An accomplished, stirring tribute to a beloved sci-fi series that will captivate fans and newcomers alike.

THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JAMES T. KIRK

A faux memoir of Star Trek’s iconic Capt. James T. Kirk that draws on nearly half a century of the franchise’s history.

Star Trek, in all its various forms, has become an indelible part of the American science-fiction landscape. And while its fans may continue to debate which fictional captain was best at his or her job, its first, James Tiberius Kirk, is certainly the best known. This book, an autobiography presented in an in-universe style, covers everything from Kirk’s childhood to his disappearance from the Enterprise (as seen in the 1994 film Star Trek: Generations). There are plenty of nods and winks to the fandom—Goodman, the book’s “editor,” also wrote for Star Trek: Enterprise and penned a Star Trek–themed, Nebula Award–nominated episode of Futurama—but the references never get in the way of the storytelling. If anything, the book is refreshingly accessible; readers won’t need any knowledge of Star Trek in order to enjoy the overall tale. In fact, this book could just as easily serve as a primer to the entire franchise. Its strength lies in how it takes elements from disparate moments over the Star Trek canon and weaves them together in unexpectedly thoughtful and emotionally moving ways. For example, Kirk’s relationship (or lack thereof) with David, the son he had with old flame Dr. Carol Marcus, is a running thread throughout the book; Kirk himself is painted as a child of absent parents who didn’t want to repeat that mistake with his own son but who realized too late that he’d done just that. However, in a surprisingly touching afterword “written” by Spock, the Vulcan points out that Kirk’s regrets over not having a family were unfounded: “His children are the crew members who revered him and carry his legacy now to the limits of known space. His family lives on.”

An accomplished, stirring tribute to a beloved sci-fi series that will captivate fans and newcomers alike.

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2015

ISBN: 9781783297467

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Titan Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2015

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Nothing original, but in Hilderbrand’s hands it’s easy to get lost in the story.

BAREFOOT

Privileged 30-somethings hide from their woes in Nantucket.

Hilderbrand’s saga follows the lives of Melanie, Brenda and Vicki. Vicki, alpha mom and perfect wife, is battling late-stage lung cancer and, in an uncharacteristically flaky moment, opts for chemotherapy at the beach. Vicki shares ownership of a tiny Nantucket cottage with her younger sister Brenda. Brenda, a literature professor, tags along for the summer, partly out of familial duty, partly because she’s fleeing the fallout from her illicit affair with a student. As for Melanie, she gets a last minute invite from Vicki, after Melanie confides that Melanie’s husband is having an affair. Between Melanie and Brenda, Vicki feels her two young boys should have adequate supervision, but a disastrous first day on the island forces the trio to source some outside help. Enter Josh, the adorable and affable local who is hired to tend to the boys. On break from college, Josh learns about the pitfalls of mature love as he falls for the beauties in the snug abode. Josh likes beer, analysis-free relationships and hot older women. In a word, he’s believable. In addition to a healthy dose of testosterone, the novel is balanced by powerful descriptions of Vicki’s bond with her two boys. Emotions run high as she prepares for death.

Nothing original, but in Hilderbrand’s hands it’s easy to get lost in the story.

Pub Date: July 2, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-316-01858-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2007

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More about grief and tragedy than romance.

FRIENDS FOREVER

Five friends meet on their first day of kindergarten at the exclusive Atwood School and remain lifelong friends through tragedy and triumph.

When Gabby, Billy, Izzie, Andy and Sean meet in the toy kitchen of the kindergarten classroom on their first day of school, no one can know how strong the group’s friendship will remain. Despite their different personalities and interests, the five grow up together and become even closer as they come into their own talents and life paths. But tragedy will strike and strike again. Family troubles, abusive parents, drugs, alcohol, stress, grief and even random bad luck will put pressure on each of them individually and as a group. Known for her emotional romances, Steel makes a bit of a departure with this effort that follows a group of friends through young adulthood. But even as one tragedy after another befalls the friends, the impact of the events is blunted by a distant narrative style that lacks emotional intensity. 

More about grief and tragedy than romance.

Pub Date: July 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-385-34321-3

Page Count: 322

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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