This book takes place in the Prime continuity (i.e. not JJ Abrams) and was written before The Autobiography of Jean-Luc Picard, and while is interesting, suffers the same shortcoming as that book, in that David A. Goodman is obsessed with connecting the TV series to each other.
James T. Kirk has contact with the following people (and one event):
- Ensign Mayweather (now a captain on a transport ship)
- Lt. Malcolm Reed (now head of Starfleet Academy)
- Jonathan Archer Building (or rather, the Henry Archer building, as the author is always quick to point out)
- Phlox (Sim) (Kirk befriends Phlox at the Denobulan’s bar on Starbase 12)
- Hoshi (Taurus 4) (He doesn’t have direct contact per se, but she is there and Phlox later comfirms it)
- The Kolvoord Starburst (would you believe Kirk witnessed the last attempt of this maneuver which resulted in it being banned and then later attempted by Cadet Wesley Crusher and friends in TNG?)
But that aside, the book offers a different perspective on the motivations and actions of Captain Kirk. You see his struggle to manage a balance between his career and relationships as well as the ups and downs of his tenure at Starfleet. The book follows Kirk’s life right up to the day before Star Trek: Generations starts.
Here are a couple of things that stood out as odd. First, in Star Trek: Generations, Kirk laments returning to Starfleet and not staying with a woman he loved, and now inside the Nexus he has a chance to do that. I never realized that relationship and decision took place after Star Trek: The Motion Picture, but before Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. Does this mean Kirk wished he could have gone back and stayed with Antonia and not returned to defeat Khan AND save Earth at least two more times? The second was that Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, was presented as a movie they watched on the planet in which Bread and Circuses takes place. According to this book, Star Trek V apparently never happened, and was just a bizarre movie produced by a planet that had cultural contamination with very close lookalike actors, and a lot of Federation details done right.