Wednesday, September 5, 2012
To protect the cargo ships essential to the continuing existence of the fledgling Coalition of Planets, the captains of the United Earth's Starfleet are ordered to interstellar picket duty, with little more to do than ask "Who goes there?" into the darkness of space.
Captain Jonathan Archer of the Enterprise seethes with frustration, wondering if anyone else can see what he sees. A secret, closed, militaristic society, convinced that their survival hangs by a thread, who view their neighbors as a threat to their very existence -- the Spartans of ancient Greece, the Russians of the old Soviet Union, the Koreans under Kim Il-sung -- with only one goal: attain ultimate power, no matter the cost. The little-known, never-seen Romulans seem to live by these same principles.
The captain realizes that the bond between the signers of the Coalition charter is fragile and likely to snap if pushed. But he knows that the Romulans are hostile, and he believes they are the force behind the cargo ship attacks. If asked, Archer can offer no proof without endangering his friend's life.
To whom does he owe his loyalty: his friend, his world, the Coalition? And by choosing one, does he not risk losing all of them? What is the solution to a no-win scenario?
Continuing where The Good That Men Do left off, Kobayashi Maru furthers the story of Commander Trip Tucker's adventures deep undercover in Romulan space.
With the cancellation of the show Enterprise, right after the events of Terra Prime and the death of Trip and T'Pol's daughter, their story was never fully realized. This book series lets us see that relationship more fully realized. Because of the bond they shared, T'Pol had never truly believed Trip was gone. When he made contact with her towards the end of The Good That Men Do, she realizes that they are forever bonded and will always be connected. As his mission and the mission of Enterprise continue, T'Pol finds that she is aware of Trip and when he is in trouble.
Like in The Good That Men Do, the story has some holes and loose ends that aren't completely wrapped up, but I loved seeing Trip and T'Pol together again and T'Pol taking risks that are ruled by emotion and not logic.
One of the things I enjoyed best about this novel is that it gives an explanation of the origins of the Kobayashi Maru test that all Starfleet cadets participate in. A test that is referenced by Captain Kirk in the original series and a test that is witnessed in the new Star Trek film and a reference that all Star Trek fans recognize as the epitome of a no-win scenario. How Captain Archer deals with the Kobayshi Maru situation will impact more than just Enterprise.
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