Reviews of ‘Star Trek’ Novel Adaptation & Audio Book + Limited Signed Hardcover Announced

Today The Library Computer brings you two special (and somewhat opposing) reviews of Alan Dean Foster’s adaptation of the new Star Trek feature film. Firstly Robert Lyons reviews the novel itself, and then John Tenuto reviews the audiobook version (read by Zachary Quinto). We also have news and a first look at the limited edition signed hardcover edition.


REVIEW – ‘STAR TREK’ novel by Alan Dean Foster
(based on a screenplay by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman)

review by Robert Lyons

[Please Note: This Review Contains Spoilers]

Foster opens “Star Trek” with an amazingly reflective piece of sci-fi writing, one which you feel is a tone-setter for the entire work. It was the perfect opening for a new era of Star Trek. For a while, Foster’s adaptation goes strong – but when a post-pubescent James Kirk takes off for San Francisco on a recruit shuttle, the book begins a drop-off that it never recovers from.

Given the lateness of the announcement of the adaptation, much of the blandness of the latter two-thirds of the book can be written off to the haste with which the adaptation was prepared. Typos slipped through (‘manuel control’, anyone? I didn’t know that Andrew Sachs had a cameo aboard the Kelvin in the film!), some inexplicable goofs also passed (the emitter of the drill cannot be ‘thousands of kilometers’ above the surface of a planet if Kirk and Sulu are going to remove their helmets), and, unfortunately, it feels that there is little or no passion, urgency, or impetus to any of the situations in the book. This stands in stark contrast to the film, which is so packed with action that strong regard for what is going on is being thrown at you every minute.

Foster does include some interesting material in the novel that is not in the film. For example, an extended scene with young Jim Kirk and his brother is included that explains a lot of Jim’s motivations for becoming a carousing drunk by the time he would have been serving aboard the Farragut in the ‘Prime’ timeline (as well as explaining why he was in that Corvette). In general the novel does a better job than the film in explaining the back-stories of Kirk and Spock, where that part of the film was likely cut down due to time. Some of this will likely be available in the deleted scenes section of the film’s DVD, but will be welcomed in the novel format by those eager for more back-story or who are too impatient to wait for the home video release. In particular, the adaptation’s take on Kirk’s relationship with his stepfather and his brother provide a far better baseline for understanding Kirk than anything else, leading to mystification about why it would have been omitted in the film.

While Foster is to be commended for including these scenes in the adaptation, his choice to eliminate other scenes from the film – in particular a scene between Kirk and McCoy that sets up the Kobayashi Maru – leaves Kirk looking, on the eve of his graduation, like a impudent twit instead of a cadet deserving of a commission in Starfleet. At least in the film you have a deeper understanding of what is going on at this point in time and can relate a bit better – even if you find it to stretch credibility.

Nero, in the adaptation, is a wholly ineffective villain – not that he was much better in the film. Even having read the prequel comic, “Countdown”, the adaptation leaves me with no genuine reason to give a damn about him, and he comes across as a cardboard cut-out, hell-bent on rage and retribution. Khan had dimension. Chang had moxy. Nero has nothing, nor does Foster contribute anything to him that the film does not (except for his Romulan name). Other than coming to the obvious conclusion that the Narada is from the future, nothing is said of the ship’s origins; and, curiously, nothing substantial is added to our knowledge of the time between the destruction of the Kelvin and Nero’s re-emergence onto the galactic scene. The rest of the book seems to have plot-hole after plot-hole, and while the mind-meld sequence explaining the whole Nero and Spock Prime backstory works marginally better in the book than in the movie, it still leaves a lot to be desired.

