This review is based on the book itself and not the version with the Admiral Sulu voice stand and pull outs at the back.
The book is a rather fun in universe look at the birth of the Federation up until the events of Kirk’s death on the Enterprise B. At times the book gives some extra details to Star Trek history for fans to geek over but other times it comes across as lite episode and movie synopses.
What I was looking forward to reading most in the book were the events of the Romulan War of which we know little about. While this section is interesting it’s a fairly short overview of events that don’t seem to have all too great an impact on the Universe. For example, Earth is not attacked, the solar system is invaded by Romulans briefly but a direct attack on earth does not happen. In this version of events Earth stands alone against the Romulans throughout the entirety of the War which I thought somewhat strange. I know it’s the ‘Earth – Romulan War’ but if we take the cues from Enterprise season 4 there was a definite aggression against not only earth but the Vulcans, Andorians and Tellarites too. If you read Pocket books Romulan War series you can see that they seem to stick closer to the story that was developed in Enterprise season 4. I had expected Mr. Goodman who himself wrote episodes of Enterprise to have perhaps done so too. I’m also a little disappointed there is no mention of the use of Nuclear weapons in the war which both the Pocket Book series and the abandoned ‘Star Trek The Beginning’ script did their best to include in some fashion. What I did like though was that there are a few nods in this to much older Trek novels such as ‘Final Frontier’ which gives a mention of the Romulan attack on Starbase One. Goodman’s book gives details of what happens to a greater extent.
As for canon inconsistencies from as far back as TOS, David A Goodman does try to rectify them, such as World War III which is now a 2 part event taking place in the late 90s and mid 21st Century. Doesn’t really work for me but it’s at least an attempt to rectify continuity inconsistencies which is what Trek fans do best.
I like this book. It sits nicely on the shelf and has a nice layout. For me though it lacked the extra detail that I wanted. There are some definite “gaps” in Star Trek continuity that can be filled in. It was done here but I was hoping for something a little more, something that would really tickle fans imaginations.