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Wednesday, 04. April 2007 - 18:46

“The Return” by William Shatner

Dieser Beitrag ist auch in deutsch verfügbar (empfohlen).

“The Return” is the second novel of the first Shatner-trilogy (review of the first novel) and the story plays directly after Star Trek 7. With this Shatner is going into a dangerous area, because Kirk is actually dead and he needs to create not only a good but also an authentic “future” of his alter ego. How Shatner was solving this job? You know after you read this review...

Photo of the book cover


Kirk is dead and his body is still under a stoneheap on Veridian III. The starfleet send a team to the planet to recover the remains of the Enterprise-D. But a part of this team isn't surviving this mission, because they are attacked by unkown shuttles. And after this attack, the body of Kirk is missing.

Short after Worf, LaForge and Data were also attacked by an unknown person. This person wants to know where Captain Picard is in order to kill him

During the search for the identity of the stranger and the remains of Captain Kirk all traces that Riker, Troi, Spck, Worf, Data, LaForge and Bashir(!) are finding, are pointing to the romulans – and in some way to the Borg, too...


To say it at first place: In difference to the other both Shatner novels I read, this one is the worst. That's mainly because of the really hard job to find a not too far-fetched “comeback” of Kirk. I think this challenge wasn't solved very well by the author. I believe, that's not affecting the following novels, because these are/can be good Star Trek- and primarily good Kirk-stories, but I didn't like this one. The idea of the Romulans and the Borg is too far out and unrealistic. That's almost Voyager level, you know this “Oh help, there's another species that's even more evil than the borg. What about an alliance between us and the borg?”-thing. No, the Borg would say: “Alliance is irrelevant.”

Also some of the characters are not really expressed correctly: Picard and Crusher are sometimes more than only good friends, but they didn't show this in front of others. In this book they have no problems in showing their care even in the most dangerous situations. Riker is again not really Riker, he is more like a prejudiced Picard-Fan. Okay, sometimes in the series he was, but only when the situation was really clear.

But I really like the interpretation of Data, who is fighting with the perfidies of his emotion chip. With this he's not only annoying his fellows (mainly Geordi, of course) but also makes some really loud laughs to the reader. Data at his best.

The performances of Spock, Bashir and McCoy are quite good, but the latter acted already in “Mission Farpoint” as he wouldn't live so long. Therefore I think it's a bit enforced, that McCoy is in the boat again, because no one believed, that he survived for such a long time.

The worst thing was the unkown stranger, that wants to absolutely kill Picard, though he doesn't know why. The blind hate and the abrupt change about the end of the book, appeared not really logical to me.

But in one thing one has to give his due to Shatner (respectively Gar and Judy Reeves-Stevens): The manner to quit stories is really sales-promotional, because you want to know how the story is going on. Even when it's appearing that the challenge, Shatner has made for himself by doing this ending, is not easy to solve, I'm looking forward to the last part of the trilogy.


On something about 450 pages (german version of the book) Shatner is telling his vision of the “resurrection” of Captain Kirk. I have the feeling, that his solution was a bit overkill, the main story is simply too far-fetched. But the book isn't boring or bad written, except for some to long Borg-environment-descriptions. I'm giving 2 of 5 points.

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