Readers who are hungry for some Kirk and Spock back-story will find Foster’s “Trek” adaptation appealing, but those who want deeper insight into the nuTrek universe will be disappointed. Only McCoy and Spock Prime come across with any degree of depth to them, though Uhura has her moments (acting, as she does, as a barometer of Kirk). Pike, Nero, and Robau all come across entirely wooden, and Scotty fares little better – feeling like a parody of James Doohan’s worst moments. Quinto’s Spock is unique, and the book left me with no real strong feeling towards him either way. As far as Kirk goes, Foster leaves me asking – if I am an Enterprise crew member – for an immediate transfer to the next quadrant… I see in Kirk a man who is going to get me killed, and, to be honest, this isn’t the Kirk I would follow into battle… or anywhere else, for that matter. I certainly can’t see him as an explorer, unless you count exploring women’s bodies as exploration. This is a marked difference from the film, as you can begin to see something of the Kirk we remember develop over the course of the story.

“Star Trek” the adaptation was a severe disappointment to me. Having read all of the classic movie adaptations, this falls way short of those works. There is nothing extra (beyond deleted scenes) in this book that would fan the flames of anyone, or that would make this book worthwhile. Foster stayed pretty close to the script, and in doing so diminished the value and the potential of his own adaptation. Further, the on-screen execution of the script provided a more entertaining experience than most of the book, and given the choice between the two, I’ll take the on-screen version over the book any day. (This isn’t always the case with me; I preferred the novelizations of Star Trek II, III, and VI over the on-screen versions.)

While I held out a level of optimism that the theatrical version would be more engaging, my enthusiasm for the film dropped several notches in the wake of reading the book. I was all for a good reboot of the Star Trek universe, and while a reboot is defiantly what we get (at least from the time of the Kelvin on), I have to admit that I may just now be discovering how much of an Original Series purist I am.

The trade paperback of "Star Trek" is officially released on May 12th, but is already available in some book stores.

"Star Trek" available at Amazon May 12 (also on Kindle)


REVIEW – ‘Star Trek’ Audio book version

review by John Tenuto

Prologue — When thinking about whether an audio book of a feature film is successful it must be remembered that many people are responsible for the adaptation. There is the author of the novel itself. The author is not responsible for the overall story (unless it is an usual instance such as Gene Roddenberry who by all accounts actually did write the novel for Star Trek: The Motion Picture himself). That belongs to the teleplay or feature film writers. A good author should craft a narrative that takes advantage of the format of a novel providing insights into the motivations and experiences of the characters. This is accomplished by authors adding new scenes or lines which help the narrative in a way possible in the format of a novel. Films usually do not offer insights into the internal monologues of characters, yet novels definitely could. The fun of novelizations is that they also include scenes that were filmed yet not included in the final edit, also helping the enjoyment of the narrative. Then there is the narrator. The narrator must maintaining the interest of the listeners and provide distinct voices for each of the characters. Does the narrator of the audio book engage the theater of the imagination? Then there is the company that produces the audio book which is responsible for packaging and other quality control issues.

The Star Trek audio book is excellent, succeeding on almost all of these concerns.

The Adaptation by Alan Dean Foster

Alan Dean Foster has credentials as both a talented and prolific adaptor to Star Trek and a writer of original science fiction, plus he has his own contributions to the Trek universe (including story credit for The Motion Picture). Foster wrote the amazing adaptation to the first Star Wars film and started the entire Star Wars extended universe with his Splinter of the Mind’s Eye. These experiences and talents are clearly helpful to his adaptation of Star Trek. Foster’s adaptation provides expanded scenes and important character motivations that improve the experience of the film itself. For example, his adaptation of the bar scene between Pike and Kirk and the internal monologue of Kirk as he appreciates the manufacturing of the USS Enterprise provide much needed information. In the film, Pike merely mentions that Starfleet needs people with Kirk’s personality again. In the book, we get a discussion of the conflict between new Starfleet (educated and competent) and old Starfleet (mavericks and history makers) which is a real issue faced by many militaries today (and symbolized in the Star Trek-referencing film Crimson Tide). It is this that is really motivating Pike which is very reasonable. A good adaptation is both a good book in its own accord, yet also helps makes experiencing the film a better engagement and that occurs because of Foster’s text.

