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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on May 14, 2004
After reading many Star Trek books throughout the years, it amazes me the number of stories that can supposedly occur between episodes shown on TV and film. This story by William Shatner takes place between ST VII Generations and ST VIII First Contact. It is an engaging, but not particularly exceptional story of what happens after Jean-Luc Picard buries the legendary James Tiberius Kirk in a cairn of rocks on Veridian III. Without spoiling too much (the title gives it away anyway) Kirk is returned to life, and leads another adventure against a Romulan-Borg plot to destroy the Federation. I found some of the characterizations of the main characters, particularly Spock, Kirk, Picard, and Riker to be rather one-dimensional and shallow, but overall the book was a good read and better appreciated if you forgive certain inconsistencies of character and implausible scenarios (like Kirk's confrontation with Worf). Best read if you are killing time (like waiting for a flight) or by the beach/poolside.
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on December 3, 2003
"The Return" is simply the most inventive and creative of the "Shatnerverse" novels I've read so far. This opinion is quite apparently a shared one considering that out of all of the Star Trek novels I've read and reviewed so far, "The Return" has the distinction of having the most reviews on Amazon that I've seen for a Star Trek novel so far.
From the very beginning of this novel to the end, you will find yourself enthralled and captivated by the story. William Shatner, quite obviously did not want himself to be completely torn away from the Star Trek universe and with this novel, his resurrection in the twenty fourth century, he quite literally guaranteed himself a continued and long life after the events in Star Trek "Generations," where we may never see the great Captain Kirk on screen again.
Although I'd say for us, the average reader, we may never know where the line of distinction is drawn between William Shatner's writing and his collaborators, Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens. In the end though, I've noticed that while their books are very good on their own, when combined with William Shatner, their stories seem to come alive. The premise, plot setup and overall pacing for this novel are all nothing less than stunning.
The cover art for "The Return" is quite exciting; I especially like the quote on the cover, "Legends never die..." I distinctly remember when seeing the cover for this novel for the first time, being excited that James Tiberius Kirk would be making some kind of return after being lost at the end of "Generations."
The premise:
Simply put, Captain James Tiberius Kirk will always find a way to cheat death! After the extraordinary events depicted in his first "Shatnerverse" novel, "The Ashes of Eden," and his disappearance, return and then eventual "death" at the end of "Generations," there would simply "have" to be a way for him to Return...
As Spock stood upon a rocky crag over the raised mound of rocks which entombed his life long friend, he heard a battle going on in the distance and not long thereafter, he heard the distinct sound of a transporter and saw the raised mound of rock crumble in upon itself. In that moment, he knew that in some way or another, his friend had once again cheated death...
What follows from there is, as stated above, nothing less than one of the most spectacular, intriguing and enthralling thrill rides of a Star Trek novel to have been written to date. Throw in Starfleet, the Borg, the Romulans and a very healthy dose of inventiveness and you've got Star Trek "The Return" by William Shatner and the husband and wife writing team of Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens.
As an additional note, the audio tape version of this novel is just as wonderful as the actual novel, albeit a much shortened version. William Shatner does an outstanding job of reading it. He apparently didn't know how to pronounce Cardassians though.
I highly recommend this novel to any and all fans of Star Trek fiction! {ssintrepid}
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on December 3, 2003
Having read this, and all of Shatner's books several times over (save for Captain's Peril and Captains Blood), I can honestly say that it's a triumph for Shatner, and he should be proud to have written this.
And Yes! He did write this, I find it almost insulting that anyone can say that he did not write it, I have had the pleasure of reading all of his books, and throughout there is a definate sense of style that accopmanies his writing that could not have been duplicated. Yes, he employs two accomplished writers to help him keep track of all of the developing Trek lore, and why not, Shatner is a writer, but that doesn;t mean that he can keep track of all of the different stories unfolding in the Trek universe, the way that a lot of fans can. So whoever you are, and you know who you are! Stop it! Let someone have the respect for their accomplishments they deserve!!!
Tho book itself, revolves around how Kirk is brought back from the dead, to face new challenges. The way in which this is done is revolutionary and inspiring. The Borg-Romulan Alliance is a main part of the flow, and to see Kirk and Spock Manipulated by them in such a way is wonderful story telling.
