Federation by Judith Reeves-Stevens
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
"And for the first time in two decades, the Guardian of Forever answered…"
Federation is a pretty epic story covering the events on and around Earth prior to the third world war including the discovery of the warp drive through the Enterprise under Kirk era and onwards towards the D commanded by Picard. Zefram Cochrane is the key to everything, his story as he develops and then exploits the drive to help spread humanity to the stars is entwined with the political pressures of the day and the rising fascism under yet another guise led by Colonel Green and for this story's purpose one Colonel Adrik Thorsen who is obsessed with the notion of a warp bomb. Cochrane is pursued by Thorsen across space and time forcing the brilliant scientist to lose himself into history only to be found decades later by the Enterprise and of course Federation commissioner Nancy Hedford. This is not the end of his story though, technology allows for many things and as Cochrane lives long beyond his timeline with the aid of the companion Thorsen with a fanatic's obsession finds technology to maintain himself and the battle for the soul of mankind begins again.
Federation is very entertaining and genuinely interesting novel, it contradicts many things as most Trek novels do when put up against the canon offered by tv and movies but it does what only a novel can do and takes us on a trip through time and space with our favourite characters unafraid to cover aspects of stories the tv/movies shy away from. The timeline covered by the novel allowing for the TNG crew to exist alongside the TOS crew in the novel no doubt will appeal to a broader audience but for me being more old school the "D" elements were less interesting although their conclusion was pleasing. I really really did enjoy the bookending chapters (including Picard) with the older Admiral Kirk and the Guardian of Forever and of course the look far into their future which sums up Starfleet and I hope humanities best attributes.
A highly recommended novel with some very satisfying writing and exploration of characters and events.
"In the language of the time, the ship is called Enterprise, and she slides forward, accepting the invitation, once more going where none has gone before."
"For even here, even now, the adventure is still just beginning..."
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