Starfleet Year One was an interesting book by Michael Jan Friedman but it was like a poorly made latte. It’s good and you enjoy it but in the back of your mind, you know it could be better.
This is quite possibly the most interesting book in the Star Trek Universe in a couple ways. First it was a book that was created through a serial publication. This book is a slightly larger amended version of the serialized story. Second it is the only series that has existed without using any Star Trek characters from the TV series as a man character or even as a background character. But in the version I read there was a scene with T’Pol. Now part of me wants to say that she was included to help with the licensing process from Paramount (just like there is an inclusion of a caveat that the book wasn’t related to the Enterprise series).
This book was great in the imagination and the creation of Starfleet. It’s driven and crated. Most of it made a lot sense too especially the uneasy balance of military and science within Starfleet.
I had two major problems with the book. The first is how the characters come off at times. They just didn’t always “read” right. T’Pol was so anti-association with Starfleet yet she was one of the first Vulcans to serve on besides humans. Then you had the intrusion of Poltergeist and Heather O’Rourke’s voice saying “They’re here” instead of the Earth Command officer. It’s just so hard to really use that quote when the baddies are arriving without thinking of the epic line from the movies. But one of the things that really bugged me was how mid-book Cobaryn was seemingly ill at ease to learn about the mafia when for the previous 140 some pages, Cobaryn was so inquisitive about cultures. It just didn’t fit the character thus far.
But the thing that really killed me was the ending. I won’t spoil it for those. I just didn’t think it made sense. Cool idea of solidarity but that’s something that would only happen in a story.
Overall, I enjoyed the story woven by Michael Jan Friedman. It would have been fun to see a continuation to the series but it wasn’t meant to be. It was a neat idea on how the Federation got it’s start.