Wednesday 11 April 2012

Star Trek Enterprise: Rosetta - Dave Stern

Title: Rosetta
Author: Dave Stern
Genre: Sci-Fi
Published: 2006
Formats: Paperback/Ebook

Available at:
The Book Depository
Amazon UK

"Rosetta" by Dave Stern is the latest book in my Star Trek Reading Challenge. I think this book is probably the longest Enterprise novel I have read which has enabled Dave Stern to create quite an involved story with a fair few things going on. However, the rather wordy narrative does result in the book being quite slow paced and I found myself getting bogged down at a few points although it never got bad enough that I felt the need to put the book down.

The story itself is based around the actions of a mysterious race of beings known as the Antianna that have been attacking anyone that makes an attempt to enter a specific region of space they seem to be defining as their territory. When the Enterprise itself is attacked it falls upon Ensign Hoshi Sato to try and translate the complex language that these aliens appear to be utilising in order to understand why the Antianna are attacking. However, the aliens have also been attacking the Thelasian Trading Confederacy and their leader, Governor Maxim Sen is ready to go to all out war. The Enterprise is drawn into the politics of this situation and the crew offer their own assistance in the hope of averting the war by finding a way to enable some sort of understandable communications to occur.

The most interesting aspect of the story is that it was focused on Ensign Hoshi Sato, who was under-utilised during the TV series. I think that Stern has actually done a good job in his portrayal and he doesn't fall into the trap of trying to make her into something she shouldn't be. Therefore she doesn't become a great warrior or undertake complex espionage but her intellect and linguistic skills are utilised to ensure that she is quite integral to the plot. I was also quite interested in the way in which the novel tried to bring out some of her involvement in the creation of a Universal Translator which was a nice little bonus although I do think this did become a little bit lost in the overall story.

However, there were a few issues that really spoilt the overall impact of the story and my enjoyment of the ending. The first was the way the great technologically superior enemy basically just decided to vanish once they had a heart to heart chat with a member of the Enterprise crew. This entire thing just came across to me as being weak storytelling and a cheap way of ending one of the novel's major plotlines. The second issue was in relation to the way that Stern creates some interesting opportunities when he has Archer imprisoned on a ship where he discovers one of his captor's secrets. However, instead of using this, Stern just opts for Archer basically pulling out a plug which left me feeling rather let down. I just don't understand why Stern even bothered setting up something that looked like it might be quite intriguing only to just ignore it all.

Overall, it was nice to see a little bit more of Ensign Sato and I think Stern once again did a good job of capturing the various characters well. However, whilst the story itself was complex, interesting and enjoyable in parts, the slow pace and the rather weak conclusions to various events just left me feeling a bit unsatisfied by the time I reached the ending. To be honest, I think there are better Enterprise novels out there but if you are interested in gaining some more insight into Hoshi then you may as well pick this novel up.

Challenges Book Counts Towards:
Ebook Reading Challenge (The Eclectic Bookshelf)
Ebook Reading Challenge (Workaday Reads)


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