Friday, July 1, 2011

Book 55: Enterprise By The Book

By the Book (Star Trek Enterprise)

I just finished another Star Trek book, this time it was Enterprise: By The Book by Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch. This was an unexpected treat for me.

I was not expecting a fictional book when I got the book. In fact I was expecting that it was a reference book to the Enterprise series. That’s what I get for not doing any research and letting titles do all the enticing (I got the book from a free book giveaway from my Star Trek role playing site). So when I opened up the box of books, I was a little surprised to see that it was fictional book. I just put it on my shelf until the mood struck me.

Since I was in the mood for Trek and had a ton of fun at a Star Trek Convention thanks to two Enterprise actors (Conner Trinneer and Dominic Keating), I decided to dig into By The Book. The title ended up being a little misleading. A little hard to do a first contact by the book when there isn’t a Prime Directive and a book to follow for first contact situations.

One of the things I really liked about By The Book is how well the characters read. I literally had Scott Bakula’s voice giving me Archer’s, Keating’s British accent for Lt. Reed, and Conner’s take on a Southern accent for Trip, and the list goes on. This went on page after page. I love that when I read novelizations related to TV shows. They should sync up well and this one does.

It’s interesting that my last two Star Trek books are related to first contact situations. While first contact is a huge part of Trek, it’s ironic that my last two books take the same theme and run with it in two different directions and have opposite limitations. Over A Torrent Sea had the Titan crew being limited by the Prime Directive and their abilities to communicate in the first contact situation. But since Enterprise takes place so much earlier on the Star Trek timeline, there isn’t even a Prime Directive and the Enterprise crew is winging it.

First contact doesn’t go over easily for the crew. In fact it was pretty disastrous after Archer spoke out turn to the Fazi. So that leaves him scrambling on how to fix things. Plus there was a second race on the planet to deal with in the first contact situation. So the Enterprise crew is trying their hardest to learn everything that is necessary about both races in order to salvage and have a successful first contact situation.

One of the things I really liked about the book was the use of a roleplaying subplot. I thought it was a fun little distraction for me and the crew members involved. Of course I was drawn to the idea that little game in part because of my own interests (since I do role play Star Trek). But I also really liked how it showed the crew interaction away from the bridge. Initially it had two show members and two non-show members, but then Hoshi’s duty/workaholic ways pulled her away from the game. So it became three non-show members and Mayweather trying to make their ways through Mars and gather pieces of a Universal Translator. But it was great to see how involved they got from the game and how their different skills/ideas really added to the game. It was like watching a mini away mission inbetween the major action of the book.

All in all a fun read if you are into Star Trek.

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