Author Diane Carey pens a follow-up to her novel, The Final Frontier, as we head out into space again with Captain Robert April (a character I’ve quite grown to like through his appearances in The Animated Series, and the novels), of the U.S.S. Enterprise, George Kirk, and Kirk’s sixteen year old, problem-filled teen, Jimmy Kirk.
With a framing story set almost immediately after the events of The Undiscovered Country we are treated to a nice perspective on Kirk, and a life-defining event that allowed him to become the captain he would be as he left the angst and anger of his teen years behind.
George Kirk has some problems with his son, Jimmy. The youngster blames him for leaving his family behind while he works for Starfleet, vents his anger at everyone, and is doing some questionable things, including running away, and flirting with criminal behaviour.
George calls in a favour from April, who accepts what should be a milk run mission for the Enterprise, in an attempt to expose young Jim to what the universe, and Starfleet is really like. But young Kirk hides his awe at the beautiful, and still new, Enterprise, and the wonders of the universe.
When April, Kirk, Jim, and some of the crew take a cutter to head to a nearby archaeological find, as a means to educate Jimmy, things fall apart when pirates attack, and Jim sees how a Starfleet crew work under pressure, work for each other, and something more, no matter the personal risk. He begins to reevaluate things, and himself, and before the end, he’ll begin to emulate this and some of his father’s behaviours as well.
And all of this will tie in with events happening aboard the Enterprise, about to de-commissioned, but still under the command of Captain James T. Kirk, something he may need the help of his own, elite crew to help with.
I’m not sure how I feel about Jim Kirk’s being aboard April’s Enterprise at the age of sixteen, though I do like how it ties the eras together, and it does put Kirk’s relationship with the Enterprise in a new light as well, as a connection to his father, and as trying to be worthy of her.
The tie-in with the framing story isn’t as satisfactory as I would have hoped, but I really enjoy how she writes the characters at that time in their life, and hope there is more of that to come. As well as, maybe, some more adventures with Captain April?
The Human Adventure continues, and the final frontier beckons. Boldly go…