Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Star Trek Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave The Storm - Michael A. Martin



Title: The Romulan War - To Brave The Storm
Author: Michael A. Martin
Genre: Sci-Fi
Published: 2011
Formats: Paperback/Ebook

"To Brave The Storm" by Michael A. Martin is the latest book in my Star Trek Reading Challenge and is the concluding book in the Romulan War series which started with "Beneath The Raptor's Wing". After my enjoyment of the first book in the series I was really looking forward to reading this one. This was enhanced by my knowledge that there are no new Enterprise novels expected for the foreseeable future so this could be the last new story in that franchise that I read for quite a while.

The novel chronicles the final years of the Earth-Romulan war with the main focus being on humanity's continued fight against the Romulans whilst their allies opt to sit out the war. The outnumbered Starfleet struggles to hold the line and the prospects for Earth become increasingly grimmer as the years pass. Meanwhile Trip Tucker continues to conduct espionage in Romulan territory hoping that somehow his work behind the lines will help Starfleet avoid seemingly inevitable defeat.

After finishing the novel I have to say that I do have some mixed feelings about it. The overall plot and direction were decent and I really did find myself hooked as I followed humanity's struggle for survival. In addition, it does wrap up the story of the Romulan war in a competent enough manner which was good to see, especially considering I am not sure when we will see a new Enterprise novel again. However, there was just something a little bit unsatisfying about the entire reading experience due to a rushed feeling that pervaded the entire book.

This can easily be seen in the way that the first book covered 1 year in the war whilst this one covered a full 6 years in fewer pages. This results in many of the plotlines being quickly closed down without any real fleshing out or enhancement. In addition, the narrative jumps months and event years in between chapter which spoils both the flow of the novel and the ability of the individual scenes to sink in emotionally with a reader.

It was also a big let down to see such a narrow focus on just the main characters and events considering the previous novel had done such a great job in giving a more panoramic view of the war and it how it affected everyone, including regular citizens. Then again, considering characters such as Mayweather, Sato, Phlox and Reed got hardly a mention either it probably isn't surprising that Martin didn't have room to fit in a more epic look at the war.

I also felt that the rushed nature of the novel had an effect on the characters that were focused on as well. Whilst I think the main characters were portrayed well, several of the character arcs were rather stunted. A prime example of this was towards the end of the novel in regards to Trip's return from his espionage mission. There was so much around this that could have been delved into yet we see none of it, all we get is a little epilogue in the future showing the reader that he is happily living with T'Pol.

In Summary, whilst this review may imply that I didn't really enjoy the book you shouldn't be fooled. It is an enjoyable and entertaining enough read but the rushed nature of the plot was a let down considering what I had read in "Beneath The Raptor's Wing". Perhaps things would have been so different had Martin been able to write the Romulan War over three novels instead of two but alas we will never know.

Available at:
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The Book Depository
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Amazon UK

Challenges Book Counts Towards:
Ebook Reading Challenge (Workaday Reads)