Review: Star Trek Enterprise: By the Book

By the Book
By the Book by Dean Wesley Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was rather surprised by this book in the amount of enjoyment it gave. I am a huge fan of the Star Trek universe and a huge reader so it seamed very natural that I would eventually begin Trekking through the hundreds of novels available. I decided to begin with ENT (Enterprise) because I felt that it, being newer, may be more appealing as far as books go. I skipped the “novelizations” because I have already seen the shows and do not need a book version of episodes I already know. This is the first in the series of ENT books with new adventures and I was pleased to find that the book follows the same path that many episodes usually take. I felt that through reading this book, I have discovered a lost episode of ENT that I would, otherwise, not have been able to enjoy.

It began with an RPG table game which I thought was going to be the main focus. To be honest, I am unsure that I would have enjoyed the book had the RPG had any more to do with the book than it already had. But, to be fair, it did add many insights to characters I would otherwise not have known so well. And, by the end, the game really did add a feel of camaraderie that really gave it that Trek-TVshow feel.

The planet and species’ that the ENT crew encountered in this book were fascinating. The Fazi and the Hipon were extremely interesting to read about. I enjoyed the common misunderstanding of a new sentient race being introduced; the Hipon were believed to be attacking when they were only trying to communicate their excitement at the Humans’ visit. This is the sort of thing that really makes me love the Trekverse. I think that this book really does capture the same feel as I have become accustomed to in watching Star Trek and, because of my experience with this book, I look forward to reading the next several installments.

One very fascinating addition to the book was the follow-up on the character of Ethan “Alex” Novakovich which in the episode “Strange New World” S01:E04 shows Novakovich in an unfortunate transporter malfunction. (below) The book further explains his ailment and also his recovery process detailing that sand was also engrained into his skin giving him a sort of sand-pimple that his body was still working to flush out. Phlox expects a full recovery but during this book, his skin is still working to expel the particles within.

Photo of crewmenber Ethan “Alex” Novakovich taken from Memory Alpha – The Star Trek Wiki.

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