on 13 September 2013
"Things Fall Apart" by Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore is the first book in a six part Star Trek mini series entitled "Mere Anarchy". The interesting thing about this series is that the stories were originally released only in ebook format only which seems to have resulted in a shorter length in comparison to other Trek novels.
In this story the readers are introduced to the inhabitants of the planet Mestiko who have been under observation by a small team of Starfleet cultural specialists. However, the future is not looking good for the planet as a rogue pulsar has been detected approaching their star system. The lethal radiation given off by the pulsar is expected to destroy all life on Mestiko. The Federation must therefore decide if it is willing to step in and try to assist when it is limited by the strict definitions of the Prime Directive.
I actually found this to be a thoroughly enjoyable introduction to the series as it expertly sets the stage for future instalments. I liked how the authors have split the narrative between Mestiko's inhabitants and the crew of the Enterprise. This ensures that as well as getting to see the familiar crew, the readers are able to identify and understand the people on the planet who I suspect we will see more of in the future stories.
One thing I really noticed about this story is that it really did seem to capture the feel of the original series era. I could easily envision this as the same crew witnessed in the episode of "Where No Man Has Gone Before". I don't think it offered any new insights into the crew but with the short length of this story I don't think there was much opportunity and I was more than happy just to witness the crew acting in the manner I expected.
Overall this was a very engaging and enjoyable introduction to the "Mere Anarchy" series that sets the scene admirably and leaves the reader looking forward to the next instalment.
Note: Whilst this story was originally released in ebook format only, a collection of all the Mere Anarchy stories is available in a paperback edition.