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Star Trek: Enterprise: Kobayashi Maru [Kindle Edition]

Michael A. Martin , Andy Mangels
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

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Book Description

To protect the cargo ships essential to the continuing existence of the fledgling Coalition of Planets, the captains of the United Earth's Starfleet are ordered to interstellar picket duty, with little more to do than ask "Who goes there?" into the darkness of space.

Captain Jonathan Archer of the Enterprise™ seethes with frustration, wondering if anyone else can see what he sees. A secret, closed, militaristic society, convinced that their survival hangs by a thread, who view their neighbors as a threat to their very existence -- the Spartans of ancient Greece, the Russians of the old Soviet Union, the Koreans under Kim Il-sung -- with only one goal: attain ultimate power, no matter the cost. The little-known, never-seen Romulans seem to live by these same principles.

The captain realizes that the bond between the signers of the Coalition charter is fragile and likely to snap if pushed. But he knows that the Romulans are hostile, and he believes they are the force behind the cargo ship attacks. If asked, Archer can offer no proof without endangering his friend's life.

To whom does he owe his loyalty: his friend, his world, the Coalition? And by choosing one, does he not risk losing all of them? What is the solution to a no-win scenario?


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michael A. Martin's solo short fiction has appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. He has also coauthored (with Andy Mangels) several Star Trek comics for Marvel and Wildstorm and numerous Star Trek novels and eBooks, including the USA Today bestseller Titan: Book One: Taking Wing; Titan: Book Two: The Red King; the Sy Fy Genre Award-winning Star Trek: Worlds of Deep Space 9 Book Two: Trill -- Unjoined; Star Trek: The Lost Era 2298 -- The Sundered; Star Trek: Deep Space 9 Mission: Gamma: Vol. Three: Cathedral; Star Trek: The Next Generation: Section 31 -- Rogue; Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers #30 and #31 ("Ishtar Rising" Books 1 and 2); stories in the Prophecy and Change, Tales of the Dominion War, and Tales from the Captain's Table anthologies; and three novels based on the Roswell television series. His most recent novels include Enterprise: The Romulan War and Star Trek Online: The Needs of the Many.

His work has also been published by Atlas Editions (in their Star Trek Universe subscription card series), Star Trek Monthly, Dreamwatch, Grolier Books, Visible Ink Press, The Oregonian, and Gareth Stevens, Inc., for whom he has penned several World Almanac Library of the States nonfiction books for young readers. He lives with his wife, Jenny, and their two sons in Portland, Oregon.

Andy Mangels is the USA Today bestselling author and coauthor of over a dozen novels -- including Star Trek and Roswell books -- all cowritten with Michael A. Martin. Flying solo, he is the bestselling author of several nonfiction books, including Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Characters and Animation on DVD: The Ultimate Guide, as well as a significant number of entries for The Superhero Book: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Comic-Book Icons and Hollywood Heroes as well as for its companion volume, The Supervillain Book.

In addition to cowriting several more upcoming novels and contributing to anthologies, Andy has produced, directed, and scripted a series of sixteen half-hour DVD documentaries for BCI Eclipse, for inclusion in the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe DVD box sets.

Andy has written hundreds of articles for entertainment and lifestyle magazines and newspapers in the United States, England, and Italy. He has also written licensed material based on properties from numerous film studios and Microsoft, and his two decades of comic book work has been published by DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Dark Horse, Image, Innovation, and many others. He was the editor of the award-winning Gay Comics anthology for eight years.

Andy is a national award-winning activist in the Gay community, and has raised thousands of dollars for charities over the years. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his long-term partner, Don Hood, their dog, Bela, and their chosen son, Paul Smalley. Visit his website at www.andymangels.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

ONE

Thursday, May 22, 2155

Enterprise NX-01

"Admit it, Jonathan. You're already at least as bored with this mission as I am."

Unable to deny his fellow NX-class starship captain's assertion, Captain Jonathan Archer smoothed his rumpled uniform and leaned back in his chair with a resigned sigh. Porthos, whom Archer had thought was fast asleep behind him at the foot of his bed, released a short but portentous bark, as if voicing agreement with the woman who looked on expectantly from the screen. Archer turned away from the lone desktop terminal in his quarters just long enough to toss a small dog treat to the beagle, who immediately became far too preoccupied with the noisy business of eating to tender any further opinions.

"My feelings really don't matter all that much, Erika," Archer said to the image on the terminal. "And frankly, neither do yours. This was Starfleet's call to make, not ours."

From across the nearly six-parsec-wide gulf of interstellar space that currently separated Enterprise from Columbia, Captain Erika Hernandez punctuated her reply with a withering frown. "All right. Who are you, and what have you done with Jon Archer?"

