First things first, the cover at is hideous. But leaving that aside this is a good novel that finally covers the Earth/Romulan War. The author has to the mammoth task of melding together the continuity of ‘Star Trek: Enterprise’ and ‘Star Trek: The Original Series’ and explain the differences in technology between the sleek NX Enterprise and Kirk’s blocky ship.
It is a shame that while on air ‘Star Trek: Enterprise’ never covered the Romulan War despite foreshadowing it in the excellent season 2 episode ‘Minefield’. Instead for some incomprehensible reason TPTB carried out the show killing Xindi arc. Anyway this is a good read as it depicts a war that spans planets, ships, species and shakes the fledging Coalition of Planets to its foundations.
The Romulan Star Empire is afraid and lashes out determined to wage all out war. Earth stands defiant but the Vulcan leader T’Pau turns her back on her allies creating a precedent that will no doubt fatally shatter the Coalition of Planets. T’Pau blindly refuses to get involved in the war against the Sundered.
Earth and her remaining allies Andorian and Teller fight on despite overwhelming odds and terrible losses. But as the Romulan’s war of attrition shows no sign of abating, soon Earth will be forced to stand alone.
For all its well written politics, plotting and war scenes, this is not a character novel. Archer is a cookie cutter heroic leader, T’Pol does brooding, Tucker has adventures, Sato and Reed barely exist and only Mayweather gets any agency as he transfers off the ship because he is disgusted with Archer.
The Romulan war leader Valdore gets more character depth than the Enterprise crew as he wages what he sees as a righteous, bloody war to protect his home. As for T’Pau she comes across as a hippy idiot who isn’t fit to run a juice bar much less a planet. There is also a shrill war mongering reporter who pops up every so often to annoy.
Still events are well written but characters are not. Then the book ends on multiple cliffhangers. There is no indication of when or even if a follow up book will be published. Still irritations aside, this is good.