“The Captain’s Oath” is the latest Star Trek novel by Christopher L. Bennett which explores the earlier years of James Kirk’s starship command. This novel postulates that before Kirk succeeded Captain Christopher Pike of the Starship Enterprise, he commanded the USS Sacagawea NCC-598 where he first met Dr. Leonard McCoy.
The premise here explores the growth of Kirk from an untried starship captain to the beginnings of the more familiar Starfleet legend. The novel jumps between the periods just after Kirk accepts command of the Enterprise back to his tour aboard the Sacagawea.
This turned out to be a pretty intriguing read. In his acknowledgements, Bennett seems to reference some throwaway line in the original television series which inspired this little saga. Bennett comes up with some other characters from Kirk’s past that influences his command style, and they seem to work quite well. This also explores the early days of the renowned friendship between Kirk and a certain Vulcan science officer who would come to be by his side for decades.
There have been a few other attempts to explore Kirk’s early days before audiences met him onscreen in previous novels and I would count this one of the better efforts.
My next literary port of call will be a return to the perilous streets of Los Angeles where LAPD Detective Harry Bosch discovers the secrets of “The Black Box” by Michael Connelly.