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Best Destiny

(Star Trek Classic #76)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  1,618 ratings  ·  60 reviews
As James T. Kirk prepares to retire from a long and illustrious Starfleet career, events in a distant part of the Federation draw him back to a part of the galaxy he had last visited as a young man, a mysterious world called Faramond whose name takes Kirk on a journey back to his youth. At sixteen, Kirk is troubled, estranged from his father, and has a bleak future. Howeve ...more
Paperback, First Pocket Books Paperback Edition, 398 pages
Published November 1st 1993 by Pocket Books (first published November 1992)
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3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,618 ratings  ·  60 reviews

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Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Best Destiny is the story of the development of two men. The story starts 45 years before the events of ST VI: Undiscovered Country. A 16 year old, rebellious, trouble-making and downright snotty "Jimmy" Kirk runs away from home to get aboard a ship in order to be a deckhand. Promptly "recovered" by his father, a Starfleet Security officer. Deciding to teach his troublesome son some lessons he and Captain April take Jimmy on a routine exploration mission. Of course nothing is routine about this ...more
Jun 14, 2016 rated it did not like it
Okay, I'm sorry. I've tried, but I couldn't even bring myself to read more than thirty pages of this drivel. The psychological depth could maybe impress a very dim twelve-year-old. The dialogue seems to have been rewritten over and over again until it has become pure creative writing: there is now nothing but conflict.

The worst part is that Carey (and apparently Gregory Brodeur, who credits himself as a co-author in the foreword) try so hard to be brooding and foreboding in every other paragraph
Jan 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tos, star-trek
Best Destiny tells the story of young James T. Kirk and what made him the heroic captain we know him to be. This is an excellent story that has held up in the couple of decades since I first read it, and I recommend it for any fan of Star Trek novels. Diane Carey has constructed a compelling story, both in the flashbacks to Jim's early years and in the crisis that Captain Kirk and his crew face shortly after the end of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. It is still one of my favorite Star T ...more
Matthew Rushing
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, 2016
3 1/5 Like the story, writing style was not my favorite.
Nov 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: to Trek Fans
This book is a must read before the next Trek movie.
Casey Pettitt
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 07, 2018 rated it liked it
A good book. The first Star Trek novel I’ve read.

Best Destint switches between Captain Kirk on what might be his last mission on the Enterprise, with a young brash Jim Kirk on his first space adventure.
Things I liked: the plot was good! It was tense and the character development was pretty smooth. Seeing the ins and outs of a Starship in a more intimate way than in the TV series was nice. Plus, a disabled main character (Veronica) was a refreshing addition. The metaphors, while there were too ma
Jean-Pierre Vidrine
May 05, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a good story spotlighting both Kirk's youth and his later years. It does have it's flaws, though. The framing device of Kirk and the crew heading for an apparent disaster seems to cut into the story of young Kirk and his father with no apparent structure nor direct correlation of the moments recounted.
There were also times when the editor or proofreader missed something glaring. In one instance Kirk steps up to Spock's science station. A moment later, he is said to get up from his comma
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was interesting - we see teenage, moody, pain in the ass Jimmy Kirk (just like in the reboot Trek movie), but with his father. George Kirk takes him on a mission that happens to have him see and go on board the newly built USS Enterprise, commanded by Robert April. And it's hardly a spoiler to say that stuff goes wrong, he sees the light - and his future - and grows by the end of the story. It was an interesting story based on when it was written, before the image I have in my head from the ...more
Chris Pestacchi
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Of course book about a 16 year old James T. Kirk would still involve the Enterprise. Yes, that Enterprise, Good ol' NCC-1701. It's the kind of unnecessary eye-roller fan service detail that makes the whose universe seem small.

