Star Trek: Enterprise: Rise of the Federation: Patterns of Interference
by Christopher L. Bennett
Cover Artist: Doug Drexler
Review by Jon Guenther
Pocket Books Mass Market Paperback / e ISBN/ITEM#: 9781501165702
Date: 29 August 2017 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
In contrast to other books in the Star Trek series of novels, Star Trek: Enterprise: Rise of the Federation: Patterns of Interference by Christopher L. Bennett, could be approached one of two ways: how it stacks up within the series, or how it stands on its own merits. Unfortunately, I didn't find much to recommend it either way.
The book is written and edited well, but as an entry in the Star Trek franchise, it was executed in pretty lackluster fashion. With series books, there's some responsibility on the readers to know where they're at or at least the back story. This novel was filled with historical references and page after page of info dumps. Another point I noticed that made it less enjoyable was that well-known characters were put in situations where they prattle on indefinitely about the exact same thing as the last scene, or nothing really at all.
Things I did find appealing were that characters weren't seen doing or saying anything that would seem out of character for them. There were some scenes where Jonathan Archer (now an Admiral and political figure in the newly rising United Federation of Planets) seemed less a man of action and too sentimental. Of course, all the characters have to rely on the author to give them conflicts, as this is the central device of good stories. Unfortunately for the reader, there is very little of it here save for Tucker's attempts to bring down his Section 31 masters like some James Bond in space while he's acting at times like a love-sick high school student.
Finally, the book lacked much action probably due to the lack of well-defined conflicts. There were definitely good parts scattered throughout where the story was well-executed, but I never got the sense of urgency or pace because of the constant interruptions of pointless dialog or exposition of history from the previous books.
Star Trek: Enterprise: Rise of the Federation: Patterns of Interference by Christopher L. Bennett was an okay read, but I was disappointed because I think it could've been so much better. The Star Trek universe is a very large one and provides any writer with great opportunities to tell great stories. Unfortunately, this entry in the series didn't quite get there and didn't have much within its pages to excite me.