I wasn't quite sure about how this story would be set up going in. I guess a part of me was expecting more of it to be set in the corridors of power on Earth and the other founding planets, akin to what I've heard about Articles of the Federation
. (I haven't read that volume for myself, so apologies if I've mis-categorized it.) But I suppose a book which, in this case, is more explicitly branded as tied to a given TV series would retain more of a focus on the ongoing concerns of the surviving on-screen characters, be they on a ship or at the negotiating table.
I guess the closest comparison I can make in my own mind is with Harbinger
, in how this book aims to start a new line of stories with a common theme. (It's not a wholly fair comparison, since Vanguard
was a new setting with a mostly-new cast of predominantly non-canon characters; but it's the closest my limited exposure to recent Franchise Trek novels will allow.)
But even with that distinction in mind, I'm not sure if A Choice of Futures
works for me in quite the same way that Harbinger
did, in terms of laying the groundwork for an ongoing fiction line I can invest myself in.
That's not to denigrate any of the work that went into this book. Far from it. The attention to detail put into world-building is commendable, and makes me think of how easy it was to slip into the vision of a later era's Federation in the author's The Buried Age
(which is still one of my favourite Trek
novels). And I'm not saying that I hate this book either, or even that I don't like it; just that it didn't quite jump off the page for me in quite the same way as Harbinger
Perhaps in hindsight, once Tower of Babel
is out (which, hopefully, will be followed by more books in this series), my impression of ACoF
will change in light of the broader story arc this volume helps set the stage for.