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The Captain's Oath

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  294 ratings  ·  44 reviews
An all-new Star Trek adventure set during The Original Series era and featuring James T. Kirk!

The saga of James T. Kirk’s historic command of the U.S.S. Enterprise is known throughout the galaxy. But one part of the legend has barely been touched upon until now: the story of Kirk’s first starship command and the remarkable achievements by which Starfleet’s youngest captai
Paperback, 389 pages
Published May 28th 2019 by Pocket Books/Star Trek
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Exposing Captain James T. Kirks backstory from his time as commander on the USS Sacajawea and the various adventures that allows him to succeed Christopher Pike on the USS Enterprise.

Seeing all the various tasks that sees Kirk’s character evolve over the novel gives a fascinating insight into the young Starfleet Captain.

Told over very times and locations the story moves along quickly and just complex enough to keep the reader hooked.

All the supporting cast are fully fleshed out with some great c
Stephen Robert Collins
I have lost count of the number of Star Trek books I have read over last 30+ years. This is one of the better ones but it is aimed solely at the Trekers not the casual reader this really a hard pot boiler
This set first on Sacagwea Kirk's first main ship them on the Enterprise then on Vega colony well get idea & also jumps times too. Here we hear about cloud entry , the Klingons & their different looks. The first McCoy meeting. It does bounce about lot & has lot blank pages but it is still an en
Daniel Kukwa
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: star-trek
One of the finest Trek novels I've read in some considerable time. Christopher Bennett plays with multiple time periods, multiple characters, and multiple ships without ever losing focus on the influences that shaped James Kirk into the man -- and the captain -- he became. Compelling, engrossing, exciting, and funny...this is everything I always want "Star Trek" to be...and this novel provides all of these things by the bucket-load.
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am not a huge TOS reader. However this book kept me engaged through the whole story. It was good to see how Captain Kirk grew over his first command. I thought the author did an excellent job in the character development of all characters involved in the story.
Clay Davis
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Some of the stories in this book are superior to the episodes in the original series.
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Boldly Going with Progressive Ideas: THE CAPTAIN’S OATH
This gives us a look into how Captain Kirk becomes captain of the Enterprise.

I voluntarily reviewed an advance copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
Considering the daunting task of giving voice to so many characters — more than two genders, countries, species, and planets — I admire the abilities of Robert Petkoff, the narrator of
Unseen Library
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of The Captain's Oath from Simon & Schuster Austalia to review.

Rating of 4.5.

Prepare to venture boldly into a new Star Trek: The Original Series tie-in novel which not only tells a deeply compelling story but also looks at several pivotal moments of Captain Kirk’s early Starfleet career that made him the captain we all know and love.

Captain James Tiberius Kirk is known throughout the galaxy as a great warrior, diplomat, explorer and hero. His story as the captain of the U.S.S.
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: star-trek, 2019
None of the past movie history at all. I was a little worried. What a great capture of the big three voices. Well, Gary can get away with a lot under Kirk. Both adventures were fun but when Mr. Bennett found a perfect way to enter "Young minds, new ideas" Would love to see another trip with Kirk early command but Enterprise awaits.
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Author Christopher L. Bennett isn't just an amazing science fiction writer, he's also a brilliant Star Trek writer, which isn't an easy thing to accomplish. Star Trek: The Captain's Oath is not only a beautifully written Kirk origin story, it's also a great novel, as well as being one of the better books I have read recently.

I noticed a "reader" on Amazon stated that the Kirk in this book isn't the same one he had always envisioned. After reading this, I wondered which version of Kirk was he re
Kieran McAndrew
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
James T. Kirk became the youngest captain in Starfleet. As the commanding officer of the U.S.S. 'Sacagewea', he cemented his reputation as a man who could play by the rules and find a simple, diplomatic, solution to most problems. This reputation led Captain Christopher Pike to recommend Kirk as his replacement on the U.S.S. 'Enterprise'.

