Pocket Books, out now
The Romulan War may be over, but the fledgling Federation faces problems on many fronts – not least within its own ranks…
Christopher Bennett took up the writing of the Enterprise era tales with this first part of the Rise of the Federation, chronicling the 2160s in a rather different way to David Goodman’s coffee table Federation book. Bennett is a seasoned Trek author, and brings that experience to the table in this, deftly juggling multiple plotlines featuring the different members of the former Enterprise crew. His love of hard science in his Trek stories looks for a long time as if it won’t find a place here – until the ship captained by Malcolm Reed, with Travis and Tobin Dax aboard, finds itself in severe difficulties…
Bennett has taken on board the initial basis for the Enterprise series, in that it was supposed to be setting up the world that we knew in Jim Kirk’s time, and there are various plot points in this that simply couldn’t work in most other Star Trek tales – although it was interesting coming to it after having got back up to speed with the Voyager relaunch. There are certain similarities between the new Starfleet of 2162-3 and the Full Circle fleet in terms of the pragmatism that needs to be displayed by the commanding officers.
Those who didn’t like Pocket’s reworking of These are the Voyages, the Enterprise finale, won’t be pacified by this, which continues the adventures of Trip Tucker as a Section 31 agent. Mike Martin rather boxed things in with his epilogue in the second Romulan War novel, but Bennett obviously has an agenda for Commander Tucker.
Verdict: A good extrapolation of the early years of the Federation. 8/10