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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What happens when your nasty to a Borg Cube., 4 Feb 2009
This review is from: Before Dishonor (Star Trek: The Next Generation) (Mass Market Paperback)
Lets go through the checklist:

(1) Borg Cube: tick
(2) Only the Enterprise can stop it: tick
(3) Random characters showing up: tick
(4) A mass of crewman angst as they dredge up long forgotten storylines and characters: tick
(5) Peter David manages to shoehorn in a cameo by Calhoun and Co: tick

Where did it all start go wrong in the Star Trek books. Once upon a time there were clever references to past storylines, characters and other trivia. However they were done in such a way that enjoyment of the book was not conditional on you knowing any background. Before Dishonor seems to signify a series that is beginning to collapse under its own weight.

In the previous book, Picard and Co has stopped the Borg through their implausible plan. Part of which consisted dressing Picard up in his decade old Borg costume (which apparently wasnt taken by Starfleet to study or destroyed when the Enterprise D crashed). Eventually they stopped a newly formed Borg Queen by injecting her with a standard sex change potion which caused a Mrs Doubtfire effect.

In the current book - the Borg cube is being studied by Starfleet. Janeway gets caught and turned into the Borg Queen (no doubt her bun could not be added to Borg perfection). But this is a new kind of Borg Cube - it isnt fussy in what it assimilate - sorry absorbs. Yes this Borg cube absorbs everything - be it planets, starships or bits of the sun! We have the usual wild ideas of how to stop it - by resurrecting old storylines. We have attempted mutiny against Picard and his cronies - not surprising since Picard and Worf seemed to have turned into despots. In the end it takes a maths challenge to stop the Borg cube (another damning indictment of poor maths skills).

Before Dishonor is a pretty poor novel. Sure it presses all the fan boy buttons - but it feels completely lifeless. Our once great hero's seem to be going senile, anyone who questions Picard is told to go to their room. We have quite frankly, appalling storylines - a Borg Cube absorbing Pluto? The same cube that has develop a mind of its own because it got shot at! We have a succession of character moment that just make you realise that the novel is completely flat.

Such a poor novel. It is reflective of a trend in the Star Trek novels - a series drowning in its own history and constantly resorting to throwing in references only the uber fans recognise.

In the end of the novel the Borg Cube blows up because it cannot solve a complex equation - it seems quite apt for a book and a series that is collapsing under its own complexity.
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