Okay before we go any further does anybody else remember when Star Trek novels used to give those cute little Historians notes at the start where they’d say roughly when it was set in relation to like big landmark episodes or movies.
Well this is 2372, when Kirk was turning his own death into a fighting chance for millions, Picard was facing down his own worst fear as it tried to stop the federation before it ever began and Janeway was forced to unite a crew and face an impossible trek through the stars. A year when Captain Michael Owens was getting a bit upset at being called a daddy’s boy. This is…………………………………….
Okay that was a slight lie, it’s actually 2366, the poor little rich boy is only a lieutenant commander, and his brother is figuring out how to revolutionise travel between planets; whilst Michael gets moody with his ex. Not that Dr Matty Owens is working on this project solo of course aided by a genius in several science fields; one Doctor Frobisher, a man not all he appears to be.
Things don’t quite as planned however when it comes to light that while this new fangled teleporter may get it’s target to a planet several light years away it may have the inverse effect of killing everything on said planet when it does so. Seen as how it is a bit of a faux pas to wipe out a civilisation upon your arrival Michael decides to shut them down. Frobisher doesn’t take this set back very well.
We then cut to six years later where he finally got that starship for Christmas he always wanted and now in command of the Nebula class U.S.S Eagle, Owens has surrounded himself with, well maybe not the best and brightest; but at least the competent and cheery. They are just celebrating their one year anniversary with a massive booze filled blow out when they get word that they are being given a special mission from the man upstairs. By which I mean the captains Dad. A virus has broken out on a small border world and they are tasked with taking the vaccine and its handlers there immediately. The handlers being an almost all Vulcan party and Adrmial Owens himself.
Now typically the two would sulk, argue occasionally, beat each other up and come to some kind of mutual understanding and walk away a better man with a stronger bond. Unfortunately the Anbo-jyutsu court is fully booked so the two are stuck hating each other for the remainder of the trip.
Also the Vulcan science officers fiancé is part of the delegation as is her boyfriend which is just as awkward for Vulcans as it would be for you or me. Granted it gets worse for both the fiancé and said boyfriend when she starts shacking up with the half Romulan tactical officer; that’s when it gets really awkward. The fact that she is one of those Vulcans, who apparently exist, who don’t hide their feelings behind layers upon layers of pent up stoicism and logic probably doesn’t help.
With all this going on it’s no wonder that the only one free to notice something fishy might be going on is the ships doctor who is forced to turn spy to get to the bottom of this mystery. Calling old favours, pulling people in under false pretences all the while trying to be something they aren’t and saving her precious baby turtles. But then again playing secret agent seems to be something covered in Starfleet medical training so maybe I shouldn’t be complaining.
Okay so I’ve given this book a slightly hard time, I guess, and truth be told my “complaints” don’t stop there so before I go any further I should tell you if it’s a thumbs up or a thumbs down and without a word of a lie I’ve got to give it a decent thumbs up from me. Sure there are a few typos lurking in each chapter ready to jump out like a cloaked Jem’Hadar ready to earn it’s life in victory. But I would say that the main bug bear with the first Star Eagle adventure is that it doesn’t feel much like the pilot. I mean Picard met a god, Kirks best mate became a god, Sisko taught gods how to play baseball and Janeway got kidnapped by a god.
I guess what I’m saying is it needs more deities.
But seriously because the crew has already been together a year they are pretty well gelled by now, sure the Romulan and Vulcan butt heads a bit but it never feels like anything too major because although they have been avoiding each other we’ve never even met them before so we kind of have to just take it as read. The chief engineer is missing, presumed drunk and there isn’t so much a focus on the threat to planets or peace so much as the captain and his “soul”. Not that this makes it a bad episode, it just feels like a decent episode three, or four; of season three onward.
Though having said that maybe that’s even better. After all no series outside or TOS hit the ground running and they each needed to let the crew adjust and figure things out before they could tell good trek and if that’s the case here I can hardly complain about them missing the usual “year one” gumph.
Now this isn’t for everyone and I would argue that it is in fact only for those missing classic Trek. There’s no captains on motorcycles here, Just late show TNG with a dash of Deep Space Nine. Which is fine by me.
After all it could be Enterprise with a dash of Voyager.
But for those after late TNG with a dash of DS9 then look no further. I’m not going to claim this is the best Star Trek novel I’ve read, not by a long shot but it is also far from the worst and when I say that I’m not on about cheap fanfics found on the dark web where Kirk got left alone with that Gorn for a little too long. No I’m talking paper and pulp actual novels that somebody had the audacity to charge money for. It’s a promising start, not least for missing out a lot of the traps Trek fic seemed to have back in my day. No experimental super advanced starships, mary sue captains and relatives of all the authors favourite characters. Just a solid old fashioned ship, a decent very human seeming crew and a lot of potential.
Check them out for free at StarEagle Adventures