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4.0 out of 5 stars A slight improvement on the first half
The second half of this duology is a slight improvement on the first, containing more action and a plot that moves more quickly. It's also easier to follow as we are aligned with both parties this time from the outset and can understand what's going on from both points of view.

One thing I've noticed and am ambivalent about is that the authors like to drop in...
Published on 7 Jan. 2010 by Jim J-R

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The authors move from a walk to a jog
A Time to Harvest, the sequel to A Time to Sow, has most of the same strengths and weaknesses that the first one had. Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore do give us a rousing conclusion to the story, but they wallow even more in continuity and explanations, dragging the narrative to a halt way too often. Add a bit of angst (but not as much as the first book), and you've got a...
Published on 1 Dec. 2004 by David Roy


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4.0 out of 5 stars A slight improvement on the first half, 7 Jan. 2010
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Jim J-R (West Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Time to Harvest (Star Trek: The Next Generation) (Mass Market Paperback)
The second half of this duology is a slight improvement on the first, containing more action and a plot that moves more quickly. It's also easier to follow as we are aligned with both parties this time from the outset and can understand what's going on from both points of view.

One thing I've noticed and am ambivalent about is that the authors like to drop in references to a lot of prior events in the Star Trek continuity, but then take up a couple of paragraphs explaining it in a little too much detail. In one or two places this is justified where it is essential to the plot (or, I suppose, filling in the reader on events of the first book - although why would you read the second part without reading the first, and both were published simultaneously so it's not like you could have forgotten...) but in others it seems a bit of overkill - why not just leave the references as an added bonus for those that will get them and let everyone else gloss over them? Instead I have a couple of paragraphs that I end up skipping over because I know what they are telling me.

The main thing that I dislike about this book though is the way it seems to be forced to build in the direction of the film Nemesis. Yes, I know that the entire point of this series is to fill the gap between Insurrection and Nemesis, but there are really irritating parts, particularly having to explain how Data lost his emotion chip, that I really wish these novels could have done without.

I'm hoping that the rest of this series will have slightly less introspective characters. Picard, La Forge, Crusher all seem to have been fairly grumpy in this one, which gets a bit over the top when it happens over and over again. Having said all the above, I still enjoyed reading this.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The authors move from a walk to a jog, 1 Dec. 2004
By 
David Roy (Vancouver, BC) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Time to Harvest (Star Trek: The Next Generation) (Mass Market Paperback)
A Time to Harvest, the sequel to A Time to Sow, has most of the same strengths and weaknesses that the first one had. Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore do give us a rousing conclusion to the story, but they wallow even more in continuity and explanations, dragging the narrative to a halt way too often. Add a bit of angst (but not as much as the first book), and you've got a slow-moving plodder that can get quite interesting at times.
The Enterprise, having discovered survivors of the planet Dokaal's destruction, has been helping them deal with both internal and external strife. The Dokaalan are trying to make another planet in their system habitable for them, but it's not easy. Internal dissent and terrorist attacks have been preventing progress in the whole endeavour. Captain Picard has offered the Enterprise's expertise in the field and the Dokaalan have reluctantly accepted it, as long as there is no actual material help. But the program may be able to get any further as an outside force has its own agenda for the Dokaalans, one that doesn't have their well-being in mind. Once this is discovered, Picard and crew have an even tougher task on their hands as the external threat proves to be more ruthless than even Picard had realized. Old friends have come to visit, and they want to stay!
This review could almost be a carbon copy of A Time to Sow, as it has many of the same problems. The characters don't brood as much, though there is another horrible terrorist attack that gives Riker the opportunity to wallow in guilt over not having been able to do anything. He doesn't do it to the extent Picard did in the first book, though. He does move on, which is a good thing. No, the main problem with A Time to Harvest is once again the heavy continuity and the desire to explain every little bit of every reference. When the aliens are finally revealed for what they are (and there's really no clue unless you know every episode by heart, and then you may still not have guessed!), Dilmore and Ward spend two whole pages explaining what happened in the episode. Two pages! Talk about grinding a book to a halt.
In addition to the continuity drag on the book, Ward and Dilmore take great pains to explain what happened in the first book. And when I say great, I mean *mammoth* proportions. No, a "previously on Star Trek..." forward to the book would not do. Instead, every time an event from A Time to Sow is mentioned, it has to be thoroughly explained. Sometimes it takes more than two paragraphs. Once again, an interesting plot with cool aliens and some pretty decent action is marred by the molasses of overwriting. I understand that you need to allow for the reader who picks this book up without the first one, but I think they could have done this much better. A foreward would have been the way to go in this case.
Ward and Dilmore do some things right, however. Once again, they've nailed the regulars (when they're not getting overly introspective, anyway). Picard shows a sharp intelligence as he outwits his opponents. He shows his compassion as he does everything he can to help the Dokaalans and is willing to let them do as much as they wish to do by themselves. The horror when one of their experiments goes horribly wrong is quite effectively done, though the experiment backfiring is somewhat predictable even without knowing what the aliens' plot is. I didn't mention this in the first review, but the authors do add a few interesting characters in their own right. Especially fun is the Denobulan doctor, Tropp. He's similar enough to Phlox in the television show Enterprise (the best character on the show) to be familiar, but he has his own personality and he's quite a hoot. They also do a good job with the "new" old guard, like Lt. Vale and Perim, the new navigator. These are characters introduced for this series, but this is the fourth book they've been in.
Another strength in the novel is we get a lot of scenes from the aliens' point of view. This is probably more effective because we have no idea who they are, so they're not recognizable. The scenes of them infiltrating the Enterprise are quite well done, though they do get overwritten a bit. One of them spends a great deal of time thinking about the past and their plan and what he needs to do and how maybe the humans aren't as stupid as they look and boy to they smell and...well, you get the picture. For the most part, though, they are very effective and it actually adds to the tension as you see that their plan just might succeed.
It all comes down to a very tense sequence at the end that's all action and plotting and counter-plotting, giving us a break from all of the internal monologues. Picard comes up with a great plan and the bad guys aren't defeated because they're stupid. I like intelligent villains, and these guys are. When Ward and Dilmore decide to get the book moving, they can really do it! It makes me wonder why they can't soften their slow tendencies throughout the rest of the book. Sure, the book can't be all action, but a happy medium would definitely be nice.
A Time to Harvest is a step up from the last book, but just barely. While A Time to Sow is a low three-star book, this is definitely a high one. Hopefully, this trend can continue.
David Roy
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A Time to Harvest (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
A Time to Harvest (Star Trek: The Next Generation) by Kevin Dilmore (Mass Market Paperback - 7 Jun. 2004)
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