Live By The Code
Admiral Jonathan Archer has barely settled in as Starfleet Chief of Staff when new crises demand his attention. The Starfleet task force commanded by Captain Malcolm Reed continues its fight against the deadly Ware technology, but one of the task force ships is captured, its Andorian crew imprisoned by an interstellar Partnership that depends on the Ware for its prosperity.
Worse, the Partnership has allied with a renegade Klingon faction, providing it with Ware drone fleets to mount an insurrection against the Klingon Empire. Archer sends Captain T'Pol and Endeavour to assist Reed in his efforts to free the captured officers. But he must also keep his eye on the Klingon border, for factions within the Empire blame Starfleet for provoking the Ware threat and seek to take revenge. Even the skill and dedication of the captains under Archer's command may not be enough to prevent the outbreak of the Federation's first war.
Reviewed on 20th April 2016
Christopher L Bennett's fourth book in the Rise of the Federation series, telling the missing history between the end of Enterprise and the start of The Original Series, follows the various crews off the fledgling Starfleet as they discover the need (again?) for some kind of non-interference directive.
Like some of the best episodes, the story features an A- and a B-plot featuring different groups of characters to ensure all get some page-time. One of the plots works nicely as a stand-alone tale, but the other is a direct follow-up to earlier books in the series and I felt my reading experience would have benefited from having a fresher memory of what came before.
One of the themes of this book is relationships, both in the obvious sense between cultures, and between individuals, and Bennett seems to use the opportunity of revisiting Denobula to throw in some other relationships that fill out the Trek universe and add some much needed diversity.
Overall, I wouldn't group it with my favourite Trek novels, but it certainly stands up well and tells a good story. I'm enjoying following the adventures of this group of characters beyond the short lifespan they received on television, and I hope Bennett is able to continue and that his work won't be contradicted by forthcoming additions to the Trek cannon.