The Narration by Zachary Quinto

I cannot offer enough accolades to Zachary Quinto’s narration. He is simply the best audio book narrator in the history of Star Trek, and that is saying quite a great deal considering the formidable and venerable talents of George Takei and James Doohan. Yet, Quinto shows all his acting abilities in the audio adaptation and he has a thoughtful style as narrator. He performs Scotty and Chekov flawlessly (watch out Anton Yelchin!). He also has a subtly in his voice while performing Kirk that is very good and displays the assuredness of the character without being a parody. One of the fun things about listening to audio books is to hear how various narrators act out characters of the opposite sex (think William Shatner in "Turnabout Intruder"). Quinto does very good at hinting at the femininity of characters without lisping to exaggerations or stereotypical imitations. In the film, Eric Bana uses several voices as he performs Nero (compare his voices when welcoming back Spock with talking to Pike). Quinto does a very good job of staying consistent and sounding like Bana. Quinto is a true master of various accents.

As the generic narrator, Quinto also displays excellent qualities. His tonation and energy help maintain interest during the 8.5 hours of the audio book. His abilities as narrator and character actor are especially seen in the scenes on the USS Kelvin. With only his voice (no sound effects or music accompany his reading of the text), Quinto is able to convey all the sadness and tragedy of those moments. In fact, he is so good that as a father and fan, I am not embarrassed to say there were tears in my eyes while listening to Quinto’s heartbreaking reading of the scenes between Winona and George Kirk. That he is able to engender this kind of emotion in an audio book speaks volumes about Quinto’s talent.

The Production Value by Pocket Books

There are some problems with the production value by Pocket Books. The box art is great for the CD versions, yet the packaging is very flimsy (the internal packaging isn’t a jewel case but paper holders sure to be a problem no matter how careful the consumer is with the audio book). Also, it would have been nice to include some sound effects and music. However, Quinto is so talented that these are not as much of a concern. It is great though that the audio book is unabridged which was a good decision by Pocket Books and the audio adventure is an amazing 8.5 hours long. Because it is so good, it is hoped that Pocket Books continues to utilize Zachary Quinto and does indeed bring back the audio book to the world of Star Trek more often.

The audio version of Star Trek is very recommended and a welcomed addition to the library of Trek adventures. It is also available in some stores now, but will be in wide release (and at Amazon) on May 12th.

"Star Trek" audiobook available at Amazon May 12


Simon & Schuster has just worked out a deal with Premiere Collectibles to release a special limited edition hardcover version of the Star Trek adaptation. Coming June 11th, each one of the 5000 books will be signed by Alan Dean Foster and cost $25. They will be available for pre-order at soon. TrekMovie has the first look at the cover.

Limited edition hardcover "Star Trek" (click to enlarge)

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mavericks and history makers… you got it!

The movie was incredible. My family and little brother and even my 6 yr old nephew liked it. And they usually couldnt sit through one episode of any star trek show with me. Wonderful story , great acting , and now i cant stop buying this stuff! But i love it. seen it twice ….and i know this is just the begining!

Just a note:
I dont like star gate, I dont like battle star galactica and I think star wars is..ok.

In fact the only show that ever appealed to me or captured my interests was Star Trek. And love them all. From the ST:OS, the movies , TNG, ..and I loved DS9, and through vogager and enterprise. I loved how this whole world fit together. Just how humanity is going foward with hope and optimism.

hands down

Star Trek is the greates franchise In History.


p.s. That includes the Great New Movie!!

OH YEAH, That Out of any sci-fi shows and movies!!!

Who do we have to pressure to get a technical manual for this new Trek universe?

I think it would sell, especially since virtually nothing carries over from before.

“I preferred the novelizations of Star Trek II, III, and VI over the on-screen versions.”

With all due respect for your time and effort, Mr. Lyons, I’m not sure I can trust your review of the novel. I did like the manuel joke, though!

