The Captain's Oath

Star Trek: The Original Series
Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
Length: 11 hrs and 58 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (215 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An all-new novel based upon Star Trek: The Original Series, featuring Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the Starship Enterprise!

©2019 Christopher L. Bennett (P)2019 Simon & Schuster

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Star Trek prequel done right!

This book is simply amazing. It actually covers a range of inter-related stories that, together, tell us Kirk's early history as a starship captain before taking command of the Enterprise as we see in the first TV series. The author clearly did thorough research (besides being a fan) and as usual, the narrator's performance is superb. The story manages to have fan service but isn't overrun by it, doesn't have to bend over backwards to incorporate it. In short, it's one of the best books of this line.

9 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Takes politics too far

I love Trek enough that I can usually ignore the political undertones, but this particular books takes it too far. I read fiction, because I love it and it’s an escape. I don’t read fiction to be lectured to by either side of the political spectrum. I couldn’t finish this one.

4 people found this helpful

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It's like the DNC wrote an episode of Trek.

1st and foremost, the way the story is structured is like a bunch of short stories stitched together into a novel. The timetable is all over the place and it can get a bit confusing.
Second, the author is either woefully ignorant of the lore or went out of his way to redefine the most iconic captain in all of the star trek mythos. He painted Kirk as a creature of duty whose adherence to regulation would have rivaled the biggest authoritarians in Star Fleet. That is so far from the truth of the character that we all know and love. 1 Kirk was lazy and cunning and didn't find it beneath him to cheat himself out of what others would see as a no win situation. All things considered, the author's depiction of Gary Mitchell was actually closer to the Kirk that we know.
Finally, the largest complaint I have about this book by far is how preachy it is from cover to cover. Addressing every hot button issue that you can find on any main stream news network, it reads like a copy of the Sunday edition of this Washington Post. Human privilege, global warming, immigration... Hell, the author even managed to shoehorn in a couple of sentences about how evil America was and referred to a patriotic military officer as a nazi.
Don't get me wrong, I fully understand that an author or artists values are going to shine through in their work, but Between the butchery of the lore and the clunky execution, it was just lazy writing. What we have here is an activist that saw an opportunity to use a beloved scifi franchise as a platform for political propaganda.
Save your money and don't bother but this one.

9 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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seems too political.

Too many political rants mixed in the story. I just want to escape politics and enjoy a good story.

7 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Wasted Opportunity

With the exception of the David Mack/Dayton Ward series of Star Trek novels, the original series novels over the past few years have been mediocre disappointments. This novel continues that tradition. The story of Kirk's command before the Enterprise should be an interesting one, but instead it's a mish-mash of events strung together in a non-linear order. The narrative flips back and forth between past and present with overlapping characters so it's easy to lose your place. Also within the story is a morality tale so ham-fisted that it comes across like it was written by a political action group.

I wish Audible would go back and adapt the Original Series novels from the beginning of the Pocket Books run when they were fun, exciting, and took chances. The more recent books have been as cringe-worthy as the new television series.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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WELL-DONE!

I really enjoyed the tribute to the original series. Would like seeing the author add more stories. Nice to hear more about Mitchell and Kelso. Seeing Kirk and Spock work together early was nice, as was the story with Kirk and McCoy. Star Trek: The Original Series has always been my favorite - Without that, there's no 50-plus years of a an entertainment legend. Solid narration, too! How about an encore? :-)

11 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Too introspect for me

I've been a Star Trek fan since it came to television in 1966. This isn't the Jim Kirk I know.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Not just an origin story

While some may feel that Trek prequels are being run into the ground, this is a notable highlight amongst them all while still being its own independent story. There are two intertwined A and B stories (more like two segments in the timeline) that come together to create a nice history of Kirk and the gang just before and just after he becomes captain of the enterprise. Yes, you can probably guess the ending to everything fairly easily, and there is yet another eye roll worthy attempt to have a Trump character inserted at one point, but this is none the less one of the most entertaining Star Trek books to come out in the past year or two, and Robert Petkoff is once again brilliant as he always is.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Some parts good, some too sjw

Too many places got a little bonk bonk on the head with current SJW issues and came off preachy. Which is too bad, because the story lines weren't bad.

6 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Seemed like a story for kids

I don’t know why the author felt the need to get political, but this book comes across as too preachy in places. Random LGBTQ references, white privilege, calling anyone that pushes back on open borders closed-minded nativists. Geeze, we get it.

Setting that aside, I could overlook that stuff for a good tale, but the story seemed too unsophisticated at times, like it was written for a young adult audience. The dialogue was incredibly wooden, and stilted - the author felt like he had to explain everything, and did so using speech and internal monologues that seemed cheesy, and unrealistic. Something else that annoyed me is that the author constantly referenced in-universe characters and situations, and felt the need to explain every inconsistency that anyone has ever noted with any Star Trek episode, and these elements were almost entirely ancillary to the story...it’s like the author wanted to slide explanations into the record.

Save your credit, this is one you can skip without missing anything.

29 people found this helpful

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  • Martin
  • 06-04-19

Not the greatest, okay for fans

Although I don't hit the conventions and the like, I pretty much get any Star Trek book that comes out on Audible. Sometimes bringing a new angle to some characters that have been around a while can be a challenge, but there's obviously a market for these.

Its a recognised style, which | first ran into with Katherine Kerr's Deverry series to provide a breadth and depth to things by describing different periods of time, switching from one to another. It can be great when its well done but as a mechanism it can have its pitfalls as well.

In this you'll find a depiction of James T Kirk in his early career across a few different time zones as he develops as a captain. Its all well put together and for fans it can be seen as informative or interesting detail that fills out the character. It hands together well enough as that.

But I would say it doesn't really engage as an adventure or an overall story, as any sort of 'edge of the seat' entertainment. While its interesting to know the back story of some characters, it is largely back story and not enough story.

So nothing horrible but nothing to write home about either.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • The Spirit
  • 10-08-19

Restored my faith in Star Trek

I absolutely over this book. To paraphrase Chancellor Azetbur in Star Trek VI - "Christopher Bennett, you have restored my faith in Star Trek."

Refusing to entangle itself in the post-Berman era of modern Trek this is an unashamed revisiting of the early career of James T. Kirk and is filled with fascinating new (and old!) characters and exciting stories. This is Star Trek as it should be. I can't recommend it highly enough. Thank you, Christopher L. Bennett. LLAP.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kieran Horgan
  • 07-17-19

The early years of Captain Kirk

I enjoyed this book, great story and great characters, I especially enjoyed hearing about the other commands of Kirk and how different he was before he captained the enterprise. The mistake he made in his early commands and how he dealt with his first losses of life. This is a very good book and I would recommended it to any Si-Fi fans

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • H Fishgrinder
  • 06-30-19

A blast from the past

It's just like stepping back in time to the 60's having new stories of the original Enterprise is a wonderful nostalgia trip, well written good storyline, a must for the Star Trek fan.