Bennett's biographical novel fills in some of the missing stages of Kirk's career and manages to do this without stepping on too many competing origin stories.
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Captain's Oath kicks off with Kirk taking command of the Enterprise replacing Christopher Pike in the centre seat! :D The Captain's Oath sees Kirk adjusting to his new command and putting his new command crew together while at the same time dealing with the Aulacri who are looking to terraform the Karabos II a planet devastated by a war 4000 years ago in their home system! :D The situation is compounded by the fact the Kirk's former science officer from the USS Sacajawea Rhenas Sherev is lea ...more
Paul Lunger
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Christopher L. Bennett's "The Captain's Oath" is an original series novel split across parts of 2 time periods which deals with essentially the path that took James T. Kirk to become the captain of the Enterprise. The first story line is set in 2262 & follows the adventures of the USS Sacagawea as the ship deals with a threat from a species eventually known as the Agni who are far more than they intend to be. The 2nd story line set in 2265 just after Kirk assumes command of the Enterprise deals ...more
Dirk Wickenden
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
One of the most tedious Trek books I've ever read. Bennett's dialogue and monologue goes on for pages at a time. I like stories that are non or multi linear but this just didn't work. It was slightly better in the last chapter but it was too little, too late. Bennett's Ex Machina was excellent, this was the opposite.

The book could easily have been a third or half its size, to tell the same story. The bad language was wholly unnecessary, as was the 'alternate lifestyle' stuff. It was leftie propa
Lance Schonberg
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a fun read, sort of like the novelization of a cluster of original series episodes, but all pre-TOS and most of them on a different ship and with a lot of crew members and Starfleet officers we haven't met before now.

I used to read a lot more Star Trek novels when I was younger, but I've been migrating back a little over the last few years, and it's for books like this one. Stories that give me the feel of that original series, pushing the boundaries of what it means to be human and sol
Jason Smith
Jumping back and forth between two different plotlines, that take place years apart, was pretty confusing, at least for me while listening via the audiobook, which I take in lots of smaller listens rather than a few long ones. When the book did switch plots, I found it hard to reorient myself as it seemed like both contained a good overlap in characters and even at time ships.

It's been decades since I've read a Star Trek TOS book, but I don't recall Kirk being as wordy and articulate. Not to say
Elliot Weeks
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite Trek books I’ve read in recent memory. The author, Christopher L. Bennett, told the epic tale of how Kirk earned the Enterprise in a masterful way. I really felt connected to Bennett’s portrayal of Kirk much in the same way I felt connected to him when watching TOS as a kid. The author says in his acknowledgement section that he resisted the pop culture ‘myth’ of Kirk and only used textual insights into his character. I cannot thank him enough—I have never understood and conti ...more
First, I am a fan of CLB (not my favorite Trek novelist, but top 5 maybe), mainly his Rise of the Federation novels. But, unfortunately, this novel doesn't really live up to those. I hate to say that because most of his novels, I quite enjoy. The good? The location in the timeline, gives it a great area to explore. And, it does it fairly well. But, the bad? Unfortunately it reads almost like a anthology of many different missions. And, those are the novels I generally like the least (the ones tr ...more
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: star-trek, tos
A strong novel showcasing Kirk's career as a captain before The Original Series, as well as the events that led him to take command of the Enterprise. Christopher Bennett does his usual awesome job of connecting various bits of canon and crafting a terrific story that fills in some of the missing bits. Great character work in this novel, and fascinating problems for Kirk and his crews to overcome. I always enjoy Bennett's world-building, and the more-alien-than-usual Agni are a great addition to ...more
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Christopher L. Bennett is quickly becoming one of my favorite Star Trek authors.

The Captain's Oath is packed full of little nods to things that will happen later in the series and they add so much more gravity to those events. I loved getting to know Jim's previous crew and seeing how those friendships helped him grow and learn and become the captain we see in TOS.

I also really appreciate that Bennett doesn't brush over Earth's violent history and struggles with social justice or the presence o
Thomas W
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
This read was, generally, okay. The idea of getting more backstory on Captain Kirk is intriguing and enticing, but the writing here could be at times as dry as a cracker. I found myself skimming over big sections of fluff just to get to the meat of the story.

