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Enigma (Star Trek: Stargazer) Mass Market Paperback – 6 Sep 2004

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (6 Sep 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743448561
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743448567
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 1.9 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,294,303 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Michael Jan Friedman is the author of more than forty science fiction and fantasy books, among them many Star Trek and Star Trek: Next Generation novels.

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First Sentence
AS JEAN-LUC PICARD made his way down the long, curving corridor on his way to Transporter Room One, he saw Lieutenant Urajel coming from the other direction. Read the first page
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr President on 8 Sep 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
There is a common idea amongst those that have seen a two parter of any incarnation of Star Trek. That the second part of a two parter is never as good as the first. But this book should have been a two parter.
We see the Stargazer continuing on its way through one sector of space that seems to be a real happening place. Its discovered that one of the crew has been sending secret techinical details on starfleet vessels to an unknown part and low and behold attacks start leaving three constellation class vessels disabled (the battle is actually really exciting to read about and when the aliens bored the vessel its very tense). Roll in the huge Starfleet armada that must face this threat.
Now at the mention of a huge armada you would think hey this is going to a really exciting battle. Stop right there. As per episode style in Star Trek the war was averted and the solution a little to convenient. Had the author made the situation a little more tense and left the aliens heading toward earth he could have conveyed a real threat to the Federation. He lets himself down in this regard. Turning to the reoccuring story of McAteer things are beginning to heat up in this regard. Within this story we begin to see him tighting the noose of Picard and going as far as trying to divide him and Ben Zoma up.
The plot of this story is fine its conclusion sinks big time. Instead of a more exciting badly damaged Stargazer with Picard staring at the viewscreen as the aliens as the leave behind a highly damaged Starfleet and continue toward earth. Scrap that we get Nikolas waking up next to some nasty monsters, if we want stuff like that we would watch Red Dwarf.
Its an great book but it could have been so much better. It didnt raise the stakes as high as it could have and what a two parter would have allowed
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Twice as long as the story deserves. 11 Oct 2004
By R. Spottiswood - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This features a huge, unstoppable alien fleet heading straight for the Earth. It is also very slow and not much happens. Those are two things that should not go together, but the author managed it. With that said, the characterisations are fairly good and the action that does happen is clearly described. The author also manages to slowly but surely build the tension level and get some anticipation for a big ending going. The ending is one of the most unexpected and bizarre in style that I have come across in Trek reading. I prefer not to give out spoilers, but it will appeal to those who like diplomacy but not those who favour big space battles. Overall, this book is mediocre, not memorably good or bad. The main flaw is simple: this is not a story worth 250 pages. It could and should have been told in less. There is a lot of material that is just here to keep minor storylines going until they can, presumably, be resolved in the next book. So, anyone who has read the Stargazer series up to this point might as well get it. Anyone looking for a good story in its own right will have to look elsewhere.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A solid entry into the Stargazer series 21 Sep 2004
By Julio Angel Ortiz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Star Trek: Stargazer is an interesting series for the TREK book line. Within this series, we see the early days of Picard's first command, the USS Stargazer (as seen in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Battle"). It takes place during a little-charted era in Star Trek lore, so there's breathing room for storytelling. However, we've seen a good number of the crew 30+ years later chronologically in the Next Generation novel "Reunion". So we know who lives and doesn't from the main Stargazer crew (for example, you know Picard lives on to command the Enterprise). So where's the suspense and drama?

It comes from two areas. First, if you're a die-hard Trek fan or really into the books, it comes from watching a young (28-year old) Picard dealing with his first command, as an Admiral works in the background to undermine and strip him of it. Secondly, it comes from the cast of secondary characters or senior crew memebers we don't see in "Reunion". Friedman has developed a nice cast to fill the Stargazer, each with their own idiosyncrasies. From Jiterica, who lives on the Stargazer within a containment suit because her native planet is a gas giant to mild-mannered Obal, the last guy you'd imagine would be in security as he look like a plucked chicken but could tear you up in two point three second. There's also the development of the main characters. The Asmund twins make an interesting pair, humans who were raised by Klingons, and the clandestine (and tragically tumultuous) relationship between one of the twins (Gerda) and Doctor Greyhorse. It's also interesting to see a younger, unsure Picard (with hair!) and the relationship he has with his first officer, who is a year younger than him and also his best friend. It provides a contrast to the relationship he'd have with Riker in later years.

