Star Trek Enterprise: Kobayashi Maru by Michael A Martin and Andy Mangels
Beware – significant spoilers ahead
That’s the last time I’ll write a spoiler warning on these Enterprise reviews, as at some point you will have already caught up. However these books – set moments before the Romulan War novels – still rest in that space where a reviewer needs to be careful about what he gives away.
As the name suggests, the novel ‘Kobayashi Maru’ is the origin of the famous Kobayashi Maru training scenario that has been such a landmark reference to Starfleet Academy down through the ages. But beyond that, its placement in such a critical juncture – immediately preceding the Earth Romulan War – is a clever way to utilise such an iconic piece of Trek history.
The story was not as coherent as those that have come before it (‘Last Full Measure’ and ‘The Good That Men Do’) but is nevertheless a fine addition to the Enterprise relaunch. It acts as the necessary build-up for the Earth Romulan War, as well as continuing the work that Trip Tucker has been doing behind enemy lines. While littered with a few too many convenient occurrences along the way, you can still enjoy the story being told for the return of favourite characters.
I have mentioned it in both previous reviews that the authors don’t seem to have a very good grasp on how to write a Vulcan. T’Pol seems far too driven by her emotions with no real time spent exploring why. A fundamental premise of the Star Trek universe has always been that Vulcan’s do feel, and sometimes as strongly – if not more so – than humans, but that they repress those emotions. There is a lot an author can work with here, but Martin and Mangels don’t seem to bother, rather, sending T’Pol off on hare-brained intergalactic chases with very little logical thought. It is disappointingly lazy writing, especially given the wealth of resources they have access to, and the deep characters they are playing with.
That being said, the interplay between the crewmembers is a welcome return to some of the old Trek stories of yore. While not as nuanced as other authors, Martin and Mangels do write a convincing Captain Archer, and the political interplay and pressures Archer – as well as fellow NX-class captain Erika Hernandez – are placed under make for highlights in this book. Sadly, characters like Travis Mayweather and Malcom Reed are two-dimensional and underused, while Hoshi Sato is relegated to barely more than a reoccurring character.
The reality is that I’m craving these stories and I’ll take them no matter the form they’re given to me. I want to read more about how the Federation formed and what happened to end the Earth-Romulan conflict. The fact that I’m being forced to read sloppy characterisation and plot is just unfortunate. I wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend Kobayashi Maru to you, but if you are – like me – set on reading through the Enterprise relaunch, then you won’t be overly taxed in reading this.
This Star Trek Enterprise: Kobayashi Maru book review was written by Joshua S Hill
Have you read Star Trek Enterprise: Kobayashi Maru?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Star Trek Enterprise: Kobayashi Maru reader reviews
6/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
Star Trek TOS: Allegiance in Exile
David R George III
A beautiful green world, rich in fertile soil and temperate climate . . . a textbook Class-M planet that should be teeming with life. Scans show no life-signs, but there ar...
Star Trek Enterprise: To Brave the Storm
Michael A Martin
The Coalition of Planets has shattered, with Vulcan, Andor, and Tellar abrogating the treaty. Their pledge to come to the mutual defense of any power that is attacked has b...
Star Trek Enterprise: Beneath the Raptor's Wing
Michael A Martin
With nothing left to lose, the Romulan Star Empire engages in all-out war against humanity, determined once and for all to stop the human menace from spreading across the g...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Paris was supposed to save Hallie. Now... well, let’s just say Paris has other ideas. There’s a strange woman called The Chronometrist who will not leave her alone. Garbled warnings from bizarre creatures keep her up at night. And there’s a time portal in the keg room of the bar where she works. Soon, Hallie is tumbling through...
A corrupted city. A dark dream of power. Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his...
The Fifth Empire of Man
Rob J Hayes
The Pirate Isles are united under Drake Morrass’ flag, but the war has only just begun. There’s still a long way to go before he’s able to call himself Ki...
Ian C Esslemont
After the disappointments of Li Heng, Dancer and Kellanved wash up on a small insignificant island named Malaz. Immediately, of course, Kellanved plans to take it over. To ...
Age of Swords
Michael J Sullivan
Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhunes make it all but impossible to unite against the co...
A Time of Dread
The Ben-Elim, a race of warrior angels, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands. But their dominion is brutally enforced and their ancient en...
The Last Dog on Earth
Adrian J Walker
Every dog has its day... And for Lineker, a happy go lucky mongrel from Peckham, the day the world ends is his: finally a chance to prove to his owner just how loyal he can...