A CHOICE OF FUTURES (Star Trek Enterprise: Rise of the Federation #1) by Christopher L. Bennett

Though Star Trek Enterprise is not my favorite of the television series, I found myself easily sucked into these tales that follow the on-screen adventures. The first four books made for great vacation reading, and I anxiously waited for my turn to read them since my husband had laid dibs first. (Star Trek Enterprise is definitely his favorite of the television series, which always makes for lively debates in our household.)

To be honest, I thought I wasn’t going to get into these books at all. It seemed a bit silly to be reading a book labeled “Enterprise” when the ship itself is a museum piece that’s not going anywhere. However, Bennett quickly picks out what makes every Star Trek title so engaging and focuses on that: It’s the characters, not the ship itself, that drives the story. And in a way, having these particular characters so spread out only adds to the scope of the tale being told.

I’m a sucker for the politics of any universe, and there are plenty of those to go around in the beginning of this new adventure. Bennett does  a fantastic job of capturing the tension that a many of the characters face, especially Archer and Reed, as they embark on new stages in their lives. Ultimately, having the characters so spread out across multiple ships allowed for a broader scope in story. However, I never felt lost or that I was unable to keep track of who was where or doing what.

Readers who are interested in both the continuing adventures of this Enterprise crew,  along with their new friends and enemies, and the early political and military landscape of the United Federation of Planets should not miss this series. Readers who want a single familiar crew exploring the universe together should probably focus more on books that take place “during” the television show run.

My first forays into reading “adult” science-fiction novels in late elementary/early middle school were media tie-in books based on Star Trek: The Original Series. Decades later, Bennett has captured that same quality of excitement and adventure that keeps bringing me back for more.

Rating: 4 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads

Currently reading: Frost Burn by K. T. Munson and Nichelle Rae (33%)

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