The Ashes of Eden—A Star Trek Novel Written By William Shatner
Written By: Randy Hall
Published: Issue 15
I really enjoy discussing THE ASHES OF EDEN, the first novel written by William Shatner with collaborators Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens.
I still had the bitter taste in my mouth of Kirk's stupid death in GENERATIONS when ASHES first hit bookstore shelves, and I wondered what exactly the authors could do in a book about a character who was dead. The story began with Spock waiting on Veridian III for a Starfleet vessel to arrive and take Kirk's body back to Earth for a hero's funeral. With time on his hands, Spock thought back to the last adventure he'd shared with his captain and friend.
From there, the story moves to a time just after the conclusion of STAR TREK VI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY. Kirk is retiring from Starfleet and laments that he no longer has a purpose in life. To make matters worse, the new head of Starfleet Command is an old rival of his from their Starfleet Academy days who gets his jollies by telling "Jimbo" that he plans to use the Enterprise A for target practice in war games.
Things begin looking up when Kirk is approached by a young Klingon- Romulan woman named Teilani who asks for his help defending her home world of Chal (which is Klingon for Heaven, by the way). In return, Teilani offers to share with him that planet's most valuable resource: eternal youth.
Over the angry objections of Spock and McCoy, Kirk leaves with Teilani for Chal (on the Enterprise A, which she bought--yes, bought--from Starfleet). The only member of Kirk's "family" to go with him is, amusingly, Scotty, who wants to stay with "his" ship.
But then the new head of Starfleet Command summons Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Chekov and Sulu to his office, telling them that Kirk is on his way to take charge of the ultimate Klingon-Romulan super-weapon. He sends the group on the Excelsior to stop their former captain at all costs. Can James T. get eternal life even if it means going through his closest friends?
This book is loaded with great sequences, including Sulu finally getting to strut his stuff by winning a battle with three Klingon battle cruisers and the "final fate" of the Enterprise A.
While I love reading what I call the "Shatner et al" books, I get extra fun out of buying the audio versions, which are read by the author and have nifty background music and sound effects so that each tape or CD is the next best thing to a new Kirk movie.
And by the way, the book ends with Kirk's body being stolen from Veridian III by a mysterious spaceship, causing Spock to have an illogical thought: "Perhaps some journeys were never meant to end. There are always ... possibilities."
Rating: Highly Recommended