That’s a bummer about ADF’s novel. Like many of us, I used to look at the novelizations to ‘fill out’ the stories. I read all of his “LOG” books as a kid, and he was able to take a 20 minute Trek cartoon, and do it true sci-fi justice.

I think I may, on the strength of John’s review, pick up the ZQ reading. He’s a true talent.

The film is great anyway. Maybe Mr. Foster could go back and rewrite it without the disadvantage of what was an immediately looming deadline.

I wonder if its too soon to ask about any new news on the next Trek movie,,ST: ???

Interesting that we got two reviews of Foster’s novelization, with differing conclusions. Good to get a broader perspective. But I’ll admit I now really want to hear Quinto’s storytelling.

@ 6

I still haven’t been able to find anything remotely related to the new timeline in the form of anything technical, plan, schematic, or other…I really wish there were reference material available…it’s fun reading …at least a deckplan or two.

Even a PDF would work…something besides EPK photos.



It looks like there is a transporter room on the bridge deck…
two right and one left on the starboard side ;)


“still haven’t been able to find anything remotely related to the new timeline in the form of anything technical, plan, schematic, or other”

maybe you could look on the Budweiser site for their Van Nuys plant blueprints? lol

I can’t hold it against Alan Dean Foster for not investing the material with urgency … onscreen, Abrams (and Daniel Mindel) achieved it by giving the movie such breakneck speed that there’s no time to reflect (not unlike a teenager with a fake ID flashing it so fast he hopes the bouncer won’t notice), and it worked big-time for the movie, but that gimmick won’t fly in a novel, leaving Foster with the task of working with the actual ideas, which were watery at best, and more often just so much vapor. With extra time to develop it, sure, but it sounds like he didn’t have that extra time.

So if the adaptation isn’t among his best, I can dig that.

There’s some dialog in the book on p. 14 after Ayel has appeared on the view screen and ordered Robau to come aboard the Narada. George Kirk tells Robau that he thinks they’re Romulans and goes on to say “they’re the closest known genetic cousins of Vulcans”.

This kind of irked me because I thought we established in ‘Balance of Terror’ and ‘Enterprise’ that no human has seen a Romulan and wouldn’t know their relation to Vulcans. I thought the timeline only diverged at this point as a result of the Narada vs Kelvin confrontation.

So wouldn’t that mean that George Kirk would have no idea of their relation. I figure after the battle, startfleet would review the ‘black box’ and figure out their relation, so that by the time jim kirk is in starfleet it’s common knowledge.

Was this an error by the writer of the novel, or something plain I’m missing? Any clarification would be great. Thanks


“ST:Enterprise” and Balance of Terror aren’t exactly compatible for one thing.

Or there was a novel called I believe titled “Enterprise” where George Kirk under the command of Robert April discovers the Romulans secret and actually plays a trick on them inspiring Romulans to create cloaking devices. (Keep in mind this was back when Cloaking devices were brand new in TOS unlike the psuedoprequel ST:Enterprise where it’s fairly common technology)

The real answer is the creators of ST: Enterprise and ST:2009 (is this line only in the novel?) have a really hard time following the idea that there was a point where no one knew what romulans looked like. Maybe they aren’t talented enough to write within that boundary – or they think the audience won’t notice because they were raised on VOYAGER.

I don’t buy for a second that the split in continuity between TOS and ST:2009 happened with the Kelvin – the Romulan issue being one reason it seems. The Kelvin having the ST:2009 style ship design is another. Especially the deflecter dish makes it obvious. And it sounds like the prime characters understand the JJ-verse stardates.

Okay, Nero is a good villain for this story because he’s an inversion of Kirk and Spock. Kirk is, like Nero, a blue collar kid who suffers unspeakably because of a catastrophe that is in no way his fault. Kirk (and later Spock) turn their lives around despite this; they create, they become positive, they put aside anger and save lives. Nero becomes selfishly obsessed with revenge, with deliberately doing to others what has been *accidentally* done to him. He’s thematically apt, just as the selfish Khan is, just as the Chang-as-mirror-of-Kirk is.

