Final Frontier by Diane Carey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Final Frontier was one of the "giant" Star Trek novels of the time and for me it went alongside Diane Duane's work in shaping my view of Starfleet and the Kirk family, I believe the term is head canon and for the most part superior to anything seen on tv or the moves:)
The novel tells the story of the very first mission of the very first Constitution class Starship, a new cutting edge design making use of the latest computer tech often spoken of within the tv series which would have been set a few years after these events. Captain Robert April who oversaw the building of the ship shanghai's George Kirk and his fellow security officer Francis Drake Reed to fill spots on the ship as it attempts a high priority but clandestine rescue mission. Captain April is worried that the ship and it's power will be seen as being overly aggressive by both the Federation members and the many enemies looking in, an epic rescue mission as an introduction for the ship will ease her into the spotlight. Almost immediately there are issues with the ship's tech but the skeleton crew pull together and warp towards the huge ion storm which has trapped a colony ship which is adrift without power, the families on board doomed to die with the media spotlight listening to every transmission. The ship ventures into the storm using it's vastly improved navigation and shield systems but the gravity system malfunctions and incapacitates the crew, they awake much later adrift in an unknown part of the galaxy and not far away an alien starship is looking on prepared to defend her space from the "invaders".
Yeah I love this novel, this is how I picture George Kirk even though JJ did the character proud in his first big screen adventure but I still like this idea better. The introduction of the Enterprise also suits my own view that the Constitution design was a quantum leap in starship design not just a small advance on a design which seems to be everywhere in the canon franchise. Once again I love how the aliens are described both the overall culture and the individual character traits and no question the combat sequences are very well written. There is plenty of humour as well and I do get a little tingle when Pike is describing the sort of Captain who will eventually take this ship and venture into the void, a combination of the courage and tenacity of George Kirk and the intellect and compassion of Pike. The novel is so far from canon yet for me it is Star Trek or at least what came before the Star Trek we got to know, highly recommended.
View all my reviews