Saturday, 19 November 2011
Star Trek Enterprise: Shockwave - Paul Ruditis
Author: Paul Ruditis
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"Shockwave" by Paul Ruditis is the latest book in my Star Trek Reading Challenge and it is a novelization of two Star Trek episodes; namely the Season 1 Finale and the Season 2 premier. I have to admit that I found Shockwave to be one of the better stories in the initial few seasons of the show so I was looking forward to refreshing my memory with this novel.
The basic premise of the story is that the Enterprise manages to vaporise several thousand people in a major accident whilst visiting a planet. Then, as the Enterprise prepares to be recalled back to Earth, Captain Archer is visited by a time traveller who explains that history had never recorded this incident and it is all part of the temporal cold war that was previously mentioned in the first Enterprise novel; Broken Bow. Thus begins an adventure through time, ranging from several months back to thousands of years in the future as the crew tries to unravel what has occurred and why.
The first thing I have to comment on is that it does stick very closely to the TV show and there isn't really anything new added in terms of the story or characters that you couldn't have gained by watching the show, but to be honest that is not a new issue when it comes to novelizations. I did note that various flashbacks to earlier episodes in season 1 have been added to the story. It is a nice way of ensuring that people who haven't seen the show will still understand aspects of the story. I actually appreciated it myself as it was many years ago that I watched the show and can only vaguely remember some of the episodes.
Paul Ruditis, has written the story well enough with his descriptions really bringing you into the centre of the story and the plot is well paced. Basically, I found the novel to be just as entertaining and interesting as I remembered the episodes were.
In summary, this book is a very faithful adaptation of a very enjoyable double episode. However, in a way this is its flaw as I still believe Star Trek books mainly appeal to those who have watched the TV show. Therefore, most people who pick this up will already know the story and it doesn't really add anything new to the experience. So, if you have already seen the Shockwave episodes, the only real reason to pick this up is to re-immerse yourself in this enjoyable story in another form which is perfectly reasonable. If you haven't seen the TV series then I think you will find this a fun and light Sci-Fi adventure book, although I would advise that you read Broken Arrow first as it does give some background and set-up for the overall plot.