I have to agree with Therin here. I wasn't impressed with "Enterprise: The First Adventure" which was odd as I've loved the vast majority of Vonda's Trek novels. Most especially "The Entropy Effect".
It's not my favorite Star Trek
novel by any means, but I've enjoyed reading and rereading Enterprise: The First Adventure
over the years.
It's main problem is that it's awkward in the way that modern television pilots are awkward and it's narratively weak in the way that modern television pilots are narratively weak -- its actual plot is thin because the book spends its time heavy lifting on character rather than story, it introduces us to a lot of characters (in this case acting as though) we've never met before, and it plants character seeds and plot hooks for later works to pick up on. Compare E:TFA
's Taking Wing
or New Frontier
's first four books; these works all spend a lot of time doing things before the plot, which is treated almost an afterthought, actually kicks into gear. In all three cases, if you edited out the pilot-specific elements, you'd end up with a much tighter work of about half the length. The main difference between the works is that Titan
and New Frontier
were launching new series out of their pilots, while E:TFA
was a retrospective modern pilot for an already existing series. Thanks to the television series, we know how a lot of the elements introduced here will turn out years down the road.
All of that said, E:TFA
also reads as though there was a planned sequel to the book that never materialized. What became of the Phalanx and Koronin and all that? No idea, but the book was certainly laying the groundwork for more exploration of those ideas and characters, only that exploration never happened.