Monday, 3 October 2011

Star Trek Enterprise: Broken Bow - Diane Carey



Title: Broken Bow
Author: Diane Carey
Genre: Sci-Fi
Published: 2001
Formats: Hardback/Paperback/Ebook

Available at:
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I have to admit that I have let my geeky tendencies out with this latest review. Basically I decided that I will try and read through all the Star Trek novels I can obtain in as close to chronological order as I can work out for a challenge. I suspect some of these books will be bad, I suspect some will be good, but it will be an adventure either way! Anyway, the first book to read was Broken Bow by Diane Carey which is actually a novelization of the Star Trek Enterprise pilot episode of the same name.

The story itself is set 150 years from now and humanity has basically made contact with a few other races but they haven't ventured out much into the Universe yet. However, the newly formed Starfleet is getting it's latest high speed ship ready to head out and explore the cosmos, even though their allies and more advanced mentors, the Vulcans don't believe they are mature enough. When two alien species start a fight on Earth, the crew of this new ship are drawn into an adventure involving time travel, genetic engineering and political intrigue.

I have to be honest here and say that I was a little bit disappointed in this novel. I felt that this was a good opportunity to try and enhance what was a rather average episode but instead it is just a basic retelling of the pilot without anything original in terms of characters or some storyline enhancement. It is a shame really as an improved story could also have been used to try and draw new people into this series.

The main issue I did have with the story though were the characters, I am aware that they do improve and grow to be quite likeable as the series progresses but at this stage I didn't really like them. I just felt they were all quite weakly developed and rather petty to be honest. The bickering, talking behind backs and basic childishness that goes on is all rather pathetic and I found it irritating. I understand there is obviously some issues that humanity has regarding aliens and the way they have been treated but I believe they would have been a bit more professional than what we see here.

After all this you would probably expect me to say that I disliked the entire novel but that isn't actually true. The story itself wasn't that bad and had an enjoyable mix of adventure and political intrigue. There also isn't any real techno-babble here and it does feel a bit more down to earth feel than some of the other Star Trek series set in future years. If you have never seen the TV series then it is perfectly adequate introduction to the universe and the characters.

In summary, I have to say that this book was a mildly interesting sci-fi adventure that does at least ensure the reader is introduced to all the new characters that will be involved in the Star Trek Enterprise series. I felt that it didn't really add anything new the Star Trek universe and an average TV episode has just become an average novel. Basically if you want to read every Star Trek book then go ahead and read this, but to be honest if you have seen the TV episode already then I wouldn't bother picking this up.