But it is in the books' ability to make the reader want to believe in these events, because they mesh so well with canon trek, that is truely amazing. I have heard it sadi that there is always a 'reset' button at the end of each book. All I can say is, good. I don't want the stories told by Shatner to shattered because he didn't leave himself a get out clause. The way it is told allows us to have Trek on TV, Shatner in boks, and no conflict.
Based on what I have read so far, Paramount would do well to make Shatner's entrie series of books, or which there are now 8 in total, into a series for TV, they would find I think that Their Ratings would go through thew roof.
Any one who is reading this, may think that I am just a Fan who is Biased, but this is not the case, I have other interests, but I hate to see an author being run down, jsut because they are able to surprise their audience with a good book every now and again.
Thanks for your time.
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on November 21, 2002
William Shatner is a power-tripping, egotistical, buffoon. He's a terrible actor, director, producer, and writer. Don't get me wrong--he's also one of the most purely entertaining minds in Hollywood today. And this is clearly the funniest book in the entirety of human history.
"The Return" is classic Trek. It has a melodramatic plot literally covered stem to stern with plot holes that you could drive whole stars through. The entire premise itself is terribly flawed. What possible tactical advantage could ressurecting a 70 year dead minor footnote in history have? The book is clearly about what Shatner can get away with.
That's why its the funniest book in all history. Shatner thumbs his nose at Star Trek fans accross the board--while at the same time creating the ultimate mold no other Star Trek writer can ever aspire to. With this book Shatner has created the ultimate self-insertion fan-fiction. Kirk comes back from the dead then proceeds to show the entire galaxy who's boss, despite the fact that he's been dead for the majority of the past 60 or so years.
The plot is rediculous, the story is seamlessly integrated into the known Trek mythos, Kirk conquers the universe and Picard dressed up like a ninja. What more could you possibly want out of literature!?
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on April 12, 2001
Many were ultimately grieve-stircken to see Captian Kirk get killed at the end of "Star Trek Generations," but rest assure that Kirk is alive and well even if we don't see him in any new movie or any of the other Star Trek shows! Having made an uneasy alliance, the Borg and the Romulans have brought Kirk back from the dead to kill Captain Jean-Luc Picard! And it falls not only to Ambassador Spock, but the crew of the "Next Generation" as well to stop all chaos from happening! Not only do you have the orignal Star Trek crew teamed up again with the "Next Generation" Shatner also brings in the crew of "Deep Space Nine" as well! Look for Quark and Dr. Bashir in this novel! Not only is the story action-packed, but it also ties up some lose ends with the movies and episodes of Star Trek as well! If you are a die-hard Star Trek fan, then you'll know what I mean when you read this novel! It was a wise move for Shatner to team-up again with co-writers Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens for this novel (look for the trio's wrok in their other novel: "Star Trek: The Ashes of Eden")! Long live William shatner and Captain James Tiberius Kirk!
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on March 18, 2001
Normally I read fantasy. In fact I really haven't read a Sci Fi book since Star Wars Last Command back in 94. The first half of the book seemed slow. took me 16 days to get to the middle. Then 1 day to read the next half. I loved the book (and the series. I've read Ashes of eden , Generations(not a shatner book, but helps you get reaquanted before reading this book) and of course The Return all within a month. I'm about to start on The Avenger (I've got the entire series, the last four books I got thru SFBC, as the hardcover quickly go out of print). But for now, I think Ashes of Eden was more fun to read than The Return. Even at that, Shatner actually made if fun to read about The Borg, even though I've never been a fan of em. In fact, I chose the Shatner series at the first Trek books I've ever read. My biggest complaint is what happens to Tellani at the end of the final book so far in Preserver. I can't say what happens cause I'll spoil it. But those who have read it will know what I'm talking about. (so I cheated..) (I also just heard, that three more books are to be written in the shatner trek books, so let's see, what is that ? 9 books. :)
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on March 15, 2001
"The Return" is the second star trek novel written by William Shatner and Judith & Garfield Reeves Steves.
It follows the book "The Ashes of Eden" and isn't necessarily quite as good, but comes close.
The writing holds perfectly, once again implying that Shatner is a far better writer than an actor.
The plot is also well constructed. Not perfect, but holds well.
