Enterprise: the First Adventure
© 1986 Vonda McIntyre
Jim Kirk thought he was going places. Not even thirty, he’s been named captain and given the Enterprise, famously captained by Chris Pike. But instead of launching out on an extended five year missions, he’s…transporting the circus? Yes, Starfleet in its wisdom has decided to use a top-of-the-line Starship to transport a bunch of jugglers, magicians, and a menagerie of ill-tempered critters that includes a winged horse, on a tour of several starbases. Fortunately for the plot, they encounter not only a wacky, emotional cousin of Spock, but a rogue Klingon ship out to spite the Federati — wait a minute, is this The Final Frontier?! The wacky Vulcan isn’t going to hijack the ship and take them to meet The God Thing, is he? …anyhoo, as billed this is the First Adventure of the Starship Enterprise. Its primary attraction is that the Enterprise crew first meet each other here, including the teenage Rand and Chekov. The characters’ introductions are on the predictable side: Spock and McCoy argue, Chekov is cheerfully delusional about Russia, Sulu has swords, etc. McIntyre offers some insight into the characters: Rand, for instance, is depicted as an underage teen who joined Starfleet to escape slavery, hence her nervousness. There’s also appreciable coolness between Kirk and Spock, who interact as distant professionals. Gary Mitchell isn’t the only nod to what adventures follow the crew: Kirk and Spock first bond over 3D chess (a la “Where No Man Has Gone Before”) and there are feline crewmen, a nod to the Animated Adventures. The weirdest thing about the books is the flying horse: how can six limbs be imposed on a four-limb brain? While the early characterization provides some interest for hardcore fans, it’s really not that engaging.