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The Trek Nation - Daedalus

Daedalus

By Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at December 23, 2003 - 1:07 AM GMT

Title: Enterprise: Daedalus, Part One of Two
Author: Dave Stern
Release Date: December 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
ISBN: 0-7434-7118-0


If you are the type of person who likes to read the acknowledgements in a book before you dive into a story you might want to forgo that if you intend to read the new Enterprise novel Daedalus by Dave Stern. In this case the acknowledgements give away the unexpected twist in the story and Daedalus is surprising in several respects. One other cautionary note regarding this novel, part two of the story, Daedalus’s Children, will not be available until May of 2004.

Just as the crew are about to begin investigating an unusual anomaly in the K’Pellis Cluster, the Enterprise is suddenly and swiftly crippled and then boarded. Commander Tucker and Ensign Sato manage to escape hoping that they will find a way to aid their crewmates and are rescued by members of a group that calls themselves the Guild. Members of a race called the Denar. The Guild are fighting a desperate uphill battle to topple the local dictator, General Sadir, the man responsible for the attack on Enterprise. Trip and Hoshi will need the help of the Guild to affect a rescue attempt but that means that they must aid the Guild and Trip is not unnaturally a bit leery about providing the Guild with too much assistance until a shocking discovery turns his world even further upside down.

What surprised me the most about Daedalus was how enjoyable a reading experience it was. I readily admit that I wasn’t expecting much based on the previous Enterprise novels but Daedalus, despite its weaknesses, was an interesting story with appealing characters that was solidly executed. Not great but certainly engaging and entertaining.

The title, Daedalus, refers to the ship of that name, an experimental warp capable vessel that exploded on its maiden voyage thirteen years earlier. Tucker, who had worked on the Daedalus project, finds his memories of that catastrophe coming back to haunt him in more ways than one in this story and it is Commander Tucker who quickly becomes the main character in the novel. Stern’s characterization of Trip is excellent, the personality and voice of the engineer comes through marvelously.

While Hoshi and Tucker are the only two main Enterprise characters utilized in Daedalus after the first three chapters, and Hoshi plays only a limited role, the Guild characters are well drawn. They are sympathetic but strong. The Denari doctor, a woman named Trant is particularly likable. However, the apparent villain, General Sadir, is only seen superficially, primarily through hearsay.

Just after the midway point the plot of Daedalus takes its first startling twist but it is in the final chapter that Stern guarantees you’ll want to read part two, Daedalus’s Children, by dropping another astonishing, and hopefully unforeseen turn into the story. How the story is concluded in the second part will ultimately determine just how good this first part was, and hopefully the plot can maintain its momentum. We will have to wait until next May to find out, but based on the story thus far I’m feeling a lot more optimistic than I expected.


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Jacqueline Bundy reviews Star Trek books for the Trek Nation, writes monthly columns for the TrekWeb newsletter and the Star Trek Galactic News, and hosts the Yahoo Star Trek Books Group weekly chat.