@16 stardates have never been consistent; fans have rationalised them but there is no system. I don’t have an issue with that.

The thing about their being a time when no one knows what Romulans looked like only applies in ‘Balance of Terror’. Now I love ‘Balance of Terror’ but plenty of it has been ignored in the past. In it Spock only theorises that Romulans and Vulcans have a common ancestry. A couple of years later on TOS it’s an established fact that everyone knows. This kind of ‘information creep’ is common in franchises.

Even if the efficacy of the novel could be maximized, this is one movie that would not make for a good novelization. Nothing could make up for watching the actual actors fill out their roles, especially since the movie is written to “reintroduce” the new actors and play off of audience expectations of this brand of reboot. I mean half the fun of this movie is in seeing the characters recast. That would totally be lost in a book.

Sad to hear about the book. It might have been better to take time and flesh it out rather than rush things (like was done with the movie).

It wouldn’t be the first Alan Dean Foster novel to fall short on some subject or two. It’s sad, because I was looking forward to fill in some gaps in the movie, and flesh out the plot. I usually form my mental image of the movie using a blend of the movie itself and the book adaptation for the back story, but it seems I’m gonna be disappointing myself this time around.

Of course, I’m gonna read it, to form my own opinion, but I don’t think I’ll be that far away from Robert’s.

its a shame they didn’t add much. it would have been a better movie if pike had told kirk to rejoin starfleet instead of join. this would have Salvaged the farragut story and Set up kirk returned to go to command school.

#16: I suspect that Nero and Spock Prime fell back not only in time but switched entire universes. Rather like the Defiant did in “In a Mirror, Darkly” from ST:ENT. That would account for the differences in Stardates and general starship design. It would also account for what are likely to be additional issues in future stories with differences from the Prime universe. (As in: “So what ever happened with Talos IV?” or “Funny that there’s ANOTHER Delta Vega out here”)

I suspect we should expect major differences in the universes from here on out, and should just reconcile it that way.

I wish this audiobook was released in Europe too, but – alas – no news yet

#16: Also, as to the Romulans, if I am right and this is an alternate universe then (a) the Earth/Romulan war may not have taken place, (b) the war may have taken place but Earth learned what Romulan’s looked like, or (whether a different universe or not) (c) the Kelvin incident had repercussions that drew the Romulans and the Federation into contact much earlier than in the Prime universe we know.

On cloaking technology, the way to force fit ENT and “Balance of Terror” together is to interpret Spock’s words (“Invisibility is theoretically possible, Captain– selectively bending light. But the power cost is enormous. They may have solved that.”) to mean that the Federation thought “invisibility” was impossible because all previous forms of cloaking had been penetrated and by that time were of no practical use.

I liked the novel. Much better than the movie, in fact. That’s because I absolutely can’t get along with JJ’s style of directing and Foster’s novel presents the story to me without me having to watch that unbearable movie.

@23, 25…

Randy, if we follow Bob Orcis explanation, Nero and Spock travelled back in time in the Primeverse. Neros attack on the Kelvin and Georges death created the Orciverse. Spocks Jellyfish was quantum-entangled to the Narada by the red matter created black holes event horizon and ended up in the Orciverse 25 years after the Narada arrived.

#23 I think the trek universe changed in the movie First Contact which altered the Enterprise TV show universe. Cochrane and Lillie saw the Enterprise-E and may have had a hand in the early design of the NX-01 which probably didn’t exist before First Contact.

In Star Trek The Motion Picture and the Next Generation the walls displaying past ships named Enterprise showed the space shuttle, old sail ships and the aircraft carriers Enterprise but no NX-01.

With First Contact changing the timeline first this explains the design of the Kelvin and Enterprise and the use of the delta on every uniform.
Nero changed the timeline even more or this is just another universe all together.

I can’t wait to get the novel.

