This week I decided to review Star Trek: Enterprise: Rise of the Federation: Live by the Code by Christopher L. Bennett.
The story primarily focuses on Starfleet’s anti-Ware task force, and Klingon politics and how the two become intertwined. Enterprise is armed with new weapons to disable the Ware, a highly advanced technology which uses sentient brings as processors. But when they encounter the Partnership, an alliance of races dependent on the Ware, who have developed a method to switch out the beings who serve as processors to minimize the harm they suffer, Starfleet attempts to liberate them by disabling the Ware, with devastating long-term effects on the targeted world.
And Lokog, who is a Klingon privateer who has lost his standing due to being one of the QuchHa', victims of a mutagenic virus that altered his appearance removing the ridges on his forehead, has his own plans for the Ware technology. He offers to defend the next world targeted by Starfleet in exchange for Ware attack drones he can use to seize power in the Klingon Empire, and his successful defense forces a Starfleet ship to surrender, leaving its crew facing trial for the damage its Ware- disabling strikes have caused.
Meanwhile, Doctor Phlox has been summoned to perform an autopsy on the dead Klingon Chancellor M'Rek. While Phlox swiftly identifies M’Rek’s murderer, the void left by the death of the Chancellor leaves the Empire in chaos, and soon, anti-QuchHa' move to exterminate the QuchHa' who are left with little choice but to ally with Lokog.
Meanwhile, the Anti-Ware task force shifts its efforts to discovering the source of the Ware and finding a way for Ware technology to work without people being plugged in as it originally functioned. But when the Klingon High Council discovers the source of the Ware, they begin planning attacks on both the Partnership and the Federation. And after Section 21 givs the Klingons a peace offering of Starfleet’s Ware-disabling protocols. the ships of the task force becomes the Partnership’s only defense aganst a Klingon invasion…
There is also a subplot dealing with Phlox’s daughter Vaneel’s wedding to the son of an Antaran politician. But the wedding party is ambushed by anti-Antaran extremists, and the father of the groom is killed by Phlox’s estranged son Mettus. Then, after being arrested, Mettus is kidnapped by anti-Denobulan Antaran extremists Phlox must find a way to save his son without reigniting a centuries- old conflict.
I give the book 9 out of 10. It was interesting that the author chose to cast the Federation as the villians of the conflict between Starfleet and the Partnership, even if Starfleet is acting out of misunderstanding rather than malice and tries to repair the damage they’ve inflicted. And it is also fascinating to see the movement towards the Prime Directive gain strength as a result of this. However, some of the ongoing plot threads in the series receive little or no attention in this book and the ending is rather dark for a Star Trek story.