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4.0 out of 5 stars Wesley is the star of the show
In the second book of this nine volume series, the first of the five stories is concluded. After breaking Picard out of jail, Wesley and the crew return undercover to the site of their disgrace to solve the myriad mysteries of the former battle site.

After the first novel was focussed on Picard, I had assumed that the cover image would indicate which of the...
Published on 2 Oct 2009 by Jim J-R

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A study in how two characters can ruin a book
Fresh on the heels of A Time to Be Born, its companion novel, A Time to Die shows up. And what a clunk it makes. Star Trek novels have their detractors, but I'm not one of them. This one, however, almost makes me change my mind. There is so much wrong with this book that I don't know where to begin. Just to start at the easy part, how about a summary?
After the...
Published on 12 Nov 2004 by David Roy


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4.0 out of 5 stars Wesley is the star of the show, 2 Oct 2009
By 
Jim J-R (West Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Time to Die (Star Trek: The Next Generation) (Mass Market Paperback)
In the second book of this nine volume series, the first of the five stories is concluded. After breaking Picard out of jail, Wesley and the crew return undercover to the site of their disgrace to solve the myriad mysteries of the former battle site.

After the first novel was focussed on Picard, I had assumed that the cover image would indicate which of the NextGen crew each book would be about. By my reckoning that made this a Data book - but it isn't. This is definitely a Wesley book, reuniting him with his former crew and wrapping up his storyline which began in the previous novel. Many readers may be offended by this, as Wesley is traditionally not the best loved member of the crew, and Vornholt makes a tongue-in-cheek reference to this. I however am still a fan of Wesley, particularly as he was by far the closest character I could relate to while growing up watching the show (I too was a child genius who often saved the ship). This book shows Wesley as a young, insecure adult with little idea of what direction to take in life, and explores him pushing the boundaries of his abilities to stave off the destruction he has foreseen.

This novel is an interesting mix; part adventure, part mystery, part homecoming and part love story. Star Trek isn't known for its love stories, and with good reason. Te romance seems terribly sudden, forced, and a little amateur. One of the characters involved spends the first part of the novel lying to the other, before abducting her. It felt uncomfortably forced, and I am left feeling that it was done merely to leave a door to putting the toys back in the box at the end.

I was also disappointed in one particular passage towards the end, where the narration continues as normal for several pages before revealing that what it describes is just a character's imagination running away, and then replaying the scenes properly. Overall it was an okay book, although the solution was quite obvious from early on.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A study in how two characters can ruin a book, 12 Nov 2004
By 
David Roy (Vancouver, BC) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Time to Die (Star Trek: The Next Generation) (Mass Market Paperback)
Fresh on the heels of A Time to Be Born, its companion novel, A Time to Die shows up. And what a clunk it makes. Star Trek novels have their detractors, but I'm not one of them. This one, however, almost makes me change my mind. There is so much wrong with this book that I don't know where to begin. Just to start at the easy part, how about a summary?
After the destruction of the Ontailian ship at the Rashanar graveyard in A Time to Be Born, and after the Ontailians destroy the starship Juno, Captain Picard is back on Earth being held in a mental institution for ongoing medical tests. He has accepted a deal that will avoid a court martial, but he is determined to discover what really happened at Rashanar, site of one of the fiercest battles of the Dominion War. To clear his former captain, Acting Captain William Riker takes the Enterprise, with a skeleton crew, back to Rashanar to find out what the Ontailians are really hiding at the graveyard. Thankfully, he has the help of Picard, the counselor performing his medical evaluation, and an old friend. Wesley Crusher is back, and he's determined to help the Enterprise and his old captain, even if it means he can no longer be a member of the mythical beings called "The Travelers." However, death and destruction await them amidst the wreckage of so many ships.
A Time to Be Born was a book about Picard (and a little bit of Data). Wesley was in it, and he actually became a little annoying prancing around during the inquiry back at Starfleet command (the only annoying part of that entire section of the book). But it was Picard's book. A Time to Die makes the whole thing Wesley's story, and it really suffers for it. I have never been a Wesley detractor as so many Star Trek: The Next Generation fans have been, but he's never been a favourite of mine. However, this book has a lot of Wesley using his Traveler powers, jumping from ship to ship to planet to outer space, observing things. He almost makes things too easy, despite Picard's insistence that they can't begin relying on him. Wesley is a Deus ex Machina throughout the entire book, except for the fact that the book is actually about him so maybe that term doesn't apply. Still, it does make the book less interesting. He convinces Picard's counselor of what happened by whisking her away to the Rashanar graveyard, something she must find very erotic because the next time she sees him she's all over him.
Which brings me to why this book suffers so much. First, Wesley's actions and manner are incredibly annoying, making me want to blow him out an airlock at times. Secondly, the relationship that develops between Wesley and Cabot comes literally out of nowhere. One minute, she's resisting releasing Picard, and then after Wesley takes her to Rashanar, she's suddenly hot for him? And he for her? Yes, he does find her attractive in their first scene together, but to go from "finding her attractive" to "being all over each other" in the span of a few pages? And then to have their relationship be this intense love that makes neither one of them want to be apart from one another? The whole thing is ridiculous, and every time they were together I wanted to belt them one. Then, her inevitable fate is so perfunctorily done that it had no affect on me whatsoever. I also found that this relationship brought out a giddiness in Cabot that just suddenly manifested itself too. She does almost a complete 180 degree turn in attitude that I just can't fathom. Yes, love can change somebody like that, but when I don't buy the love story, I certainly don't buy the character change.
There are other characters problems, too, though most are ok. The most striking is Admiral Nakamura, who goes from an almost ruthless man in a meeting with a character to crying over that character's death at the end. The first part I thought was very good, but I certainly didn't buy the crying, at least not for that character. Vornholt once again gets the regulars right, though that's coloured by Cabot's presence in so many scenes. Wesley's reluctance to reveal himself to his friends is very pertinent (he thinks the more he reveals himself, the more likely it is that he will lose his powers), but it makes for some very awkwardly done scenes between when both he, his mom, Cabot, and others are in a room together.
I'm looking for something positive to say about this book, and I'm having trouble. The scenes that don't have either Cabot or Wesley in them are usually well done. Unfortunately, there aren't many of them. The mystery of Rashanar is interesting, especially the secret behind the creature in the graveyard. Wesley also solves the problem in a very interesting way, fulfilling his vision from the beginning of the first book without allowing any of the main characters (who you know will survive, as Paramount would not allow their deaths) to die. In fact, the entire concept is intriguing.
It's just too bad that it had to end with such a bad book. A Time to Die is worth reading once, just to continue the story. But try to beg or borrow it before wasting money on it.
David Roy
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dull, 10 July 2004
This review is from: A Time to Die (Star Trek: The Next Generation) (Mass Market Paperback)
I'm not normally a reader of Star Trek books but I am a fan of the TV shows and SciFi in general.
I liked the ideas in this book - especially the missing years for Wesley Crusher but I'm afraid I found the characters rather shallow and not engaging.
Tedious.
And it could have been so good...
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A Time to Die (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
A Time to Die (Star Trek: The Next Generation) by John Vornholt (Mass Market Paperback - 5 April 2004)
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