The movie absolutely rocked! It took ST back into the Action/Adventure genre-as in the beginning, technology is used as a means to an end, and not the focus of the story, I think thats what turned the masses off to ST.

JJ and the gang brought it home again. They wove many elements of the series and movies into the story ( SPOILER ALERT-I loved Pike’s TMP-style Admiral’s uniform at the end of the movie) Spock prime is loveable as the “sentimental Vulcan,” giving credence to Kirk’s statement, “…of all the souls in the universe, his was the most…human.” Sure: there are some “literary licenses” i.e., everybody gets a ‘battlefield commission’ but if you look the other way for a moment, you realize that the seeds have been sown to what should become a great set of movies and stories for years to come.

Now we count down to the DVD/Blueray release!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, now I totally want to get the audiobook. I thought Quinto was the stand-out in the film, and I can’t wait to hear what he did with the narration.

#28 well put.

Since every time someone travels back, the universe is changed just by them being there, we can assume that every episode of trek that deals with time travel “changed” the timeline they lived in afterward. So the “Prime Universe” only ever existed in the first few episodes of TOS, until the first time travel episode. After that, it was altered several times.

31: That means we had The Cage plus five episodes of prime timeline before The Naked Time. Fascinating!
If we count by production order, that is, not by the chronology of first airings :-)

Lets remember that the Kelvin saw the Romulans on the screen and thus Spock knows what they look like from the Log Recorder jetissoned with the shuttles leading to balance of Terror NOT being the first to first face to face meeting…

I win.

16: The novel you are referring to is “Final Frontier”, in which an un-named prototype starship is taken out by Captain April and George Kirk on a rescue mission.


I will undoubtedly purchase and read the novelization (and hope I can grab the audio as well–makes for great entertainement on the road when traveling with the family).

One of the joys of reading the Trek novels and stories is a chance to visualize the characters in more adventures (first, when there were no new film Treks between TOS and TMP except for the animated series; secondly, after each series ended and between the movies).

I can see the difficulty of having seen the movie with new actors portraying the characters and then reading the novel–it will be even more disconcerting because you as the reader need to decide which actor you see in your mind’s eye. Of course, all the Trek newbies because of the movie will have none of this difficulty.

I think it would be interesting to hear from someone who has yet to see the movie but decides to read the novelization first–will they see the story differently than Robert or will they confirm his observations?

Either way, I see this being an interesting turning point in Trek fiction both for the publishers and for us the readers as we debate whether it will be Shatner or Pine when reading Kirk on the page (or Kindle screen)? Of course, for now the other series are safe (too safe?) except for the crossovers with TOS/nuTrek so it will be interesting times….

Is there a forum were I can talk about the movie to people. It’s just that I live in Spain and I don’t have anyone to talk Trek to.

Now I wished I had waited and purchased the audio book instead…

So, ZQ is a better narrator that Mark Lenard (in Sarek)? Mark’s work on that book was amazing, inho.


where in Spain are you, James?
You can talk to us…

Curious… I know I#m in the minority here, but IMO the movie IS EXACTLY like this review of the novelisation.



That’s the whole point of the site.

Welcome Aboard!

39 – The movie worked better than the book for me, and it was certainly extremely engaging to the non-fan (my wife actually scored it much better than I did), but the underlaying story just had too many issues for me to really embrace.

That being said, I expect the sequel will be far better. We don’t have to sit through the ‘getting to know you’ story again, and while there may be growing pains in the next film for the crew, they’ll be on their own adventure… one which I think will hold a lot of promise.

Thus, I accept “Star Trek” as a necessary evil to get to a good movie, and acknowledge that this story is a good summer action flick that will generate the cash necessary to ensure a bevvy of sequels. (I know that in spite of my lukewarm reception of the story, I’ll be back to see the film at least two more times in general release, a few times at the ‘dollar cinema’, and of course, on the day of it’s DVD release, I’ll be snatching it up – hopefully with a BluRay player!