His lips curled in an inadvertent grin. "I'm just an explorer, Erika. I don't make policy. And I don't like babysitting Earth Cargo Service freighter convoys any more than you do. But you've got to admit that there have been enough attacks on the main civilian shipping lanes over the past few weeks to justify keeping Earth's two fastest and best-armed starships out on continuous patrol, at least for a while."

She shook her head slightly. "Maybe. But not indefinitely. And certainly not if you're interested in treating the underlying disease instead of just the symptoms."

Archer couldn't really disagree with that either. The past six weeks of mostly uneventful patrol duty, spent endlessly covering the same roughly twenty-light-year stretches outbound from Earth, followed by a virtually identical inbound course which intermittently brought Enterprise and Columbia together from opposite directions, put him in mind of the ancient Greek myth about a man whose misdeeds had earned him the divine punishment of rolling a huge boulder up a hill, only to have to repeat the process endlessly after reaching the summit and seeing it roll down again. Archer sometimes half-seriously considered asking Starfleet to send the new NX-class starship Challenger, still under construction in the skies above San Francisco, to relieve him -- after rechristening it Sisyphus, of course.

But he knew better than to think that either he or Captain Hernandez could do much to change the minds of Admirals Gardner, Black, Douglas, Clark, Palmieri, or any of the rest of Starfleet Command's determined brass hats. After all, each of them had shot down essentially the same argument Erika was making today when Archer had first brought the topic before them weeks ago.

"We still don't have any hard proof that the attacks against our freighters are anything other than exactly what they appear to be," Archer said. "The work of rogue pirates and freebooters."

"That's probably only because those alleged 'rogue pirates and freebooters' have been keeping us both so busy waiting and watching, not to mention wearing a triangular groove in the space between Earth and Draylax and Deneva, that we haven't had any time to go hunt down the real culprits."

"The Romulans," Archer said.

She nodded, confirming that he had completed her unvoiced thought. "Or the Klingons. Or maybe even both. The disruptor traces we found on the hull debris are consistent with either of them."

"As nasty as the Klingons can be, my money's on the Romulans," Archer said.

Her eyes widened. "Why? You know something I don't?"

He nodded. "Is this line secure on your end?"

"I trust my mother and God, in that order," she said with a nod of her own. "Everybody and everything else has to go through the most stringent of security protocols. Go ahead."

He paused to gather his thoughts. From the edge of the bed, Porthos released a low growl that almost made Archer wonder if his own dog wasn't spying on him on behalf of Admiral Gardner.

"The attack on Coridan has overshadowed just about everything else that's been going on in a dozen sectors in every direction," Archer said at length.

"That's understandable. Over a billion people have died on Coridan Prime so far, and people are still dying there three months later thanks to all the environmental damage, not to mention the damned civil war they're fighting. Have you found some evidence linking the Romulans to the Coridan attack?"

"No," he said with a glum shake of his head. "The Romulans are way too subtle to leave any fingerprints behind."

She frowned again. "So why bring up Coridan?"

"Because Starfleet has been able to use it as a diversion to keep a lid on something we discovered on Andoria a little bit before the Coridan attack. The admiralty has classified my report on the subject. But in my judgment you have a legitimate need to know what they've been sitting on these past few months."

Hernandez's brow furrowed. "You've found evidence of some sort of Romulan incursion on Andoria?"

"Indirect evidence. But it's as close to a smoking gun as you're going to get with people as slick as the Romulans. You've been briefed about their use of telepaths to pilot remote-controlled attack ships, right?"

"Of course. I know that you and your crew destroyed a telepath-guided Romulan prototype last year."

"Right. But what you haven't been told is that the Romulans have recently been trying to get their hands on more telepaths for similar military applications, using the services of third parties brokered through Adigeon Prime."

A look of understanding crossed her olive features. "The Adigeons. Gotta love those tight-lipped Swiss banker types."

"Believe me, the Adigeons make the old Swiss bankers look like the village gossip. In spite of that, we managed to track down and rescue about three dozen Aenar-Andorian telepaths that a third party had captured on behalf of the Romulans."

Hernandez's face became a study in horror. "Enslaving all those people. Just to launch another remote-control attack against us."

"And they're not going to back off, either. Not when they can just lie in the weeds and wait until they're ready to try again."

The horror on Hernandez's countenance slowly solidified into an almost palpable anger, and her words carried the timbre of blood and fire. "And you're content to let Starfleet just go on reacting instead of actually doing something?"

Archer endured her not-so-subtle criticism with all the stoicism he could muster. "What makes you think I'm not doing anything?"

"Let's see. Maybe it's the fact that you're still out here patrolling the boonies, just like I am."

