The second and also somewhat surprisingly final book in the Romulan War series of Enterprise Books, the beginnings of which started back in the Novel ‘The Good that Men Do’.
With this book I feel the Prime universe (are we really calling it that?) can be put to bed, for myself at least. I don’t have much interest in the other Novels that continue the stories of The Next Generation, DS9 and Voyager. My main interest in reading these Enterprise Books was to see a key piece of Star Trek History that has always got me giddy ever since it was mentioned in The Original series. For years I have anticipated some form of media showing the War. Unfortunately I think these books don’t do it justice, that stems from the books being based on Enterprise themselves and also the fact that a large scale War like this is better on screen than on paper. As a Movie but preferably as a series which could really flesh it out like DS9 did with the Dominion War Arc.
The Novel just doesn’t go big enough with the depiction of the War. Battles are more like skirmishes, often ship vs ship. All the referenced points are hit such as the attack on Earth, the battle of Cheron etc. These two parts I quite liked and are inventive. The Romulan’s using Earth’s Asteroids against it and the battle within the planet atmosphere of Cheron are nice scenes which are a bit too short. Reduced to one or two chapters. They needed to be fleshed out as did the whole overview of the War.
In my review of ‘Beneath the Raptors Wing’ my complaint was it jumping all over the place too much with too many characters and it was stretched out over the space of a year. Here it stays too much on the Enterprise or Trip Tucker Super Spy and covers 5 years. This is because the series was possibly being considered as a Trilogy. But from the sounds of what the middle book might have been it doesn’t particularly interest me much as it’s more of the same with Trip being a spy and his relationship with T’pol even though we had the 3 previous novels covering the same kind of story. It seems that the publishers had too much faith in this series taking off by the way they only did one year in the first book. They might have been hoping to get 4 more out of it. Seems a bit like careless planning. It’s all based on book sales of course but the layout between the two Romulan war Novels is jarring and while one takes too long to get going the other is racing to wrap things up.
I feel that Michael A Martin just didn’t focus properly on the concept ‘The Romulan War’. He is a good writer but the scope of vision he has for this type of Trek History isn’t big enough, it’s too intimate. I believe a far more satisfying story would have been written by Judith and Garfield Reeves Stevens who have written the most epic and detailed Star Trek stories in Novel form. I do believe they could write something that really ties into the beginnings of The Original series about a Federation that rose from the ashes of a devastating War. This wasn’t what we got and ultimately the project was mishandled.
Here was my favorite part of the Novel which is actually a Poem by Martin Niemoller
First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.