That being said, I really liked this a lot. Best Destiny is not only a good Star Trek story, but a good adventure story. Even though we know Jimmy's getting out alive, Diane Carey manages to give us a suspenseful survival tale with a palpable sense of danger (RIP Redshirts)
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked this book towards the end, but in the beginning I wanted to beat the heck out of that snotty little Jimmy, Reminded me of pinocchio the book not the disney movie, But I was glad to see that his attitude was the point. This was a good read.
Jamin D
It was an interesting take on seeing young James Kirk and George Kirk's relationship. The story was alright but I don't agree with the whole "you can't hand the truth" theme, which in my opinion doesn't fit with the concept of Star Trek. Overall I liked the book.
Nov 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
A little hard to follow. The story bounces between teen-Kirk and retiring-Kirk.
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this 23 years ago. I know I liked it.
Tyrone Wilson
Jun 28, 2017 rated it liked it
An ok read, but kinda slow in some places.
Dec 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another good Star Trek entry by Diane Carey
Mike Crate
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scifi, star-trek
Best Destiny turns back the clock and sheds some non-canon light on the teenage years of one James Kirk, the story covers two separate timeframes with the first as James as a rebellious teenager and the other as a Captain looking at the end of one career. The focal point is the planet Faramond and the events that surrounded the discovery of a race vastly more technically advanced that the Federation and who seem to have as a species packed their bags and vanished into history.

Commander George Ki
Love this quote [statement] [so far] on page 74 by James T. Kirk: "I was too busy finding out I wasn't perfect."

final thots:

I actually enjoyed this book the second time around. I remember reading it when it first came out and not liking it very much. I bought it cheap recently and re-read it. It had a decent flow to it. Almost a 'sequel' to 'Final Frontier' in that it brings back characters introduced in that book. It also takes place after 'Star Trek VI: Undiscovered Country'. It has a decent f
David King
Apr 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
“Best Destiny” by Diane Carey is more or less a sequel to “Final Frontier”, another of Carey’s novels which I previously read. Whilst there is a basic framing story based around an attempt to rescue another Starfleet ship by the soon to be retired James T. Kirk, the main portion of the story follows the antics of a young 16 year old Jimmy Kirk. As a teenager Kirk has a lot of pent up anger against his father and seems destined to for a life of gangs and crime. However, Kirk’s father decides to m ...more
Glen Stripling
Aug 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As a Trekie, I have wondered how James T. Kirk came to be the commander of the USS Enterprise. As a sci-fi writer I have longed for a tale that shows how a series of events could transform a futuristic Huck Finn into the disciplined responsible character I grew up watching on TV.

That was why I had to get my hands on the novel BEST DESTINY, (Pocket Books) by Diane Carey that describes Kirk's early life. Carey's novel is the story of George and Winona Kirk and their frustrating battle to save thei
Apr 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Like so many of the greatest commanders in history, James T. Kirk was a rebellious teenager, driving his Star Fleet father George Kirk to the brink of frustrated parental defeat. In his first attempt to show his son what Star Fleet was all about, Jimmy Kirk experienced the brutality of Kodos’ own brand of survival techniques. When Jimmy leads his gang in an attempt to run away on an ocean ship, George tries one last time to alter his son’s life course.
Although the mission is designed to be a
Mar 30, 2015 rated it liked it
I really didn't like the book to begin with. The characters were highly exaggerated, stereotypical teenagers that cause grief to everyone around them for the sole purpose of doing so. I felt that Star Trek was suppose to be a divergence from our current culture, however, the book read far too much as a modern day juvenile fiction novel. Another issue I had with the book was the propensity of invented words and flowery descriptions. I don't mind technical jargon, especially in a sci-fi novel, how ...more
Oct 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Yet another Star Trek audio book, this one read by James Doohan who of course does a wonderful job. I have found out that this one if not most of these are abridged which is very frustrating.

This one was both good and incredibly frustrating. It jumped right into a story about teenage Jim Kirk and how he came to love Star Fleet, but there wasn't much context and it seemed to rush along. I'm blaming the abridged parts for that. What was there, story wise, was very good. Kirk is, as his dad says "a
Matt R. R.
Dec 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Another excellent read from Diane Carey... I really enjoy the "old-school navy" and "intrepid explorer" vibes she throws into her work. It makes Starfleet seem all the more grounded in reality and understandable ideals, as well as truly presenting a future where humanity's moved past so many of its current problems and built a grander destiny for itself.

