Star Trek: First Frontier (1995) – Diane Carey and Dr. James I. Kirkland

It has been a while since I’ve explored the final frontier as documented in Simon & Schusters’ Star Trek novels. I’ve been craving lots of Trek recently, so it seemed like a perfect time to dive back into the adventures of Kirk and company.

This time around Diane Carey, who has written several Trek novels, is joined by Dr. Kirkland and brings a cool concept to life, Star Trek and dinosaurs.

Setting up the tale quite nicely, the novel sees the Enterprise on a wargames assignment when things go wrong. There is a shift in space-time, and the universe changes around them. The Federation is gone, the Romulans are more menacing, and Earth… there’s no sign of humanity ever rising to dominance on the planet, or existing.

Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and the rest are shaken to learn they are in a universe where an asteroid never struck the Earth, wiping out the dinosaurs and leading to man. Instead, that disaster was averted, with some help, and everything changed.

They can’t travel back in time, because the temporal distance is too far, they’ll need to find another way to change the universe back.

I really enjoyed how this story played out and the concept of Clan Ru, a species that evolved from the dinosaurs. They were the ones responsible for the lack of asteroid impact, in the hope to remove humanity from the galaxy.

But their own efforts may have caused problems for their own future, and perhaps that’s how Captain James T. Kirk can save the day and his reality.

Carey has a strong handle on the characters, and writes them easily, allowing the reader to slip right into them with great familiarity. In this case, it feels like a really well-executed episode of The Original Series. I also like that even after what Clan Ru has done, that stalwart crew of the Enterprise still wants to find an equitable resolution.

The story moves along at a brisk clip and features some great ideas and some surprises. I was troubled about how the story would play out when I read the blurb, but one should trust Carey’s name on a book. Sign up for the ride and buckle up!

After having stepped away from Trek novels for so long… that To Be Read pile isn’t going to read itself and keeps growing with a variety of books… it was a joy to come back to them, and add them back into my reading cycle.

I can’t wait for my next adventure, boldly going, as I join Captain Sulu in The Captain’s Daughter. Make sure you check out all the Star Trek titles available from Simon & Schuster.

The Human Adventure is just beginning…

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