Just finished reading Collision Course, one of the more recent STAR TREK novels by William Shatner. This was the first book of Mr. Shatners' that I have read, and I was tremendously impressed.
Collision Course is set before Jim Kirk is in Star Fleet, he is 17 years old and living in an apartment he shares with his brother Sam. At this point in his life, Jim Kirk is an angry young man, bitter at Star Fleet for being a flawed origination that is not worthy of the respect most people have for it.
Why does Jim Kirk feel this way? Because he had survived a living hell, he was one of a handful of survivors from a colony where the governor had executed part of the population because of a food crisis.
Yes Collision Course tells the story of what happened on Tarsis IV in detail, it leaves no stone unturned. If you are a STAR TREK fan you recognize the reference to Tarsis IV, because this was the back story for a first season episode of STAR TREK, The Conscious of the King.
Again in Collision Course we have Tarsis IV brought up, but instead of just a few short references, this is half of the book, it is interwoven into the main story and we finally see the chain of events that lead to Jim Kirk being who he was, why he acted as he did as captain of the Enterprise.
The other half of Collision Course focuses on the current life of Jim Kirk, at 17, how he comes to the attention of Star Fleet and how his life crosses the path of a certain Vulcan as well.
Overall Collision Course is a nail biter, you will be waiting for the final shoe to drop and to see how the book ends. It is well worth reading and is a great addition to anyones' STAR TREK library.
The references bellow are the first season episodes which set up both the Tarsis IV references in the book, as well as the only reference to Jim Kirks' younger brother in STAR TREK.
Tom Leighton, a friend and fellow survivor from Tarsis IV
Kevin Riley another survivor of Tarsis IV
Kirk and Kodos?
Conscious of the King, first season episode where Kirk meets up with old friend Tom Leighton, who informs Kirk about the possibility that Kodos the Executioner may be alive and passing himself off as an actor.
Operation Annihilate, First Season episode where Kirk must stop the spread of an alien parasite that has taken over the population of a planet where Sam Kirk, Jims' brother and his family live.