Reading novelisations of films or TV episodes can be very satisfying, as the storyline and the characters are given added depth by the extra information that cannot be conveyed visually or within tight time constraints. So I was looking forward to this novelisation about Data's experience of emotion and his unfortunate rediscovery of his brother Lore.
But this book sets a new low standard for Star Trek: The Next Generation novels, at least in my experience. To give her some (limited) credit, Diane Carey tries to deepen this tale beyond a repeat of the script and descriptions of the sets. But she simply lacks the skill, let alone the talent, to do so with any success. Heavy use of a thesaurus and a scattering of awkward, or simply weird, similes, are not a substitute for writing ability. The characters are not brought to life in any recognisable way, and the tone of the whole book is simply off. I continually found myself being surprised by the way the author used/misused the English language. Carey cannot be held responsible, though, for the way the story degenerates in the second half of the book, as Hugh reappears, Lore reveals himself to be a messiah-figure to the Borg, and way too much time is devoted to Dr Crusher's experience of commanding the Enterprise.
On a related note, two things about the storyline really bothered me. First, that Dr Crusher was placed in command of the Enterprise at all is bad enough; that she is never punished for her selfish refusal to obey Captain Picard's orders to go and get help beggars belief. Second, Data executes Lore. Why is it that Lore is never awarded the same rights and considerations as Data? Why can he be switched off permanently because it seems convenient to do so? Why are the consequences of this act to Data never addressed? We have to assume he feels no guilt at all over what he has done.
In the hands of another author, this could have been a very good tale to bring to life as a book. Unfortunately, Carey was a poor choice. Watch the TV episode instead.