Wednesday 18 July 2012

Star Trek Enterprise: The Romulan War: Beneath The Raptor's Wing - Michael A. Martin

Title: The Romulan War - Beneath The Raptor's Wing
Author: Michael A. Martin
Genre: Sci-Fi
Published: 2009
Formats: Paperback/Ebook

"The Romulan War: Beneath The Raptors Wing" is the latest book in my Star Trek Reading Challenge and it follows on directly from another Star Trek novel, "Kobayashi Maru" which I previously reviewed here. I have been looking forward to getting to this book for quite a while now as The Romulan War is a period of Star Trek lore that has never actually been shown on the TV screen.

The story follows the earlier parts of The Romulan War, with humanity and its allies within the coalition of planets trying to stand against the relentless progress of their Romulan foes. It covers many different aspects of the war such as the various battles themselves, the political intrigue, espionage attempts, media reporting and the lives of regular civilians. There is probably little more I can really say about the story beyond that which won't ruin some of the surprises and events that occur so I won't even try.

Once again, I find that Martin has created an enjoyable story that really mixes up the action, drama, suspense and thrills. I also really appreciated the way in which he used multiple plot lines, events and characters to really capture the scope of the war and how it was affecting different people and society as a whole. The only downside with this was that all the jumping around did affect the pace of the novel but it was all interesting enough to ensure that it didn't really cause me any issues.

There were a few nice little plot points that Martin introduced to try and explain some of the differences seen between Enterprise and The Original Series. For example, due to the Romulan weapon that enabled them to take control of other ships, Starfleet downgraded their control systems and created something much more analogue with buttons and switches rather than the digital touch screen style systems they had previously been using. There are a few other instances such as this throughout the novel and I did enjoy following his attempts to reconcile canon.

An aspect of the novel I really liked though was in regards to the development of the characters and how Martin has created repercussions for their actions. Archer, for example really appears to suffer because of what he had been forced to do in the previous novel to the point that he struggles to find a real desire to stop some his crew transferring away. In addition, Martin wasn't scared to really move the main characters on from what we saw in the TV series to the point that Travis Mayweather actually leaves the Enterprise and tries to continue his career elsewhere in Starfleet.

The biggest flaw in the novel is Martin's continued use of alien words; it probably didn't annoy me as much as it did in the previous novel but that is maybe because I have just become resigned to it. Honestly, the pace of this novel can get slow enough without also causing the reader to stumble over some alien word that means nothing to them. To be honest, I am almost dreading reading the next novel in The Romulan War series as I just know I am going to be faced with more of this.

The only other issue is in regards to the ending; as this is the first book in a two book series I just found the ending to be rather unsatisfying. I just found that whilst the plot has been developed quite nicely, nothing really gets resolved. To be honest, I am probably lucky that I read the book after its sequel is already available to read so I could pick it up quite soon after. I do feel sorry though for people who bought it at release date and then had to wait for the sequel to come along and finally provide some conclusion.

Overall, this is another enjoyable Star Trek novel that had me hooked throughout despite its length and pace. I think anyone interested in Star Trek lore and pre-federation history will love this book as it covers a period that we haven't yet seen on our TV screens.

Available at:
The Book Depository
Amazon UK

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


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