Friday, April 10, 2015

James Review -- Star Trek: Enterprise: Rise of the Federation: Uncertain Logic

This week I decided to review Star Trek: Enterprise: Rise of the Federation: Uncertain Logic by Chirstopher L. Bennett. The story opens with a showdown in a hospital on Vulcan between a Starfleet security officer and a Malurian infiltrator linked to a Vulcan dissident movement who has a hostage. After the hostage situation has been defused, the story shifts to the USS Pioneer, under the command of Malcom Reed and Travis Mayweather, which is penetrating into uncharted territory. Unfortunately, they soon run into a problem. A decade before, the Enterprise had encountered an automated repair station which would arrange fake deaths for crew members from ships it had serviced and hook the crew members into the system to use their brains as boosters for its processing systems. The Pioneer has stumbled across another of these stations. They also warn a ship belonging to a local species known as the Menaik, who call the automated stations the Ware, of the trap. The Menaik ship had lost a passenger to the Ware station so the Pioneer launched a rescue mission, freeing both the Menaik passenger and another of the station’s victims before destroying the station. Unfortunately soon after this, the Pioneer is attacked and severely damaged by Ware warships seeking to reclaim the rescued victims of the station. After repairs, the Pioneer is sent as the lead vessel of a task force to investigate the Ware, discovering in the process  a species which has doomed itself to extinction through wars to capture sacrifices for the Ware. They also discover a primitive world which the Ware has recently begun to influence, and send an undercover team to combat the Ware influence while Pioneer continues hunting for the origin of the Ware, but the team soon runs into serious problems. Meanwhile on Vulcan the Kir’Shara, the original writings of Surak, which was rediscovered late in the Enterprise TV series, has been replaced with a duplicate. The dissident movements claim that it was always a fake, and an investigation is launched to discover how the Kir’Shara was stolen and who is behind the plot, but these discoveries may come too late to prevent a militaristic Vulcan movement from returning to power. There is also a third plot involving first contact with the Deltan homeworld. While things seem to go well at first it is soon discovered the hard way that the telepathic and empathic components of Deltan lovemaking can be extremely damaging to the minds of other species who aren’t prepared for it. The Starfleet vessel leaves, planning to never contact the world again but when Orions seeking to enslave the Deltans kidnap a number of the world’s population, the captain must decide whether the accidental injuries suffered by his crew justify leaving the Deltans to their fates.
I give the book a 7.5 out of 10. The Vulcan and Ware portions of the book were very well written and kept me wondering what would come next, despite the book’s status as a prequel meaning the basics of what would have to happen was known. However the Deltan portion of the book seemed to be added on just to fill in space. I feel it added little or nothing to the main plots and seemed added on as an afterthought just to get the the Orions into the story, activities which also seem to have little to do with their current goals as shown in the earlier books in the series in my opinion.

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