The Good That Men Do by Andy Mangels & Michael A. Martin (book review).

Who wouldn’t want an opportunity to start over? Take things from a fresh perspective. Well that’s what Andy Mangels and Michael A. Martin have done with the ‘Star Trek: Enterprise’ series. This book in 2007 marks the re-launch of the ENT universe and begins just before the show’s last episode to create a ret-con on Trip Tucker’s death.

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Instead of saving the ship from pirates as it seemed in the last episode, he uncovers a Romulan plot to create a warp seven speed ship and decides to go deep undercover to stop it with the help of mysterious Section 31. In order to do this, he must fake his own death, with only Captain Archer, security chief Malcolm Reed and Dr. Phlox in on it.

There’s an interesting arc to this novel that perhaps could have been spread out over a few more books. The story is framed by Jake Sisko and Nog reconciling over discrepancies found in historic reports, which ironically was what the last episode was criticised for. A two-fingered salute to that episode? I’ll let you decide.

The deception is telegraphed quite early into the book but doesn’t actually happen for some time, while the rest concerns the emotional fall-out of the incident, especially that of T’Pol.

As with most ‘Star Trek’ novel tie-ins, the authors quickly identify the characters it wants to focus on and ignores the others. Mayweather and Hoshi aren’t given much to do here, but it does set the stall out quite nicely for an extended universe where the Romulans are preparing for war and Starfleet looking to counterstrike all while a new coalition is being formed.

It’s a solid opener for new stories to be told and, hopefully, we will uncover fresh aspects of all the characters rather than just the fun ones, all while building a proper story arc.

If you enjoyed ‘Enterprise’, engage at warp speed.

Aidan Fortune

July 2013

(pub: Simon and Schuster. 369 page paperback. Price: £ 6.99 (UK), $ 7.99 (US), $ 9.99 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-7434-4001-1)

check out website: www.simonandschuster.com

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