Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “By the Book (Star Trek: Enterprise #2)” as Want to Read:
By the Book (Star Trek: Enterprise #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

By the Book

(Star Trek: Enterprise #2)

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  365 ratings  ·  39 reviews
An original adventure starring Captain Jonathan Archer and the crew of the very first USS Enterprise: Chief Engineer 'Trip' Tucker III, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Phlox, Science Officer T'Pol, Communications Officer Hoshi Sato, Tactical Officer Malcolm Reed and Helmsman Travis Mayweather.
In their first few weeks in space, Captain Archer and his crew have already discovered
Mass Market Paperback, 252 pages
Published January 1st 2002 by Pocket Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about By the Book, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about By the Book

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  365 ratings  ·  39 reviews

Sort order
Mar 14, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.

My new. Star Trek reading plan is to get thru all the Enterprise novels in tandem with my rewatch of the show, since there"s relatively few of them.

The relaunch novels (starting with "The Goid That Men Do") get generally favorable press/reviews while the 6 original novels get less positive reviews.

This book is a fair (but not great) start to the series: it has a decent premise, and is definitely readable, but ultimately fails to truly deliver.

The two plots, while impacting each other
Travis Starnes
The book is split into two parts; the first part is a first contact with an alien species that goes sideways. The second, and seemingly more important part to the authors, is a role playing game played between five of the crewman that in minor ways affect the first contact plotline.

I have to applaud the authors for trying this. It is a really fresh take on a Star Trek novel. By the time this book came out there were literally hundreds of other books giving us straight ahead Star Trek stories. H
Apr 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ent, star-trek
A strong effort for the first original Enterprise novel. It's clear that there were a few things that weren't set in stone about the series at the time the novel was written, but the story ends up looking a lot more like the actual series than the first original Star Trek: The Next Generation novel resembled that series. Some of the characterizations are a bit off, and a b-plot seems fairly unconnected to the main narrative, but By the Book was still an enjoyable read for the most part.

Full revi
Oct 24, 2017 rated it liked it
This is the very first Enterprise original novel and there are a few things that feel slightly off to me. I don't remember Porthos sleeping on the bridge before and here Archer routinely calls his crew members by their surnames instead of the first names he favored on the series. And the relationship between him and T'Pol is completely without warmth. Or respect, frankly. Still, it's not so far off the mark from the earlier episodes of Season One for this series. I really didn't care for the rol ...more
Louisa Jenness
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Ugh. This book. Don't bother. There are two story lines in this book that have pretty much nothing to do with each other (aside from the few times the authors manage to tie them together in the most cliche ways). One is about an RPG that some of the crew are playing. Reading these chapters is about as interesting as...watching someone else play an RPG...These chapters were painfully boring, and pointless. The other story was about first contact with a world that has two sentient species developi ...more
Dec 01, 2016 added it
Shelves: pocket-books
That was an interesting concept. I would have liked to see it from authors with some affection for the characters, or the concept of characterization, or the concept of showing as opposed to telling, or the construction of a compelling plot, or the show bible, or the Star Trek universe.
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Archer and his crew of the NX-01 Enterprise visit a planet of humanoids with the intention of making first contact with the residents. But the indigenous population has a very structured society with rules and conventions that the Enterprise crew doesn't fully comprehend. And why don't the residents acknowledge the southern continent of their world?

While this really could have been a story for just about any Star Trek crew, what makes this one so unique as an Enterprise-Era story is that it's th
Jane K. Stecker
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good series begins here

Archer and his crew arrive above a strange planet containing a race that is very structured in what they do. He messes up first contact with the race. Will be ever make a good first contact? The novel flows smoothly and the characters are consistent with the TV series. Altogether a good read.
Daniel (horrordaniel)
First Contact

This was the first original story written for the Enterprise series. It read like an Enterprise episode. It didn't have the most amazing plot, but it definitely kept me reading.
Leo Moran
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just like an episode from series 1 of Star Trek Enterprise. A good read. Very enjoyable even though a bit of time wasted on a game played by the crew which I think the story could have done without.
Karen Chuplis
Good enough

The game device was too extensive very used but otherwise a mildly interesting read. Worth the sale price but not full.
Daniel (horrordaniel)
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was the first original story Enterprise novel. While the plot was a little stale, it read like an Enterprise episode and had me wanting to read more.
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this book.

