Past Prologue

Book 3 of The Janus Gate Trilogy

L. A. Graf

reviewed by Diane Doyle

This novel is the third and last book in the Janus Gate Trilogy. It resolves all plot threads developed in the previous two volumes. The novel begins with Captain Kirk having been transported to his own past; i.e. a Starfleet embassy on planet Grex where his father was stationed when a Grexian civil war was taking place. He encounters his father and introduces himself as Captain Forrester. At that time, his father is looking for the 14-year-old version of Kirk. The reader learns much about Kirk’s memories of the events as he returned to his past.

Kirk’s crew is trying to return the teenaged version of him back to his original time and place. They are working against a deadline imposed by the Shechenag who want the Enterprise and its crew to leave within ten hours since use of the Janus Gate would destroy the time line even further. The survey crew and their rescuers, along with the older versions of himself and Chekov and the younger version of Kirk, return to the Enterprise via shuttlecraft. Once there, they analyze the data obtained on Tlaoli to learn more about the Shechenag and the Janus Gate so that they can accomplish their objectives. The novel includes several scenes where Ensign Chekov shows young Kirk around the ship that he later is to command.

Eventually, Spock, Security Chief Giotto, both Chekovs, both Sulus and several other crewmembers return to Tlaoli to try and return young Kirk home. The process results in sending young Kirk, the older Chekov, the older Sulu, and Giotto back to the past. The rest of the novel centers on Kirk’s adventures in the past, along with the attempts of his crew on Tlaoli to bring him back home, and the resolution of all plot threads.

Like the two previous volume in the series, Book Three was a satisfying read, with much action, adventure, and suspense. It was interesting to see the interaction between Kirk and his father, along with the traumatic events from his teen years. The novel was also a delight to fans of Uhura as she helped translate the writings from the caves on Tlaoli. Fans of Chekov and Sulu would be happy with seeing both an older and younger version of them, along with the interplay between them.

This novel cannot really stand alone but must be read as part of the trilogy. One criticism of Book 3 is the fact that the description on the jacket did not correspond with the actual story. This is a similar criticism that applied to Book 1. However, that is an error more likely attributed to the editorial staff at Pocket Books rather than the author.

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