While Christopher L. Bennett is an established author both in and out of Star Trek the novel Ex Machina is the first novel of his that I have read, it may be because he's written more for other aspects of Trek than the original series and perhaps because when the book was originally released I wasn't reading Trek after the market moved away from TOS to the more modern series which I had little interest in reading. I have started reading more Trek which is going hand in hand with more new original series offerings and as we all know once you scratch the surface there will be plenty of older work which will be new to you. Ex Machina is one of these old yet new gems released in 2005 and telling a story shortly after The Motion Picture when Kirk and the Enterprise crew were trying to get to know each other again and faced with a mission from their past when has personal and Federation wide implications.
Ex Machina is a weighty tome, there is little of the light heartedness many of the previous TOS novels were happy to provide which mirrored the series itself but the subject matter deserves the more constrained and deep approach. This novel focuses on the characters and the changes that have taken place over the years after the first five year mission most of which have been artfully ignored in the media. I suspect print media is the logical place to explore much of what has gone on before we were once again introduced to Kirk and company in ST II with a more action/adventure story line. An excellent original series novel, fills a hole I wasn't really sure needed filling but now after reading the book the timeline is more complete and helps to build continuity which for me doesn't always means relying on television or the movies. Highly recommended and while I doubt I'll be looking at Christopher's work on other aspects of the franchise his Enterprise novels could very well turn up on my reading list :)
Ex Machina Amazon US UK