The book is written in a way that makes it feel like a motion picture, a style the writers seemes to prefer and they use it damn well. This is one of the reasons I can say that "The return" is definitely better than First Contact.
I do admit though, that te new Shatner books are a bit commercial. People didn't want to see Kirk die, so the Pocked Books desited to take advantage of that. Too bad you can see it so clearly while reading.
Fortunately the book answeres some questions that have been in the fans' minds for a long time.
There are some continuity problems however, but they aren't too aparent. And note, that I hate everything even slightly non-canon. A good book, wich I recomend to everyone.
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on October 25, 2000
With all the publicity William Shatner has had about his STAR TREK career, namely a Prima-Donna attitude towards his role and importance to the legend of ST, I find this book a breath of fresh air into a business that was going stale. William Shatner built a great beginning into this work. Imagine Spock, himself a resurrection alumi, seeing Jim's lighted-from-within grave collapse. That bee-buzz of transporter-effect must have paralyzed even his Vulcan mind as he tried to pull a logical 'what the hell is going on' from the scene. The last we saw of James T. Kirk was as a dead hero with Jean Luc Picard In GENERATIONS. But remember, Kirk's own prediction- "I'll die alone"- was not fulfilled. We cannot imagine such a forecast as this going unheeded by the STAR TREK guardians. The body of this offering is an insightful look into a part of JTK's personal legend as well as an introduction to a driven side of the character only glimpsed before. There is more to come. Any reader of mine knows I leave the details to you but love to cut to the purpose. No different here . Read THE RETURN and following books by Willim Shatner. After all, he IS Kirk.
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on October 24, 2000
After seeing Star Trek V the Final Frontier I was almost turned off by the thought of seeing ANYTHING Trek ever again...and guess what?? William Shatner wrote the script! It was impossibly, horribly bad...MY vote as the worst of the 'Trek movies'. Okay, leapfrog with me if you will a few years and now we have Shatner attempting to write novels. I have avoided these books like the plague I was certain they were mostly because of how much I detested 'Trek V'...that is until a friend of mine recommended 'The Return' to me. I was happy to pick it up, but when I saw Shatner's name on it, I immediately started to give it back, but my friend insisted that I at least give it a try. I was suffering from 'can't find a decent-book-to-read syndrome' at the time and so gave it a shot. !!WOW!! Was I surprised or WHAT? Shatner has given us one of THE most entertaining Trek stories out there. Totally chock full of action and plot twists and in general all-out fun. Now I'll tell you WHY his Trek books are so good: He is CO-writing them with THE best Trek authors out there, Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens'. Have you picked up 'Federation' yet? It is one of the ALL-TIME best Trek books ever written (along with their amazingly creative 'Prime Directive'). I'm sure the collaboration is what makes Shatner's novels actually good, but whoever is responsible for the WHY, I don't care, this is just one fun adventure to take. If Shatner IS responsible, kudos to him for a great story, if it's his co-authors I don't really care, as long as he continues to produce these great Trek stories. I would also recommend 'The Ashes of Eden' as well. It takes place in the Universe of the 'Trek of Old' with all the other major Trek characters, and is another winner of a story. All in all Shatner's Trek books stand nicely side-by-side with ANY other on the market. Peter David's 'Q Squared' is also one of THE most original stories out there as well.
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on August 19, 2000
It is well known that King William of Shatner is desperate to get back into the Star Trek franchise and one of those tight-fitting suits, so when he writes a book mapping out Kirk's return it seems a litte fantasy-riddled. It is. And it is great! The plot comes straight after the movie Generations left it, The Enterprise-D is being scraped-up off of the surface of that stupid planet it crashed into by a small Federation recovery team led by Riker - they are attacked by The Romulan's, Kirk's freshly dug grave is unsettled (damn! Picard spent ages putting that together) and his body stolen. It soon becomes apparent that The Borg are in line with The Romulan's and that Kirk, now brought back to life with Borg implants, is going to lead the invasion forced that conquers Earth. Locutus-T-Kirk (as he likes to be called) goes head-to-head with the Enterprise in a cracking novel that will not end in the vulnerable heart of the Federation, Earth, like you would expect, but instead will end on the deadly homeworld of The Borg! Amazing!
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