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Once Burned: The Captain's Table #5
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Once Burned: The Captain's Table #5 (Star Trek: The Captain's Table #5)

3.99  ·  Rating Details  ·  568 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
There's a bar called "The Captain's Table," where those who have commanded mighty vessels of every shape and era can meet, relax, and share a friendly drink or two with others of their calling. Sometimes a brawl may break out but it's all in the family, more or less. Just remember, the first round of drinks is always paid for with a story...even in Thallonian space.
Six y
ebook, 288 pages
Published August 23rd 2002 by Pocket Books/Star Trek (first published October 1st 1998)
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This is one of the best Star Trek novels that I ever read!


This book is positioned in a solid 5th place, in my very personal top list of Star Trek novels that I have read, and I still can't imagine something able to make it to lose its high position.

Sadly, it's very likely that a lot of Trekkers and sci-fi fans haven't read it.

Since it's part of the event The Captain's Table (a book event where Star Trek Captains go to a certain kinda-mystical bar a
Aug 12, 2010 Dianah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek, 100-books
How unobservant am I? I realized 72 pages into the fifth book in the Captain’s Table series that each cover has a picture of the author of that book. Does that look like I imagine Captain Calhoun? No, but that is a pretty good rendering of Peter David in the background. I double checked this hypothesis with Dujonian's Hoard and that’s Michael Jan Friedman hovering in the back. I don’t know what the other authors look like, but you can pick out people in the other covers who look like they might ...more
Chris McCown
Mar 17, 2010 Chris McCown rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 14, 2011 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek, fiction
This book has a much darker tone than the preceding ones in the New Frontier series. Rather than a flavor of quirky humor and enthralling action, this book is instead infused with anguish and foreboding. Captain Calhoun here tells the story of what he perceives as his biggest failure, a time when he was caught up in a heartbreaking series of events. His wounds and regrets are still raw years later. But David handles this more brutal tone fearlessly, and presents an honest look at a complex unspo ...more
David Palazzolo
Easily the most introspective of all the New Frontier books so far, this 7th entry also suffers from the most problems--not all of which could be anticipated by Peter David at the time of writing. The book's main failures stem in part from the fact that it ran a little long and is somewhat inconsistent with the set up presented in Fire On High. Also, as bad as things got, I don't think what happened could inspire such internal angst in Mackenzie Calhoun, particularly when one considers all of Ma ...more
One of the better entries in this series - a little less humourous, a lot more more heart-rending. It's one of the saddest books in the Star Trek universe.
Ben Kidd
Mar 10, 2014 Ben Kidd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Star Trek Fans
One of the greatest Star Trek Novels ever written... Probably not great if you are not a Star Trek fan but the themes are still great.
This book had both the strength and the weaknesses I have come to expect from the series. On the one hand its action is a fun thrill ride, Calhoun is Bond in space, effortless and capable and FUN. However, sometimes the pacing feels off, a great amount of time will be spent on detailing smaller plot points (in my opinion) and not enough spent on developing all of the characters that people the story; there were several people whose importance I simply forgot. However the ending was definitely a ...more
Mar 26, 2015 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps the best of the "Captain's Table" that I've read so far, this one didn't play around too much between the tale told by the captain vs a separate tale centered around the bar and the telling of the first. Also it helps that this captain doesn't exist as an actor on TV or film, so when you have his POV you don't have an established interpretation and seasons worth of material playing in your head looking for consistency. Finally, Peter David simply can write well for this kind of no frills ...more
I really liked this book. Yes, the constant hinting about the horrible thing that happened on the Grissom in M'k'n'z's secret past was somewhat intriguing/annoying, but this is just about the best answer that question could get.

Because yeah, sometimes bad things happen. Everyone has a breaking point. Knowing that and not being horribly disillusioned by it are two different things. I like Mackenzie Calhoun a lot, and this is a great piece of backstory that really fleshes out his character.
Markus Korpela
Jul 27, 2011 Markus Korpela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'll be damned, if this just wasn't one of the best Star Trek books I've ever read. Loved the dark tone of it, and just loved how these books (and later series) keep shattering that over-optimistic utopia, that Gene Roddenberry envisioned. Make no mistake, I consider Roddenberry genius, and love TOS, but let's be honest. UFP and it's people would never be perfect. There would be grief and suffering. Just like in this book.

Best of New Frontier so far. And then, unto the next one.
Oct 01, 2014 K rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jacque Hodges (Carter)
I'm not familiar with McKenzie Calhoun but I enjoyed his story. Kind of brutal in places (that's not the reason I liked it:-). I've been sucked in to all the Star Trek penned by Peter David, so far.

Calhoun quoted Kirk a lot and seemed to try to emulate him but in a no conscience sort of way. He was a rogue, but not a likeable one, in my humble opinion. I'll have to read more about him. Maybe I'll change my opinion of him.
May 26, 2012 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek
The title is a mouthful, but Peter David comes through with this first-person tale told by Captain Mackenzie Calhoun. The Captain’s table format gives both David and his character an opportunity to tell a very personal story. I found it entertaining. You can find PAD among the crowd of the cover art.

Published in mass-market paperback by Pocket Books.
3.5 stars. Peter David is one of my favorite Star Trek writers. This was a good adventure story. The "Captain's Table" concept, however is really kinda dumb and forced throughout the whole series.

This was my first Mackenzie Calhoun book, but I'd be willing to read more of the adventures of Captain Calhoun and the starship Excalibur.

Dec 30, 2008 Darrell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was amazing. If you are curious about Captain Calhoun and his past, then read this one. It tells the tale of his eatly strfleet days and how he had to go against his captain's orders. Really great!!!
Benjamin Plume
Jul 30, 2011 Benjamin Plume rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent, like all of the New Frontier installments I've read. Peter David always brings an excitement to Trek novels that a lot of the authors can't manage.
Shannon Appelcline
The best New Frontier book of the first several (though it didn't appear in that series). Great characterization and backstory of Mac.
Dec 03, 2007 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
having read about 30 some star trek book, this is the only one I would actully say was good
Will Seith
Will Seith marked it as to-read
Jun 18, 2016
Michelle Hanson
Michelle Hanson marked it as to-read
Jun 14, 2016
Jay Wollman
Jay Wollman rated it really liked it
Jun 13, 2016
Erik Plossl
Erik Plossl marked it as to-read
Jun 09, 2016
Jennifer marked it as to-read
Jun 07, 2016
Mariam aka MiMi
Mariam aka MiMi marked it as to-read
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Jun 03, 2016
Daniel Colson
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Rhianna Neel marked it as to-read
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Dave Wood rated it really liked it
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aka David Peters

Peter Allen David (often abbreviated PAD) is an American writer, best known for his work in comic books and Star Trek novels. David often jokingly describes his occupation as "Writer of Stuff". David is noted for his prolific writing, characterized by its mingling of real world issues with humor and references to popular culture. He also uses metafiction frequently, usually to humo
More about Peter David...

Other Books in the Series

Star Trek: The Captain's Table (7 books)
  • War Dragons (Star Trek: The Captain's Table,  #1)
  • Dujonian's Hoard (Star Trek: The Captain's Table, #2)
  • The Mist (Star Trek: The Captain's Table, #3)
  • Fire Ship (Star Trek: The Captains Table, #4)
  • Where Sea Meets Sky (Star Trek: The Captain's Table, #6)
  • The Captain's Table Omnibus

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