I bought this book because I had read somewhere on /r/StarTrek that *this* is the ending we should have had for Enterprise. This book DELIVERED.
I *loved* how it interwove the details of the actual ending of Enterprise, and gave more plausible reasons for some of the dumber things that happened.
(1) What do you mean that this little shit freighter would be able to catch up to Enterprise, the flagship of the fleet, and board it?
(2) What do you mean that Trip just DIED in the most anti climactic way possible? You’re telling me we got out of the Xindi War and all sorts of conflicts with all sorts of species, but Archer and Trip can’t figure out a way to get out of a kidnapping situation without Trip DYING?!
Oh…it was all a dog and pony show. Okay, I feel vindicated. 😀
Trip and Section 31
I *loved* Trip’s continuing story arc with Section 31. We got to delve a little further into his relationship with T’Pol after the Terra Prime fiasco, AND we got to see some more working of Section 31, namely that they are not all knowing. Just people working with very limited resources trying to figure out what they can.
Having Phuong and Section 31 be totally duped by the rogue Romulan faction was very interesting to read; and even moreso watching them learn that Romulans are just offshoots of Vulcans. This section of the book was very spy-esque, which is very different than most Star Trek novels, and I appreciated it.
My favorite character in Enterprise was actually NOT one of the main characters. It was SHRAN. It’s a shame that Enterprise got cancelled right as they were going to bring him on to be a regular.
Why wouldn’t I love Shran? He is everything I want to be – passionate (basically to a fault), smart, aggressive, emotional.
Shran’s arc with Jhamel and with Theras was very interesting to read. He basically treated Theras as an idiot coward for not doing anything to help Jhamel in the kidnapping. And I empathized completely. Here is the dude getting to marry the girl I’m in love with, and he ran to me for protection instead of trying to help Jhamel? Pffft.
I know part of this was to highlight the very different cultures of the Andorians and the Aenar, but I completely empathized with Shran in that spot.
Theras’s character development as the book progressed was heartwarming to see. Seeing him overcome his pacifistic tendencies to help keep the away team alive was great; and watching him grapple with this inner demons for having tricked Romulans into killing each other with his mental capabilities was enlightening.
Shran had never enjoyed apologizing, but he sincerely wished for a chance to do so to Theras. He’d treated Theras abominably; he’d acted like a bully, intimidating a mild, gentle being every chance he’d gotten. He was trained to be a warrior, and was therefore used to putting himself into harm’s way. There was no heroism to much of what he did; it was mostly done out of duty, or a love of the accompanying adrenaline rush, or perhaps just plain orneriness.
It was nice to see Shran recognize his efforts as well at the end. This was a story arc I particularly enjoyed, probably moreso than that of Trip’s, and that had the benefit of reviving my favorite member of Enterprise’s crew.
Plus, he got the girl! Yay for Shran, getting over Talas’s death to be with Jhamel, hooray!
Setting up for the Romulan War
I loved the exposition of the story arc that the next season was probably going to take with the Andorians/Aenar and the Romulans, and Shran’s role in all of that. We got to see a little of that at the end of Enterprise’s final season, but the fleshed out version with the conspiracy in the Romulan government to make more drone ships was *very* interesting to read.
And we got to learn more about the Coridians, who I actually…did not remember anything about. Were they in the show? It’s been so long. I can’t remember…
But we learn that they are supposed to be a founding member of the Federation – they have the most dilithium, and they are the only ones with Warp 7 capable ships. Sweet, they’ll make the Federation as strong as anyone else!
Except wait…shit, their planet gets devastated, and they withdraw from the Federation for…reasons? I didn’t really get that part. They refused help from Enterprise, saw half their world burn, and they leave the Federation? They should want in now MORE THAN EVER while they rebuild?
“This new take on Archer-era history holds together for me a lot better than the standard version does – you know, with Captain Archer’s whole command crew not receiving a single promotion, even after having served together aboard the NX-01 for ten years.
Or Archer’s dog somehow not having aged a day during that entire time.
Or Archer’s famous Big Speech at the ‘Stick, which makes a lot more sense now in the context of the post-Coridan disaster era than it does in the post-Earth-Romulan War time-frame where most of the histories place it.
Of the pirate ship that could barely manage warp two somehow catching up to Enterprise, which had to be traveling at nearly warp five when-”
“You’re preaching to the choir, Nog”
I laughed out loud when I read that little conversation between Jake and Nog. Bringing them in as a device to give the past viewers of Enterprise a nod / give the writers of that final episode the finger was genius.
This book helped give me closure on Enterprise’s story, whose final season was SO GOOD. It’s a shame it didn’t get *really* good until after news was announced that it was cancelled. If this Romulan War arc was up next, it would have been *really fun to watch*.