To Brave the Storm
The Coalition of Planets has shattered, with Vulcan, Andor, and Tellar abrogating the treaty. Their pledge to come to the mutual defence of any power that is attacked has been shunted aside. Horrified by how easily the Romulans can seize control of their advanced starships, turning them into weapons, Andor and Tellar have joined Vulcan on the sidelines. Humanity is now the only thing that stands between the Romulan Star Empire and total domination of the galaxy.
Reviewed on 20th November 2011
I have to admit that this book wasn't quite what I was expecting, but nonetheless earns its place in the Star Trek continuity. It's the second part of a duology about the war between Earth and Romulus that has been established in Trek lore for some decades as happening prior to the foundation of the Federation, and something that the Enterprise series was long thought to be planned to be about.
Previous reading is required for this - the other Enterprise continuation novels are vital if you're going to understand where the characters are, and this novel wraps all of these up. The plot in this 'episode' starts a bit slowly. It's quite a disjointed storyline, focussing on several key parts of the war rather than being a single narrative within the war, and as such manages to cover a lot more than I was expecting.
Once the first few parts are out of the way though the speed and the action pick up to an exciting pace, and this continues through to the end. It becomes an enjoyable read and I almost wish that there was some more of this to come. The focus is very much on Archer, Trip and T'Pol, with some of the others getting barely more than a brief mention, which is where the TV series evolved to, and I was a little disappointed to not get a bit more on the others.
I still feel that Martin's output has suffered since he stopped writing with Andy Mangels, and the narrative feels a little rougher and less friendly than some of the earlier stories in the series.
This feels like a good place for Enterprise's story to come to an end. I don't think that there's going to be any more novels that continue Star Trek's 2150s storyline, and this novel certainly serves as a much better close than the final episode of the TV series did six years ago.