Characters done well to the series and entire book was interesting.
Feb 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Surprisingly quite enjoyable. Captures the characters and spirit of the show well. Interesting tale and good first outing in the book series.
David King
Review originally posted on my blog:

The story itself is actually fairly standard for the Star Trek Universe, but it was still reasonably enjoyable. The Enterprise and its crew encounter a new planet which seems to have two distinct species. Unfortunately Captain Archer blows first contact with one of the species due to his enthusiasm and lack of patience. Things then go downhill from that point and when a crew member is incapacitated during contact with the p
Sep 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This has to be my favourite Star Trek book so far. I feel like it opened up to many new ideas.

Enterprise enters its very own first contact situation. Unfortunately, not all goes to plan. Archer learns to appreciate the value of patience as he begins to do things 'by the book' in hope of forming a new friend with the new species.

The three key characters in this book were Hoshi, T'Pol and Captain Archer. Hoshi experiences some character development in this novel by learning not to worry too much a
Jeremiah Johnson
This was a pretty decent book. It certainly had the feel of an episode of Enterprise.
It was a very quick read.
The only thing I don't really understand is why so much of the book was dedicated to a group of people playing an RPG. Seemed like the book must have been too short so they threw that in.
Dec 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Any Star Trek fans, particularly of the ENT franchise.
Shelves: aliens, sci-fi, startrek
I was rather surprised by this book in the amount of enjoyment it gave. I am a huge fan of the Star Trek universe and a huge reader so it seamed very natural that I would eventually begin Trekking through the hundreds of novels available. I decided to begin with ENT (Enterprise) because I felt that it, being newer, may be more appealing as far as books go. I skipped the "novelizations" because I have already seen the shows and do not need a book version of episodes I already know. This is the fi ...more
Conan Tigard
Nov 14, 2015 rated it liked it
By the Book is the first original novel starring the crew of the Starship Enterprise, NX-01. It is based upon the characters on the television show Enterprise, a precursor to the original Star Trek series shot in the 1960s. This book takes place pretty darned early in the show's history, so don't look for a lot of the characters to be fully developed.

I was excited to start reading my first Enterprise book, but was confused when the first chapter contained some character that I knew little to no
Apr 13, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having completed the Star Trek Deep Space Nine and Voyager relaunch novels, I came across the Enterprise books. Granted, this is not part of the relaunch, which comes after the Enterprise novel Daedalus, but part of the story while the show was on. "By the Book" takes place during Enterprise's first season. A common thread among the series as a whole is that humanity has entered space with almost no documentation or direction in certain aspects, such as with alien first encounters. In this novel ...more
Jul 08, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book had a bizarre combination of interesting storyline and completely off topic, out of the blue page filler.

The actual plot itself was very original and quite entertaining. It's nice to read a Star Trek book that has anything to do with exploring these days. The races were quite colorful and thought provoking, and the scenario was a good read that didn't remind me of any other Star Trek book I have read.

The problem with the book is that every other chapter is a filler chapter about crewmen
Oct 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
I found this interesting but a bit slow moving in spots with the intersection of some of the subplot points. The subplot points make sense but I was wanting to know about the main plot so was just wanting to get through that part. Sort of like Jonathan Archer in a sense as you'll find out as you read this. =) I found the Vulcan viewpoint, which Archer now finds himself faced with having to face as well, well handled. The introduction of the beginnings of the first contact guidelines and how they ...more
Scott Vout
Book two in the ongoing series of the original Enterprise.
This one I found to be a very easy read. Smooth flowing, uncomplicated.

Of all the Star Trek incarnations, this one was the one I participated in the least. I am old enough to have lived through the original Kirk, Spock and McCoy and for the longest time they were my Star Trek. So taking up this series was a bit of a stretch for me.