"Let's just say I'm working on the problem through a back channel and leave it at that."

"I know you have political pull that I don't, since you're the man who saved Earth from the Xindi. But I can't believe you've got a special back channel with Starfleet Command that I don't even know about."

Archer grinned. "What makes you think I was talking about Starfleet Command? Their hands are full at the moment just keeping the Coalition from collapsing into four squabbling pieces, especially since the Coridan attack."

"Unlike either of us," Hernandez said as the door chime sounded.

"Be careful what you wish for, Erika," Archer said, even though he was half hoping for news of another so-called pirate raid, if only to break up the tedium of the past several days of utterly fruitless patrolling. He held up a hand for silence, then turned toward the door.

"Come."

The door hissed open and Commander T'Pol stepped gingerly over the slightly raised threshold, then paused in the open hatchway. She wore a standard-issue, dark blue Starfleet duty uniform, a sight to which he was still only beginning to become accustomed, though she had adopted it nearly three months ago. To the Vulcan woman's credit, she appeared as comfortable and unself-conscious wearing Earth's service attire as she had in the somewhat more formfitting uniform of the Vulcan military from which she had retired over a year earlier. Despite the lateness of the hour, her clothing looked fresh and neatly pressed.

"I apologize for disturbing you, Captain, but I have received some news that you will wish to hear immediately," she said, still hesitating in the open hatchway. She glanced toward the image of Captain Hernandez, which was clearly visible from her vantage point. "Am I interrupting anything?"

Archer smiled gently at his second-in-command. Long before their respective careers had conspired to draw them literally light-years apart, there had once been a time when anyone "walking in" on him and Erika Hernandez might indeed have interrupted something rather intimate. Had Hernandez, who had never been sanguine about making love in Porthos's presence -- and was allergic to pet dander to boot -- not issued a fateful it's-me-or-the-beagle ultimatum, the lives and careers of both captains might have taken radically different trajectories. Only very rarely, such as that time his canine companion had become fragrantly flatulent after snarfing up an entire wheel of Chef's fancy Gruyère cheese, did the captain have cause to regret his decision. Regardless, fair was fair, and since he'd known Porthos longer than he'd known Hernandez, the dog had ultimately won the contest.

Remaining in his chair, Archer fanned the fingers of his left hand toward himself in a "come in" gesture. "Not at all, Commander. I'm sure you know Captain Hernandez."

T'Pol finished crossing the threshold and allowed the hatch to hiss closed behind her just as Porthos jumped...


Product Details

  • File Size: 634 KB
  • Print Length: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books/Star Trek (August 26, 2008)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0015DWMK2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,224 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The No-Win Scenario September 25, 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When Captain Jonathan Archer is ordered to border patrol against pirates, he soon grows bored and frustrated with the assignment. But Archer knows the Romulans are up to something. After an attack from the Klingons that the government disavows, Archer must investigate and discover the truth behind the Romulans' agenda. But when odds are stacked against Archer and the Enterprise, what will he choose to do in an unwinnable scenario?

Star Trek fans will automatically remember that back in his academy days, Kirk changed the rules of the Kobayashi Maru test in order to win the no-win scenario. Here is a look at what happened with that fateful circumstance and what leads up to the eventual Earth-Romulan War.

While Archer is off making tough choices that could affect the entire coalition, Commander Trip Tucker is deep undercover posing as a Romulan trying to make sure Warp 7 technology doesn't fall into the wrong hands. Of course, danger constantly surrounds everything Trip does. And this storyline is by far the most exciting. But T'Pol makes some out-of-character choices in a strange subplot that doesn't do much to forward the story, other than let you know there's still that spark between the two and that Trip is dedicated to his mission.

Kobayashi Maru has plenty of action, suspense, political intrigue, and drama to appease any Star Trek fan. But the exciting climax at the end of the novel is the legendary account that we've all been waiting to hear, where Archer must make the toughest decision of his career. And it was a situation that I found myself considering for quite a while after finishing the book!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I would wait until the sequel, and read both at once. November 10, 2008
By M. Hall
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book takes a while to get going, and there are some problems for the avid ST book reader as far as characters, but that stuff can be easily dismissed because the book is an okay read. I still think the best Kobaishi Maru story is contained in New Frontier-Stone and Anvil. Anyway, with this name you would think you won't be able to put it down...but believe me, you will.

Personally, it's a book that leaves off where the most exciting part will happen in the sequel, and it's almost a shame. If the sequel is going to be as slow as this one, they should have combined the two, cut out about 30% of the boring parts of the book, and created one "page-turner".

As it is, I would wait until the sequel and read both back to back, and be done with them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Mystery, the Romance, the Intrigue... January 10, 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Better written and more refined than Martin & Mangels' previous Enterprise novel (The Good That Men Do), Kobayashi Maru is a tale of epic proportions.

