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Star Trek: The Next Generation [Loose Leaf]

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.6 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars an interesting book 4 Mar 2003
By Robert Treat - Published on
I have to disagree with some of the recent low reviews given for this book. I felt the book overall was better than the episode. The author gave more details regarding how Commander Riker dealt with Hugh's feelings of betrayal by the Federation, and I thought the author's portrayal of the holographic characters Data interacted with was quite interesting.
3.0 out of 5 stars STNG Descent - A fairly decent novelization! 5 Oct 2003
By K. Wyatt - Published on
"Descent" is the first in a string of successive and somewhat successful episode novelizations for author Diane Carey. This novelization for Star Trek The Next Generations six season closer and seventh season opener is a fairly decent one for her first try out at novelization in the Star Trek genre. As with all novelizations, the point in reading them is for the "between the scenes" action and some character personalization that is simply not possible on the screen given time and budget constraints. Diane Carey accomplishes that fairly well in this novelization!
The original story is by Star Trek author and later Star Trek Voyager Executive Producer, Jeri Taylor and the teleplay by Ronald D. Moore and Rene Echevarria. When taken into comparison with the series other outstanding season ending cliffhangers and openers, I'd rate this one as dead last. Although there were some fairly decent character moments in this story, the overall premise just didn't "click" with me too well.
The cover art for this novelization is fairly standard for the time it was published.
The premise:
Capitalizing on the past success of the episode "I, Hugh," in which a lone Borg is found and nursed back to health after crash landing on a remote planet and then later returned to the Borg after he'd become an individual, Descent expounds on that basic premise. The Enterprise is called to a station that is under attack, only to discover that the Borg have attacked it and are still there. In what can be considered quite an amazing moment of Star Trek history, Data defends him and his crew mates and suddenly displays anger in a very large degree.
Captain Picard and crew now find themselves facing a new type of Borg that are using a different type of ship and are displaying individuality and an even more insidious character that they've had to deal with in the past and who is behind this latest Borg attack.
Overall, as stated above, in my opinion this was certainly not one of the better two part episodes that the producers put on screen. Diane Carey does do a fairly decent job of sprucing up the story in this novelization. {ssintrepid}
2.0 out of 5 stars Descent, But Not Decent 26 Jun 2013
By Coach Carter - Published on
Once again, Diane Carey takes a great story and pollutes it with a crazy writing style. In this case, she appears to be trying to set a world record for the most metaphors and awkward wordings in a single novel:

...Will Riker felt the aloneness on the plant's surface the same way he felt cold in winter...

...Screams rose, and the concert hall became an echo of high-pitched sound. The banshees were descending to warn them of a death in the village...

...An abandoned ship is a melancholy thing, even in the springtime...

...The climbing was enough to pull legs and arms out of their sockets. Riker was pretty sure about that, because he almost turned around a couple of times to retrieve one of his limbs he was sure had fallen off...

...The ship didn't like the oxer they were making her jump. She bucked. All they could do was grab the mane and hold on...

...Data felt the heat gathering in his system as he had seen storms gather on unaccommodating planets...Hunger burned in the hot soup of free sensation flooding him...

...The Enterprise was a thing on the wind, a ship with no rudder, thrust with no brakes, a vehicle with no steering wheel...

Over and over and over again. A good book should make you forget you're reading it, allowing you to be engulfed in the story. In this case, you can't find the story for all the literary craziness. It's a true shame, because the story is a really good one. Too bad Michael Jan Friedman or Peter David didn't get the call on this one.

Watch the episode on DVD, accept that as the better version by far, and move on.
4.0 out of 5 stars Episodes 152 & 153 5 Jun 2013
By Jared J - Published on
Diane Carey's novel 'Descent' is a pretty accurate interpretation of the two star trek episodes by the same name. For anyone who has not read this story, this will be an exciting and wonderful read! For us Star Trek junkies who are reading the books to fill our TNG needs, this book adds next to nothing. It is almost an exact interpretation of the episodes. This is good because the episodes were great! Bad, because its just like watching them again.. No, matter a good read overall and an easy 4 stars.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Watch the TV episode instead 31 May 2002
By kallan - Published on
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.
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