Chapter by Chapter features me reading one chapter of the selected book at the time and reviewing it as if I were reviewing an episode of a TV show or an issue of a comic. There will be spoilers if you haven’t read to the point I have, and if you’ve read further I ask that you don’t spoil anything further into the book. Think of it as read-along book club.

Chapter by Chapter Enterprise

When I started this series I thought I would be reviewing the Prologue with the introduction. I also didn’t know it would take until the third book before I was actually doing a chapter at a time. So here we go with the opening to the better first voyage of the classic crew.

We begin with Kirk’s story. He only recently awoke following a mission gone way long. Gary Mitchell is still in the bacta regeneration gel and won’t be able to serve as his first officer. While Kirk was in his own dip in the gel he was promoted to captain and given command of the Enterprise. Kirk also meets Nurse Chapel, who is caring for Mitchell. I’m not sure why they bothered introducing her this way. I wonder if McIntyre really wanted to use everybody.

We also learn the history of his relationship with Carol Marcus as they say their good-byes. Apparently she’s a geneticist, developing the process that healed Kirk as is working magic on Gary.. In this version Kirk and Carol met because she approached him. Yep, she made the first move just after he finished floating the gel for months. However, Kirk got the Enterprise and she knew how badly he wanted it and wasn’t ready to have a boyfriend or husband who only dropped in to say hi, and so they broke up.

Personally I like the DC Comics two-parter that showed Kirk and Carol met many times in their lives and formed more than a whirlwind romance but were starcrossed lovers. It just felt stronger to me.

Then we get to Spock’s “introduction”. McIntyre has Spock communing with nature at an almost romanticized level. He teaches himself to swim in a few days despite living on a desert planet. I could see if he learned from someone on the crew or during visits to Earth with his mother or something. But no, he learned on his own rather briefly. She writes that he can sense hear all the sounds and feel the vibrations of life in the water. A barracuda swims  up to him and just swims off, which may be more true to life than people realize but in violation of they’re treatment in fiction, where they seem to be second to the piranha in viciousness. (Also not really in line with truth.) On the other hand, Vulcans appear to have no UV protection like humans, and Spock doesn’t get “decorative” clothing like bikinis. {shrug}

We do get some talk about his estrangement with his father (which wouldn’t be resolved until “Journey To Babel”, and about hoe Spock at least respects his mother’s feelings when she sends him a shirt to wear to non-official parties. Just before that Spock was thinking about the parties with humans and Deltans. One thing I kind of like at this stage is that if you have never seen an episode there are some good introductions to the characters and drops for long-time Star Trek fans that work better here than Transformers: Exodus did for Transformers fans.

Next up is Sulu, a cadet at this point. He wins a fencing match, costing his team captain the championship hat trick and nobody on the team is happy with him for it. I don’t know anything about fencing so I don’t know how he fought his own team captain. What I do know is that I don’t remember Sulu being a huge fencer. I mean, he HAS a dueling saber in “The Naked Time” so unless the crazed Sulu replicated one it makes sense that he has an interest.

Fun fact: It was McIntyre who gave Sulu is first name in one of her other novels, The Entropy Effect, and Peter David persuaded the writers of the fourth movie to use it, making it officially canon. David wrote the comic adaptation and the novel adaptation was written by…Vonda McIntyre.

As Sulu prepares for his dream position on the Starship Aerfen with Captain Hunter (cute, Vonda, real cute), we meet Koronin. No, she’s not from the show. She’s a rogue Klingon captain and she’ll have a part to play in the story to come. She’s going to be interesting. She won the ship in an unspecified game of chance with the previous owner. When his (now her) serjent (Trekkies who follow the minutia may be able to tell us where that rank rates) attacks her she disables him without major injury because she won’t kill if it isn’t necessary. She also refuses the title “my lady” and only wants to be referred to by name. I think I like her.

That’s the end of the prologue. It introduces the important characters to the story for the benefit of people who never saw the series while not losing the long-time fans. It also introduces a new character I’m going to enjoy watching. We’re off to a good start. There are no chapter titles, so join us for our next installment as we begin the first official chapter of this book.

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About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

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