaced and didn't take risks like Gary did in this book at first.But you see Kirk taking more risks and you cheer him on when it comes helping aliens that are in danger and helps them despite the Prime directive was the right choice. I really liked that Gary Mitchell and McCoy friendship with Kirk is portrayed in this book.And how the Prime directive is a complex and troublesome in more than one situation in this book.I don't want to spoil the book for anyone just starting to read this book. But I voted outstanding.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019
  19. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Side note: Wasn't Kirk's first command supposed to be the Lydia Sutherland?
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Kirk's first command has been given a different name in every work that mentions it. In DC Annual #1 it was the Saladin (from the Star Fleet Technical Manual, though depicted as a Baton Rouge-class ship from the Spaceflight Chronology). In Enterprise: The First Adventure it was the Lydia Sutherland (named for two ships Horatio Hornblower commanded). In DC Vol. 2 #74 "Star-Crossed Part 2," it was the Miranda-class Oxford. And in The Autobiography of James T. Kirk, it had another Hornblower-inspired name, the Hotspur.

    My choice of a Hermes-class Sacagawea was an indirect nod to Mike Barr's Saladin, since the Hermes and Saladin classes in the SFTM are nearly the same (differing only in armament and mission specialization), and the names are similar too. But I wanted a name that honored an explorer rather than a warrior.