The Ashes of Eden
- William Shatner -
Shatner seems to be great at everything eh? A famous actor, apparently a musician, a producer, and (I'll attest to this) a decent writer. Oh, those crazy Canadians.
I took this book out of the library, mostly because I was looking for an easy read and Star Trek books usually meet that requirement. I'd compare them to the Western or the Harlequin Romance of the Sci-Fi section. This book seemed no different from the rest of this niche genre when I started it, you had what looked like a fairly straight forward Star Trek plot. By that, I mean Kirk falls for a breathtakingly beautiful alien being (in a tight jumpsuit), he almost gets killed yet manages to take on a couple of much stronger beings with lasers, then accepts a near impossible mission. Doesn't seem that hard to write eh?
But, there are a few twists which Shatner works into the book to create some wonderful mystery and suspense. You think it's a going to be one of those standard template stories where you know who is the enemy, who is going to die, what the mission is, and therefore, how it's going to end. Well, don't count on those things in this book.
The first deviation in this book is the initial setting. It's placed at a time when the original crew (Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, etc) are getting to retirement age. Kirk is not an active captain, not working on a ship, not doing anything worthwhile which makes him feel useless. He's depressed, even slightly desperate, and looking for an out. Being the famous Capt Kirk, trouble comes looking for him. When offered a chance to live an everlasting life with a hottie alien he jumps on board...the Enterprise.
Yes, I said, Enterprise! It's been recommissioned with the help of the new love of Kirk's life.
On the other side, a thorn in Kirk's side (some rival from the early days) is promoted to Admiral in charge of all Star Fleet. Of course, this rival has been planning on taking out Kirk for about thirty years, so, when his chance comes he goes for Kirk - his reputation, his former crew, and his life.
Loyalties are tested, motivations are questioned, the fate of the Federation is at stake...so, again, your typical Star Trek plot.
I'll leave out the ending, but, you can probably guess Kirk prevails.
I was not a big fan of the original Star Trek, I've only watched a handful of episodes. I was more of a TNG and Voyageur fan. But, the writing of this book was so good I did not feel I was grasping for character recognition. I got the gist of who Bones was or Chenkov, even though I don't know them as well as a Riker or a Worf. Shatner surprised me in how well the story flowed, how well the words flowed. There was no awkward phrasing or anything glaring bad writer.
*Today on the radio there was a story about a comic book convention. Shatner was to appear and give autographs. The catch - fans had to pay $75 for the privilege of a ten second conversation and a signed photo! The impress factor dipped drastically after hearing that!