It is not bad. I enjoyed book one of the series more then this one. I guess I am a man of action and this boo
May 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Eh. Not the best Star Trek book I've ever read....then again, not the worst, either. Not sure how I felt about the whole game plot. As someone who does game and enjoys it very much, I appreciated how the author wanted to use it, I just didn't think it was used well. I thought it took up too much of the book and could have been tied into the plot more. I also found the interactions between Archer and T'Pol to be strained. Sometimes it was like the author hadn't seen the show and didn't know the c ...more
Jason Vargo
Aug 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book reminds me of a first season Enterprise episode: half of the story is fairly meaningless fluff while their other half isn't meaty enough to carry any of the story. A first contact story, it is clear it was written before Archer and T'Pol overcame their differences and started to work together. The mission itself is routine, boring, nearly pointless; it concerns two different species on the same planet and Archer having to learn how to be a diplomat. It is almost entirely ship-based, wh ...more
Bethany Swafford
Mar 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: my-books
A civilization that does things 'by the book' causes some tension for Captain Archer.

This was my first Star Trek: Enterprise story I've ever read, being more of a fan of TOS. Still, this was...ok. Archer seemed a little out of character, being obsessed with making first contact. It was interesting seeing things before the Prime Directive that I know from the other series.

Seeing several characters playing an RPG game was also a little unnerving, but intriguing once I became accustomed to the ide
Jan 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It is surprisingly very 'realistic' and smart story (for Star Trek standards) with gradually revealing of new facts about the inhabited planet. Role-playing game at the beginning is childish, but than it become a funny and cutchy storyline.

If you like first-contact story without blowing out some planets and want to get know other crew members of NX-01 better (e.g. Travis, Hoshi, ...), you wont be dissapointed.
Dec 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
So this book really read like a Star Trek Enterprise episode with all of it's ups and downs of the situation. This first contact story really captivated my interest as someone who both loves to read and watch any kind of Star Trek. It had the perfect part of characters and plot and I really liked the aliens they brought in for this. I do wish we got to see this as a real Star Trek Enterprise episode because everything described here is just amazing!
The Enterprise make first contact with a new species, things don't go according to plan. Meanwhile, some crew members are playing an RPG. This is a fun, light hearted book, surprising really for the first original novel based on Enterprise. I must admit that it was the RPG that kept me reading, rather than the main plot. Don't get me wrong, the main plot was decent and all the characters act like they should. It was just the RPG was just so well written and fun. A good read.
Kyle McNally
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. It is my FIRST! Original Star Trek novel that I've read, and I loved it. I really found the Fazi and the Hipon to be an interesting set of cultures on the same planet. The only thing I found out of character was T'pol's CONSTANT bickering with Archer. She doesn't bicker that much on the show and the text really made it seem like they absolutely hated each other.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Star Trek Reads: By the Book 2 15 Oct 10, 2012 09:45PM  
  • What Price Honor? (Star Trek: Enterprise #4)
  • Surak's Soul (Star Trek: Enterprise #5)
  • Last Full Measure (Star Trek: Enterprise #10)
  • Broken Bow (Star Trek: Enterprise #1)
  • Shockwave (Star Trek: Enterprise #3)
  • The Good That Men Do (Star Trek: Enterprise #11)
  • Devil in the Sky
  • A Choice of Futures (Star Trek: Enterprise: Rise of the Federation #1)
  • Wrath of the Prophets (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, #20)
  • Seven of Nine
  • Armageddon Sky (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Day of Honor #2)
  • Objective: Bajor (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, #15)
  • The Heart of the Warrior (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, #17)
Pen Names
Edward Taft
Dee W. Schofield
D.W. Smith
Sandy Schofield
Kathryn Wesley

Dean Wesley Smith is the bestselling author of over ninety novels under many names and well over 100 published short stories. He has over eight million copies of his books in print and has books published in nine different countries. He has written many original novels in science fiction, fantasy, mystery, thriller, and r

Other books in the series

Star Trek: Enterprise (1 - 10 of 19 books)
  • Broken Bow (Star Trek: Enterprise #1)
  • Shockwave (Star Trek: Enterprise #3)
  • What Price Honor? (Star Trek: Enterprise #4)
  • Surak's Soul (Star Trek: Enterprise #5)
  • The Expanse (Star Trek: Enterprise #6)
  • Daedalus (Star Trek: Enterprise #7)
  • Daedalus's Children (Star Trek: Enterprise #8)
  • Rosetta (Star Trek: Enterprise #9)
  • Last Full Measure (Star Trek: Enterprise #10)
  • The Good That Men Do (Star Trek: Enterprise #11)
“T’Pol.” Archer made his voice sting with command. “You’re coming dangerously close to violating a rule of the bridge. Don’t nag the captain.” 0 likes
More quotes…