Monday, 9 September 2013

Star Trek: Enterprise: The Expanse - J.M. Dillard



Title: The Expanse
Author: J.M. Dillard
Published: 2002
Chronological Period: 2153

Available at:
Amazon
The Book Depository
Amazon UK

Review:
"The Expanse" by J.M. Dillard is a novelization of two Star Trek Enterprise episodes; namely the Season 2 Finale and the Season 3 premier. There was one little quirk regarding this novelization though in that it actually included various scenes that were deleted from the episodes prior to them airing which were quite interesting to read.

The story deals with an attack on Earth by a previously unknown alien species (or actually 5 separate species that evolved on one planet) known as the Xindi. After this attack leaves millions dead, the Enteprise is recalled to Earth where the crew witness the devastation for themselves. However, thanks to information gained from a time traveller, the Enterprise is dispatched on a mission into the Delphic Expanse to try and locate the Xindi homeworld to ensure there are no further attacks.

The book follows the script of the two episodes fairly well, covering the various events exactly as was seen on screen although the reader does get to obtain a little bit more understanding of what may be going on within the character's heads and the various motivations. I particularly thought this was so in regards to T'Pol's decision to disobey the Vulcan High Command and Tucker's attempts to deal with the loss of his sister.

My biggest issue with the novel though is that it just covers the two episodes that were used to set up a major story arc that ran across the entire third series. Therefore, there is no satisfying conclusion to this novel which basically just sets up the major plot line and various goals yet doesn't actually see them through to completion. To be honest, if I hadn't been the fan of the series and therefore knew how it all ends up I would probably have been deeply disappointed.

If you ignore this aspect however, there is no doubt that this is a well written and nicely paced book. The story itself was enjoyable enough already, but the little additions made by Dillard to the story have definitely added to it. It is without doubt the best of the novelizations I have read so far within the Enterprise collection.

In conclusion, this is an enjoyable book that provides a little bit more insight into the characters beyond what a reader may have observed from the TV screen. To be honest though I am not sure if it adds enough to really make it a must buy for a fan of the show and the lack of a proper conclusion probably would irritate someone who had not actually already seen the series. I would probably just advise people to watch all of season 3 instead and only buy the book if you are a completionist.