So, how about the latest entry, "Enigma"? It's a well-told story. Friedman's style is very concise and straight-forward. The Stargazer books read like episodes you'd watch on television. This makes them very accessible and quick reads. But this may bother others who want more "meat" out of their books. I don't mind at all, however, Friedman gets on with telling a good tale, and doesn't let a lot superfluous details get in the way.

I won't spoil the plot; reading the back cover blurb tells you everything you need to. The main stars of the book are Ben Zoma (who finally gets some good "screen time") and Picard, each in their own plot threads that intertwine. The one slight criticism I would make of "Enigma" is that it continues some of the plot threads that have been building since "Gauntlet", and this may confuse some new readers. Friedman gets readers up to speed quickly, but regular readers will get more out of Ulelo's plight than someone coming into this book cold.

"Enigma" is decent, solid Trek, better for the character development than the actual story, which isn't very original. Some might feel "been there, done that" when reading this story. However, if you completely buy into wanting to read about Picard's adventures aboard the Stargazer, you won't mind, and shouldn't pass this book up. For people who dip in and out of the range, I'd still recommend this book. Friedman's chronicling of this era deserves attention.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A review of 'Enigma' 22 May 2006
By A. retallick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I started the 'Stargazer' series with this book. It pretty much filled in the situation w/o having to purchase the 1st book, 'The Valiant'.

Story begins quite early with the crew's discovery of a 'sabatuer' on board the USS STARGAZER. We don't know WHY he did what he did, then we find out, neither does HE! This induced me to continue reading.

Novel has a miffed, if not jealous Admiral whom has a strong dislike for the young Capt.Picard. I liked the tension between them, and politics of behaving around each other.

Con: A few of the crew members sort of bored me, but the author doesn't remain mired down long on any of them before shifting gears. One character becomes it's own story but as a side note.

Pro: The character makes the story more real as he becomes a washout and doesn't remain a crewmember. The Federation soon reports the loss of some Starships as they encounter a new, dangerous, more powerful enemy. The Stargazer crew has a mystery of trying to find out who this new enemy is, as well as the motives behind their sabatuer, [in the brig].

I like the 2 methods taken, by 2 individual people to deal with the prisoner. Author writes a good mystery, plenty of Starship action, puts in twists with a surprise ending.

I thought it was a decent read.
Best of the series so far. 27 Mar 2009
By James Yanni - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Still not a great story, but a very good one, this book is better than any of its predecessors in the "Stargazer" series, and is the first of the series to really live up to what I expect from Michael Jan Friedman, who is a solid, dependable storyteller if not generally a producer of truly memorable tales.

The characterizations in this book are excellent, with even Admiral McAteer being somewhat less 2-dimensional than usual, and we finally have some real progress made in a few of the subplots that have been treading water since book one. As usual for Friedman, there are few if any of the careless typos that all too often show up in mass-market paperbacks, and the story unfolds smoothly and competently. Definitely worth a read if you enjoy Star Trek at all, and possibly even if you're not overly familiar with the genre. If you're already familiar with the genre and hostile toward it, there's nothing here to make you change your mind, though.
Great characters, good Star Trek, average plot 29 Sep 2004
By D. W. Carper - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read the Stargazer series from the beginning. The stories are loosely interconnected much like the TV series. To get the full understanding of the plot ending, you will need to read the two preceeding books. However, the plot ends abruptly and without much notice.

Read the book for the characters, who well done and are a pleasure to read. I actually like the series for the interaction of the characters. Like good Star Trek, the characters is what makes the series interesting.
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