Star Trek Enterprise: The Last Full Measure by Michael A Martin and Andy Mangels

(7.0/10) An especially tasty treat in the wake of the success of season 4.

As a book reviewer you have to be careful about how much you agree to review. Review everything you read and you end up loathing the sheer sight of a book. The trick is in finding the balance between the joy of not having to buy books and the joy of reading. I made the mistake of requesting a Star Trek Enterprise book be sent to me for review, to be released in the next few weeks, which meant that I had to cram through the books that came before it.

The Star Trek Enterprise ‘relaunch’ – the phrase given to any of the Star Trek series’ which have been given continuity in book-form – theoretically starts with ‘Last Full Measure’, thanks mostly to the framing sequence. For fear of spoiling it for you, I won’t mention just how the framing sequence affects the continuing story – despite the main contents of this book taking place between episodes 1 and 2 of Enterprise season 3 – but if you continue reading my Enterprise reviews I will be forced into revealing a certain major plot point.

The Last Full Measure is set during the search for the Xindi set in season 3 of the Enterprise TV series. The primary story is focused on the search for the Xindi homeworld and/or the facility building the weapon which will wipe out Earth. However, the real story comes in the interaction between the sharks and the squids – the MACO and Starfleet personnel aboard Enterprise.

I was actually very impressed with the way that authors Andy Mangels and Michael A. Martin wove the sharp conflicting interactions of the two differing groups. There has always been a long history of conflict between marines and sailors, and this difference in opinion – exploration versus expansion, diplomacy versus conflict – was wonderfully portrayed.

The authors were obviously set about setting up a world in which they could write their relaunch. Several facets of this story were obviously written so as to allow for greater opportunities later on down the track. Specifically, several of the MACOs were given some wonderful ‘screen-time’ so as to allow them further growth down the track.

I think that both authors have a bit of trouble writing Vulcans, as T’Pol always comes across as a little too human for my liking, though it has been a long time since I’ve watched the TV series.

The action sequences are really well written; fast-paced, intense, and believable, with none of the last minute deus ex machina we have sometimes come to expect from TV shows where everything is back to normal by the end.

There is a growing sense of dread in this world; a desire for simple and peaceful exploration being crushed under the harsh realities of a harsh universe. The authors do a good job of pitting these juxtaposing elements against each other and allowing the characters to shine through the darkness. If you are a fan of Star Trek, and would like an opportunity to have Star Trek Enterprise continue – an especially tasty treat in the wake of the success of season 4 – then I highly recommend picking up the Last Full Measure, and continuing on into the relaunch-proper.

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