Saturday, 15 September 2012

Star Trek: Final Frontier - Diane Carey



Title: Final Frontier
Author: Diane Carey
Genre: Sci-Fi
Published: 1988
Formats: Hardback/Paperback

Available at:
Amazon
Amazon UK

"Final Frontier" by Diane Carey is the latest book in my Star Trek Reading Challenge and I have to admit that it has been my favourite one so far. The novel focuses on James T. Kirk's father, George Kirk and his early involvement with the Enterprise under the command of Captain Robert April. April, is an explorer and diplomat but he realises there are times when he will need someone with the mind of a warrior who will fight when needed and so he asks George Kirk to be his XO even if he does it via a rather unusual method.

The Enterprise itself is the first of the Constitution class of starships and is being rushed into service prior to complete testing as it is the only ship capable of reaching a stranded transport ship in time to save the passengers. Of course, the rescue mission doesn't go as plan and soon the Enterprise and her crew find themselves stranded in enemy territory.

As mentioned at the beginning of this review, this is by far my favourite Star Trek novel so far. It is an enjoyable and engaging story that was easy to read and had me hooked right from the beginning even if some of the plot points seemed a little bit contrived. I felt that it really captured the feeling of the original series in that this was a fun space adventure with no real moral ambiguity, basically the good guys always tried to do the right thing and the bad guys were easy to hate.

The feeling of fun in the story is also captured in the interaction between the various characters. There was some thoroughly enjoyable banter between these quite distinct personalities in which Carey utilised irony and the odd references to canon incredibly well. The only negative I can think of in regards to the characters is maybe in relation to the villains in the story who came across as being very simplistic in their development but there was enough there to make sure I was more than happy to see them fail.

An issue I did have was actually in regards to the framing story which follows Kirk, Spock and McCoy discussing some of the events that occurred in the TV episode "The Guardian of Forever". I think it got in the way of the main story; I basically got a little frustrated as I had to keep taking a break from the enjoyable adventure going on in the past to read a rather slow debate on what had happened in "The Guardian of Forever". In addition, if you haven't seen this episode before or can't remember much about it then this entire section will mean very little to you anyway.

Overall, this is an incredibly enjoyable journey into a time period of Star Trek that has rarely been explored. The story is fun and entertaining; the characters are interesting enough to keep you cheering them on and the various references to canon should keep many Star Trek fans happy. I highly recommend this book to any avid fan of Star Trek will love this story but will highlight the lack of familiar character that may be off putting to the more casual fan.