The newly formed Coalition of Planets, comprised of Earth, Vulcan, Andoria, and Tellar, faces attacks from a mysterious enemy, and Captain Archer and the Starship Enterprise must find the truth behind these incursions. Many familiar faces from the TV series are featured in this novel: Captain Erika Hernandez of the Starship Columbia assists Archer's crew in fending off invaders, while Ambassadors Soval of Vulcan and Gral of Tellar debate with Minister Samuels about the impending war, and later, Archer travels to the Klingon homeworld Qo'noS and fights General Krell in a bat'leth duel. Internal struggles also plague the Enterprise crew as a defiant T'Pol struggles with her emotional attachment to Trip, who is behind enemy lines working as a spy. The characterizations in Kobayashi Maru are excellent, and the plot teems with exciting dialogue, battles, and covert operations.

On the negative side, the book tends to do too much explaining, reminding the reader of unnecessary facts, often repetitively. At first, this provides the reader with a solid visualization of the scene, but after a while it gets tedious and in the way of moving the plot forward, especially when excess amounts of description separates dialogue in what should be a fairly fluid conversation.

This book is an excellent and intriguing lead-in to the Romulan War, the next novel in the line of Star Trek: Enterprise books. It's a good read, but the same story could have been accomplished in about a hundred less pages. Also, Trekkies will recognize the name "Kobayashi Maru," and without spoiling too much, I will simply say this book is aptly titled.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Decent Trip September 25, 2008
By JCD
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I kept waiting and waiting for this to get going. It did eventually, but never really grabbed me. Perhaps its because we know the fate of the Kobayashi Maru already...perhaps its because Martin and Mangels just aren't my favorite Trek authors. This is the third Star Trek Enterprise title of theirs that I have read, and there seems to be something missing still. I keep trying with them because the material is certainly there...they just can't seem to make it work fully and completely.

S P O I L E R S

This isn't to say that their works don't have anything good. There is plenty to celebrate here. I like the introspection of Archer throughout the novel. His is most interesting during his meeting with Hernandez, fighting Krell to the death, and at the end when he chooses to sacrifice the Maru.

Trip and T'pol getting it on in a shuttlecraft. Meh. I guess it sounded fun to include, but considering they had just watched an enemy base explode on the same planet moments before...it just doesn't seem "logical" to mess around in the same vicinity for long. The whole idea comes across like fan fiction.

Gay klingons. Hmmm...wasn't expecting that. But if you're going to include it, give some background for it, especially since its something we've never seen before. Its put in seemingly for mere shock value.

No grief shown by Mayweather over his entire family being lost (at least for the time being). Perhaps it will be explored in a future novel, but for Mayweather to showcase NOTHING is not realistic, granted he was on duty at the time.

I don't mean to sound like I am slamming this novel because I'm not. I DID like it, it just could have been so much more in depth in my opinion. It sets up the proposed Romulan War storyline pretty well, and maybe that is where we will get the ultimate payoff.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth following this book series
Interesting story, and good way to continue the story of Enterprise. Will continue following the series after this one.
Published 3 days ago by GJY
5.0 out of 5 stars fast service
Great condition & my hubby loved it!
Published 16 days ago by Kerrbear
3.0 out of 5 stars Do we need swearing?
This book was good. One flaw was the cussing. I really don't think there needs to be swearing in a Star Trek novel. The book dragged a bit here and there but wasn't too bad.
Published 1 month ago by Ken Kopper
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
An average read. The previous part was somewhat more coherent and engaging.
Published 1 month ago by Micha
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Anyone who enjoyed the television series will thoroughly enjoy this book. Very hard to put down.
Published 1 month ago by Garnett Chisenhall
5.0 out of 5 stars question answered
Always wondered what happened to the infamous ship. This book answers that and keeps you going with constant energy. Good read.
Published 1 month ago by nygman
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, but found myself skimming for the good parts
I admit I skimmed some, because I was primarily reading for Trip and T'Pol. I also enjoy Phlox and Reed, and could have used more of them. Read more
Published 5 months ago by readergal
5.0 out of 5 stars Great continuation of the story
Great continuation of the story, though the actual Kobayashi Maru wasn't as climactic as I'd hoped, the novel and its series was amazing!
Published 5 months ago by Franklin Morgan
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Star Trek
Love Star Trek. My family just doesn't understand that it is very interesting to read about the furure or what could be the future.
Published 5 months ago by C. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Great start to a good series
Great start to a good series. Few factual inconsistencies relating to certain star trek facks but still worth the read.
Published 6 months ago by John Clark
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