In addition to Kirk pulling his hair out because this mystery ship turns invisible, has a super weapon he doesn’t even know they are Romulans. I believe he said it’s been a hundred years and the ship designs would have nothing in common – then it’s pointed out they would retain the warbird motif – which sure enough this mystery ship has.

Now in Enterprise not only do the Romulan ships already cloak, it looks virtually identical in general shape to the TOS warbird but we never see any painted warbird!

“The rest of the book seems to have plot-hole after plot-hole…”

The rest of the film seems to have plot hole after plot hole.

A disappointing review of the novelization. I was looking forward to it.

I hope Paramount keeps a lid on salaries for the new crew, especially Pine & Quinto. High salaries contributed to less than epic Trek films.

43: Yesss. The whole movie is full of plot holes, don’t blame the book alone.

And Scotty is a collection of Doohan’s worst parody moments in the movie too!

I’m still getting the book anyway. The reviewer sounds too picky to me.


Watch the Director’s Cut of The Motion Picture. They added the NX-01 to the images of ships (keeping the CV-960 or whatever that is as wel) because that came out right around the first season of Enterprise.

#15—“…I thought we established in ‘Balance of Terror’ and ‘Enterprise’ that no human has seen a Romulan and wouldn’t know their relation to Vulcans. I thought the timeline only diverged at this point as a result of the Narada vs Kelvin confrontation.”


#16—“I don’t buy for a second that the split in continuity between TOS and ST:2009 happened with the Kelvin – the Romulan issue being one reason it seems.”

There is nothing onscreen which creates any “Romulan issue”. The novelizations have never been canon.

In the previous timeline (the one in which TOS exists), there is nearly a century in between the Earth-Romulan War and the attack upon the Earth outposts along the Neutral Zone established by the treaty which ended that war (the first known visual contact between humans and Romulans).

However, the timeline incursion of 2233 does indeed create a new thread.

The bridge crew of the USS Kelvin is aware of what their attackers look like, and only George Kirk does not escape. There is a 25 year period in which the Federation can piece together enough evidence to conclude that the crew of the Narada is indeed Romulan, and that Romulans are likely an offshoot of the Vulcan race.

First of all, the treaty to end the Earth-Romulan War was negotiated by subspace communication. Presumably, the Kelvin’s universal translator would have registered Ayel’s language as Romulan, and assuming the Kelvin’s communications officer was one of the survivors—that gives Starfleet a clear direction in which to take its investigation into the attack.

Furthermore, there would be debris in the area of the Kelvin’s collision with the Narada that might also provide evidence of something that identifies that technology/material as being Romulan in origin.

So even if you were to ignore all of the obvious holes in the dialogue of “Balance Of Terror” and accept it as a literal account of that 22nd Century conflict, there is still no canonical contradiction to that in ST09.

ENT did walk a fine line with it, but the Romulan possession of a cloaking device is never something made aware to Starfleet, and the one which they deploy against the Andorians/Tellarites, etc. is described as a “prototype” which has minimal capability (it is more of a “stealth” device). It can be assumed that it would be another 100 years before the Romulans can effectively utilize this technology on manned ships, and to the degree in which which see depicted in “Balance Of Terror”.

But consider this. If that is still too much for you to handle, you can always infer from the other events surrounding ENT (the “Temporal Cold War” and the discovery of Borg technology on Earth) that an alternate timeline has already been created—-either in the mid 21st Century or the mid 22nd.

We have been dancing around inconsistencies for decades as fans and manufacturing “fanon” explanations in such instances.

Why should it be anymore difficult now?

While I’m a little disappointed that the book falls flat, I am curious about Kirk’s back story… I’ll probably end up getting second hand. I DO want to hear Quinto read it so maybe not! I’m just so in love with this movie right now.

Wow. I still can’t quite believe we’re here already. It seems like it was only yesterday that we were all trying to make sense of blurry set pictures. I can’t wait to start it again with the sequel!