Star Trek: The Captain’s Daughter (1995) – Peter David

Space, the final frontier…

It’s been a while since I’ve read a classic Trek novel from Simon & Schuster, but like an old friend you just fall right back into conversation with, I dove wholeheartedly into the next novel in the series, The Captain’s Daughter, and enjoyed every minute of it.

This was definitely an adventure to get me back into Trek novels. Set after the opening events of Star Trek: Generations, Captain Hikaru Sulu is shocked to learn that his daughter, Demora Sulu, the helmsperson of the Enterprise-B under the command of Captain Harriman has been killed by friendly fire.

I was rather shocked when I read that and wasn’t quite sure how the tale would play out. Not to mention that I was a little cheesed that a character like Demora would be killed off so haphazardly.

Harriman was responsible for the death of Demora, and that will bring him into conflict not only with Sulu but with Chekov and Uhura as well. Sulu is gutted by the loss of Demora, coming so close on the heels of the death of James Kirk, and despite Harriman quarantining the planet of her death, Sulu is determined to discover what killed his daughter.

The story moves back and forth through time, introducing us to Demora’s mother, Demora’s life with Sulu, her reactions to the adventures that Sulu and the crew of the Enterprise find themselves on, and her own choices for her life.

I got quite swept up in this one, and despite knowing that whatever was responsible for Demora (and her history) would only apply to this one novel, there’s a real sweep to it, and it’s an involving story.

We’re seeing Sulu and the rest dealing with their own mortality, and being a parent.

In fact, a large portion of the novel’s themes have to do with parents and their children, the legacy they leave behind, and the adventures they discover for themselves.

The Captain’s Daughter was immensely enjoyable, and I could hear and see the characters in my head, David has a great handle on them, and also layers in enough continuity and references to make the story feel like it’s part of a larger tapestry.

It’s been a long time since I’ve boldly gone with the crew of the original Enterprise, now moving on to their own ships and lives after the loss of Kirk. Sulu is aboard the Excelsior with Rand (and though we didn’t know it at the time, so he’s not really mentioned, Tuvok), and Harriman is commanding the Enterprise, afraid of how history will remember his captaincy – the death of Kirk, and a Sulu.

It’s a well-written tale, and this was just what I needed.

Check out The Captain’s Daughter, and other classic Star Trek tales from Simon & Schuster, and boldy go.

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