Sunday, 6 January 2013
Star Trek: Best Destiny - Diane Carey
Title: Best Destiny
Author: Diane Carey
“Best Destiny” by Diane Carey is the latest novel I have read as part of my Star Trek Reading Challenge and it is more or less a sequel to “Final Frontier”, another of Carey’s novels which I previously reviewed here. Whilst there is a basic framing story based around an attempt to rescue another Starfleet ship by the soon to be retired James T. Kirk, the main portion of the story follows the antics of a young 16 year old Jimmy Kirk. As a teenager Kirk has a lot of pent up anger against his father and seems destined to for a life of gangs and crime. However, Kirk’s father decides to make one final attempt at “rescuing” his son and takes him on a voyage aboard the Enterprise which is currently under the command of Captain Robert April.
This supposedly safe journey to an archaeological dig on the planet Faramond soon turns out to be anything but safe. Whilst journeying to the planet aboard a shuttlecraft Captain April and those alongside him which includes the Kirks find themselves under attack by an unknown assailant and end up fighting for their lives. As the crew tries to survive, the young Kirk learns the meaning of teamwork, discipline and finally begins to understand his father.
Carey, really has done another brilliant job in capturing some of the earlier aspects of Kirk’s saga and I found that this book compliments “Final Frontier” superbly. The novel has action and tension aplenty but the primary focus of the novel is an interesting character study that examines Kirk’s change from a teenage tearaway into the young adult who would later become a legendary hero. The change that Kirk has undertaken is masterfully highlighted in the framing story where we see him face off against a foe from his youth who failed to learn from his past mistakes.
As always with Trek novels it does help to know the characters already but I actually think this is one of those novels that could have worked easily outside of the Trek Universe. Therefore as long as you know the basics about the main characters then you should be more than able to read and enjoy the book. Carey also keeps the technobabble limited and when she does include it there are some good explanations due to Kirk being young and new to space and therefore needs it explained himself. Therefore no one should get lose trying to understand what various technologies re being used for.
Overall, this is another enjoyable book from Carey that takes a look at the earlier years of Kirk’s life and I found it highly interesting to see why Kirk became the type of person he did. It really is a must read for all fans of Star Trek and I can’t recommend it highly enough as a real showcase of what Star Trek literature can and should be.