Wednesday 14 August 2013

Star Trek: Enterprise The First Adventure - Vonda N. McIntyre

Title: Enterprise The First Adventure
Author: Vonda N. McIntyre
Genre: Sci-Fi
Published: 1986
Formats: Hardback/Paperback

Available at:
Amazon UK

“Enterprise: The First Adventure” by Vonda N. McIntyre is a Star Trek novel that charts the first voyage of the USS Enterprise under the command of Captain Kirk. The interesting aspect of this novel to me was that it was written in 1986 and appears to have been one of the first official attempts at trying to capture an event in the Star Trek Universe that was outside the period of the series or movies that had been released up to that point. Considering the wealth of novels we now have that add and refine the Trek Universe I was looking forward to seeing one of the initial attempts at providing additional detail to both the universe and the characters via a novel.

The story itself follows Kirk as he begins to form relationships with the various crew members such as Scotty, Spock and Sulu. When Kirk finds out that his first mission as Captain of the Enterprise is to transport a group of travelling entertainers to various starbases he isn’t best pleased as he had been hoping for a chance to go and explore. Of course, this seemingly easy mission doesn’t go as planned and before long Kirk is faced with a first contact situation on the edge of Klingon territory all the while trying to keep the travelling entertainers and their flying horse under control.

Yes, I did mention a flying horse above and it is as ridiculous as it sounds. The entire travelling circus element was just not very interesting and I soon got bored reading about different ways in which Kirk and the crew did things to help out the horse. Considering at least half the novel was based around this it really did spoil my overall enjoyment of the novel. It did get better towards the final part of the novel when the first contact situation occurred and there was some action and an interesting encounter with the Klingons but to be honest the continued involvement of the flying horse was a constant irritant for me.

What McIntyre does do well though in my opinion is try and delve into the relationships between the various crew members. I particularly enjoyed seeing the way in which Spock and Kirk interacted with each other. There is a real feeling of testing the waters between the two of them that I could easily visualise as developing into the friendship I know will occur. It was also good to see that the other crew member didn’t instantly fall in love with Kirk and vice-versa. Every character had their own hang-up or issue and McIntyre tried to ensure that these were dealt with in a manner which could explain the way in which the various relationships mature in the future.

Overall, the plot itself was probably rather weak and I still can’t imagine what possessed McIntyre to include a flying horse in it. However, it is an interesting attempt at trying to capture Kirk’s initial time aboard the Enterprise and his interactions between the crew. It was also interesting to review the first real attempt at some meaningful expansion of the Trek Universe via novels. Basically, if you aren’t interested in the historical significance of the novel or its attempt at exploring an earlier period of Trek lore than I probably wouldn’t bother picking it up as the story itself isn’t really worth it.


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