Click Here to Order This BookThe Return

William Shatner
with Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens

reviewed by Carolyn Kaberline

As Spock waits by the grave of James T. Kirk on Veridian III so that he may accompany his friend on his final journey to earth, William Ryker and the honor guard from the Enterprise are called away because of an attack on the saucer section of the ship being salvaged some miles away. As Spock watches the skies for signs of that attack, he is aware of a darkness above him, then a light issuing forth from Kirk’s grave, and finally a collapse of the simple cairn erected to cover his friend’s remains.

When the attack is over and it is proven without a doubt that Kirk’s remains have been stolen, Spock begins a hunt for his captain whom he has never felt die. Against all logic and the arguments presented by Will Riker, he knows that Kirk is still alive and sets out to find him.

Using an ancient science long since forgotten, an alliance of Romulans and Borg bring James T. Kirk back to life with one goal in mind: To kill Jean-Luc Picard and in so doing destroy the Federation.

While all this is going on Picard and Beverly Crusher are on a secret mission to Starbase 804 which has been taken over by the Borg. As they strive to find a way to destroy the Borg, James T. Kirk, after being conditioned by Salatrel, the Romulan commander who seeks revenge on Picard, confronts members of Picard’s bridge crew in an attempt to find the location of their captain. And Kirk has a deadline to carry out his mission: The nanites and Borg implants that have restored him will also lead to his ultimate death in a matter of days.

Finally, Kirk and Picard come face to face, and it is up to Spock to sooth the friction between them through a mind meld. While McCoy, Spock and the Picard’s bridge crew watch, the two captains team up to destroy the Borg home world, a mission from which only one can return.

While this story continues the tale begun in the Ashes of Eden, it also is a top notch story in its own right with plenty of suspense to keep readers engaged. While it is hard to picture Leonard McCoy still alive and well in this future, the idea of "a third heart, new lungs ever year, and ten meters of cloned intestines writhing in my guts" seems plausible under the science of the future. While the action does move back and forth between all parties, these abrupt changes of focus do not cause problems for the reader; in fact, they fit this story perfectly. And even though the ending of the story is somewhat predictable considering the personalities of all parties, the final outcome is still unknown. It is Spock who still does not believe that Kirk is dead leaving us readers with the knowledge of "One voyage at an end. The continuing voyage far from over."

Once again the authors have come up with a tight-paced story that will keep readers wanting more. This is a must read for all.

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