With his crew still traumatised by their run in with the Xindi,
Captain Jonathan Archers encounter with an Antianna vessel
leads his crew into the heart of the Thelasian Trading Confederacy.
The unprovoked attacks on the Confederacy's shipping are leading
the quadrant into a war. With everything hanging on Hoshi's
ability to decrypt the Antianna language time is running out...
is the new Star Trek: Enterprise novel by Dave
Stern. For anyone looking for another heroic Archer story
this book may not be for you. As the cover proclaims this
is predominantly a Hoshi story. Now, this shouldn't put you
off picking this book up, if you love good story telling,
in fact it's a nice breath of fresh air to read a novel which
deals with some of the more minor characters.
story takes place soon after Hoshi has been captured by the
Xindi and has had her brain messed with. The book usefully
informs us that the action takes place between December 27,
2254 and January 19, 2255, but not on which day of the week,
and they call that continuity! Joking aside, when the story
opens Hoshi is at a personal and professional crossroads.
The intuition which she, so far, has relied on in translating
alien languages seems to have deserted her and she is seriously
considering that she may not be able to function as the ships
course, this is a Trek book, so there has to be a mystery
at its heart for our gallant crew to solve. Archer's initial
run in with the Antianna is inconclusive, even the fact that
they appear to be attacking the Confederacy for no known reason
shines no light on their motivation. Well, only an idiot wouldn't
realise that Hoshi will play a pivotal role in solving the
puzzle; she's on the cover for goodness sake. It's difficult
to discuss the Antianna without giving away the novels ending
and central secret, suffice it to say that Stern keeps you
guessing right up to the end, and the final reveal opens up
another interesting species whose exploration would make for
a fascinating follow-up novel.
good story needs a villain and what a villain Stern has given
us in Maxim Sen the corrupt robber baron who holds the reigns
of power in the Confederacy - his avarice know no bounds.
If the character has a flaw it's that Stern can't quite decide
if Sen is truly evil. Although he skirts the edge of caricature,
Stern pulls him back from the precipice to keep him a well
rounded character and a believable scoundrel.
of the things I really liked about the novel, apart from the
personal stories, was the descriptions of the Trading Confederacy.
Too many times, in the show when new races were encountered
their level of technology and society was way too similar
to earth. Where are all the old galactic empires, with their
gleaming planet wide cities? Well, they are nestled in the
dying glory of the Confederacy. Brilliant, at last, a description
of a society with impossibly tall beautiful buildings, silver
ships and a taste of the visual splendour so reminiscent of
Asimov's Foundation, shame there wasn't more of it.
you've read and enjoyed Stern's previous forays into the Enterprise
universe you're not going to be disappointed with his new
book. However, if you've never had the pleasure of this gentleman's
prose, then you do a lot worse than taking this as a pleasant
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