And, personally, I didn't care for how the story jumped around in time periods. It was unnecessary. If the two periods of time had more of a connection, it would've been so much neater. But they didn't. It didn't even feel like the earlier
Hannah Armstrong
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'll have to admit it took me over a month to finish this one, and mostly because of Kirk's character. Spoilers now. What also took me forever to adjust to was the two different timeline stories of Kirk from his time as captain on the Sac and his new command of the Enterprise. After this adjustment, it becomes a much more enjoyable read. I quite liked the student/mentor relationship between Kirk and Ensign Kamisha Diaz and how they learned from their mistakes. I certainly felt there was a lot of ...more
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As with nearly all of Mr. Bennett's Trek novels (and the one non-Trek novel of his that I've read, Only Superhuman), I found this difficult to put down. I enjoyed it very much for the world the novel draws in my head (Mr. Bennett draws upon the continuities of different Trek novels, comics and other sources for all of his Trek work, unlike David Goodman and some others who just stick to the aired episodes and films).
Kim Williams
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a thrilling read that should satisfy any Star Trek fan. What made James T. Kirk the captain he was when we met him on his 5 year mission? What were the experiences that shaped him into such a great leader and commander? This book answers those questions, exploring Kirk's missions before the Enterprise and his journey to discover himself and the type of leader he would become. A thoroughly engaging read.
Apr 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: star-trek
This is an excellent look at several key points in Kirk's career, all from before we see him at the beginning of the original five year mission. (Actually, one of the points is after he takes command of the Enterprise, but before "Where No Man Has Gone Before".) It's very well-written, fits well into the canon, and only just barely misses being impressive enough to rate a fifth star. Worth reading for any fan of the series, and particularly for any fan of Kirk's.
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How do you get to be the Captain of the Enterprise so young?

This is a solid and often fun exploration of the years prior to Kirk taking command of the Enterprise. How does he come to be the man in the center chair? And how does that early Kirk make sense relative to his later characterization. This book does some fine work with that.
Captain Basil
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have not read a Trek novel in years but this one was recommended to me. I enjoyed it very much. This tells the story of Kirk's first Command and his very early days on the Enterprise. The novel introduces some great characters from Kirk's past that I hope this author lets us meet again. If you want an entertaining and solid Star Trek adventure, this book is just the ticket.
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: star-trek, space-opera, sf
Great visit across time with Captain Kirk!

Bennett does an excellent job weaving all sorts of canon together in an account of Captain Kirk's early career. By skipping back and forth in Kirk's career, he portrays the evolution of Kirk's style. Very nicely done - it was like a whole season of Star Trek in one novel!
Andrew Beet
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book great to read what ships Kirk commanded before the enterprise and I liked how he solved any personnel problems and any command decisions he had to make. In the book you can see he is very loyal to each crew of the ships he commanded. I liked that the book focused on the character of captain Kirk and you see all the friends that he makes as well do overall I liked this book
John Allen
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read just about every Star Trek Original Series - this book was a really great read - good story telling about the earlier days of Kirk and some of his shipmates / friends and how he learned some pretty hard lessons. The author does a nice job of weaving multiple timelines and their stores together to show detailed insights into how Kirk grows from experience.
Dec 06, 2019 rated it liked it
I wish this would have had one long story arc. There were multiple short stories that overall tied together and the author's goal was to give us insight into how Kirk became the Captain we know and love. Excellent writing style for a Star Trek novel. There have been others I could not tolerate to finish.
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Christopher L. Bennett is a lifelong resident of Cincinnati, Ohio, with a B.S. in Physics and a B.A. in History from the University of Cincinnati. A fan of science and science fiction since age five, he has spent the past two decades selling original short fiction to magazines such as Analog Science Fiction and Fact (home of his "Hub" series of comedy adventures), BuzzyMag, and Galaxy's Edge. Sinc ...more

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