Her understanding of the James T. Kirk is impeccable, and with Best Destiny, she deftly handles the adventures of a teenage Kirk and the seasone
M. David Loyal
Oct 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
While I was visiting my brother-in-law, he suggested and then lent me a Star Trek book – Best Destiny. Best Destiny follows James T. Kirk’s first time in outer space. He is 16 years old and absolutely filled with teenage angst. He is furious with his father, who is a Star Fleet security officer and is very much absent from Jimmy’s day-to-day life. Jimmy is taken up to the Star Ship Enterprise, captained by Robert April, and of course, something goes wrong, and they meet some pirates who also hav ...more
Sean Wicks
Oct 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
Back when I was a tween and teen, I read every Star Trek book I could get my hands on. I grew out of them, but as I was packing recently I came across this title that was given to me back in the early 1990s as a Christmas gift. I will never not read or use something that someone has given me, so before I pass it on I gave it a read.

It took me a while because I wasn't all that excited about it, and it was a continuation of sorts of another Star Trek book I read back in the 1980s called Final Fro
Jun 23, 2009 rated it liked it
After watching the new Star Trek movie that shows Kirk's parallel-universe beginnings, I wanted to read this book. Parts of Kirk's childhood in the new movie were based off of it, plus I was just curious to find out more about Kirk as a youngster since I hadn't liked his character much until the new movie.

Well, I enjoyed the meat of the book: an exciting action plot that brings Kirk from hoodlum to young man. Lots of father-son themes going on in there, and learning more about Kirk's dad helped
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is one of my favorite Star Trek novels, particularly for its focus on my favorite Star Trek Character, James T. Kirk as a teen, and his relationship with his father. It's a good extrapolation of what the young Kirk might have been like--the flaws and virtues that came out in the man and leader, often flip sides of the same quality. (“Jimmy,” he asked, “when is it going to dawn on you that rules exist for a reason?" Lines said after an incident that would definitely hammer down the lesson. Y ...more
Daniel Kukwa
Jan 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: star-trek
There are moments where this book dives off the deep end of sentimentalism...but only moments...which leaves 85% of the novel to be brilliant. This is a superb & exacting look at a young James Kirk, and the inner demons & conflicts that drove him to become such a legendary starship Captain. Ironically, its details fit in surprisingly well with the new time-line started by the 2009 Trek film...which only enhances both the character and Diane Carey's skill. This book is miles away from the ...more
Anja Braun
Mar 27, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Before the movie there was Best Destiny. The story about how Jimmy Kirk became James T. Kirk, The captain of the Enterprise. Kirk's retirement is looming & the enterprise is being replaced by a newer stlye of starship. Uhura picks up a distress call & a place from Kirk's past makes him remember his teenage years. I like the movie's rendition of him better than the book but for what it is it's still good.

"Parents don't last forever, Good or bad.---Comes a time when there is no excuse. Po
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Diane Carey also wrote the Distress Call 911 young adult series under the name D.L. Carey.

Diane Carey is primarily a science fiction author best known for her work in the Star Trek franchise. She has been the lead-off writer for two Star Trek spin-off book series: Star Trek The Next Generation with Star Trek: Ghost Ship, and the novelization of the Star Trek: Enterprise pilot, Broken Bow.

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Other books in the series

Star Trek Classic (1 - 10 of 101 books)
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan (Star Trek TOS: Movie Novelizations, #2)
  • The Entropy Effect (Star Trek TOS #2)
  • The Klingon Gambit (Star Trek: The Original Series #3)
  • The Abode of Life
  • Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (Star Trek TOS: Movie Novelizations, #3)
  • Web of the Romulans (Star Trek: The Original Series #10)
  • Black Fire
  • Mutiny on the Enterprise (Star Trek: The Original Series #12)
  • The Covenant of the Crown (Star Trek: The Original Series #4)
  • The Prometheus Design
“A ship doesn't look quite the same from inside, does it? A wise sailor,' Robert said, fanning his arms, 'will one time stand upon the shore and watch his ship sail by, that he shall from then on appreciate not being left behind.' He grinned and added, 'Eh?'

George gave him a little grimace. 'Who's that? Melville? Or C.S. Forrester?'

It's me!' Robert complained. "Can't I be profound now and again?'

Hell, no.'

Why not?'

Because you're still alive. Gotta be dead to be profound.'

You're unchivalrous, George.”
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