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on 20 November 2009
I've struggled at times whilst reading this book. It's not that it is written badly but I struggled to accept a lot of the things going in it. Now I'm not going to ruin any plot points here because, even if you're reading this review I expect you'll probably want to read the book anyway. Despite what this book is like, it is followed by other books by other authors developing the Star Trek universe even further and I'd read this book for that reason alone.

As you will have guessed, the Borg play a big role in this book. However, the way they come to be a menace and the way in which they 'adapt' seems pretty far fetched to me, even for Star Trek.

By far my biggest gripe is that this author doesn't appear to have actually read the previous two Next Generation books in this line, i.e. Resistance and Q&A. The Leybenzon in this book is fairly different and Kadohata may as well be a different person entirely. Interactions and feelings that occurred in those previous books are ignored. It is as if Peter David couldn't be bothered to read the books and so just asked what the names of the new characters are and left it at that.

The story in this book also felt to be far too destructive in terms of the Next Generation universe. It's as if Peter David felt he could get away with anything. Certain things happen that would lead to some serious long term negative effects on the environmental and orbital stability of planets used several times in Trek episodes - several things and people from canon Trek and the real life universe are changed beyond belief in the matter of a few pages.

Some of the characterisations were uncomfortably off although not all. Spock is very well done indeed for one. The bridge crew have their moments in being accurate but it comes and goes. At times Worf is spot on. At other times it just isn't right (especially if you've read the last two novels).

Maybe the disappointment I'm having is my fault. I only read the last two books about a month ago and so they are fresher in my mind than they would have been had I read these books at release. I expected something very different from this book as a whole - something more similar to Resistance for example. I was also hoping the book franchise would use this opportunity to recycle some more of the Voyager cast. They've already used one cast member in the Titan line (with great results in my opinion) and so I was hoping this book might add someone else familiar to the Enterprise crew. Maybe there's hope for that yet though. I certainly wasn't expecting this book to have such an impact on the Star Trek universe - especially since (and this is another big gripe of mine), the events of this book would *certainly* have had to come up in the book "Articles of the Federation" which spans the same year in which these events happen.

At times when reading this book I've wanted to give it 1 star. Sometimes there have been flashes which I'd rate 4 but on the whole my rating has wavered between 1 and 3 stars so I'm settling on 2. Don't let this put you off Peter David's work as a whole though. I loved his Q-Squared and I,Q books and his Imzadi books were great fun too. I just hope that next time he writes a book for the TNG line he (at the very least) spends a couple of days reading the books prior to his or speaks to the writer of the previous book if it isn't out yet so as to check things out.
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on 9 December 2008
Oh dear, it's all gone a bit wrong.

Generally anything involving the Borg is worth reading or watching, but this book is the exception. All this book amounts to is another retread of the "Borg flies to earth and try and destroy humanity" storyline.

And guess what? The Enterprise is the only ship than can stop them and only Picard has the ability in the whole of Starfleet to think of an imaginative solution. I can see the good captain in his ready room thinking: "Hmm, the pesky Borg are back and want to destroy the Earth? Gosh, it's almost like that Romulan chap a year ago with his big ship that exploded and killed Data. First time I made the Borg go to sleep - that won't work again. Shooting the plasma tanks thing worked well against the queen, but would she accept an invite to engineering for a cup of Earl Gray? Probably not. Ah, what about the Guardian of forever? Nah too silly. Hang on, wasn't there a big cone shaped alien ship type thing that was found by Kirk and it was nearly invulnerable, and was built to kill the Borg? Perfect! Let's go and get it and come to the rescue again. Hooray!"

The author then slips in some continuity stuff by referring to past events from at least a couple of old TNG novels. Throw in a few untypical crew members to replace data and Riker. Lastly, but definitely not least, there is a rather bizarre cameo by Mr Spock who has prepared a long list of obtuse, unhelpful and annoyingly smug one liners.

This book is a really lazy effort. It was dull; some of the stuff the Borg do is just too farfetched. I only finished the book out of curiosity to see what sort of ending was waiting for me. Answer - a really bad one. Avoid.
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on 11 March 2009
Pocket books are clearly having fun reinventing the Trek universe - I suspect some editor somewhere is on a bit of a 'power trip' messing around with the fate of the central characters. Not to mention what they've done to the Borg!

If you don't mind Star Trek changing beyond recognition, great, buy it. It's a cracking read. If you prefer to leave things as they stand at the end of the canon stuff, be warned.... leave well alone!! Stick to the books set during the various TV series.
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on 3 September 2009
This book follows on directly from the book Star Trek Resistance. The large Queen generating Cube built as a new nexus for the Borg has been disabled by the Enterprise. Admiral Janeway is warned by powerful forces to leave the ship alone but goes anyway to confirm the threat is over. This results in a catastrophic situation with the ship reawakening, resulting in a very different breed of Borg who now seek not to assimilate but to eliminate races, using an entirely new form of technology. The Enterprise rushes off into action, realising that past encounters may hold the key to defeating this monstrous new form of the Collective.

I have usually enjoyed Peter David's works. His novel Vendetta, which is referenced heavily in this book, is an incredible read - absolutely spot on. This book is not. While the crew conflict was interesting to read, some of it really did not pan out - since when would Starfleet officers consider using torture, even under these desperate circumstances? The vulcan counselor once again seems entirely out of place, and Ambassador Spock seems to be thrown in merely to be a super clever replacement for Data. The use of a very old piece of technology is not convincing either. Seven of Nine gets a spotlight at last in fighting the Borg, but the whole thing smacks of inauthenticity. Sad.
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on 5 May 2010
The TNG "relaunch" has disappointed me, as it seems nowhere near as well plotted out as DS9's. Peter David has never been my favorite author for his "weird for the sake of weird" approach to novels. The scene where the Borg cube destroys Pluto and spins around like a Rubik's cube may just be the stupidest thing ever in Star Trek literature. Theres also the death of a main character from another series, which was an odd choice to make.
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on 19 March 2013
The Borg are heading for earth ... again, and the Enterprise crew are the only one's who can stop them ... again. If this sounds familiar than that's because it is, they did all this two books ago in Resistance.

The story's not bad, just overly familiar. There's never any real doubt that the Borg will be defeated its just a question how and who won't make it (there's at least one major casualty in this novel).

As is becoming a trend in these post-Nemesis novels, continuity comes thick and fast. Although two characters introduced in the previous novel, Q&A, have completely different personalities here. It doesn't really matter as all the new enterprise crew are pretty unlikeable and their actions in this novel do little to endear them to the reader.

Overall, not a bad novel but let down by an overly familiar plot and some poor characters.
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on 25 October 2014
I'm afraid to say that this book was pretty bad. In fact it was almost awful. The author, who I'm sure has written books in the past that I enjoyed, seems to have very little regard for life and throws thousands of star fleet personnel to their deaths without conveying any sense of dread or loss. He has turned the Borg into the silliest enemy in the franchise while destroying any characterisation that previous authors have built up in regard to the new Enterprise crewmembers. I'm half way through the next ST:TNG novel, Greater than the Sum, and that author has spent a lot of time and put a lot of careful thought into rationalising and repairing the ongoing plot lines.
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on 28 January 2017
A good story throughout. Every chapter maintains a constant build up towards the end and the characters are very believable. My only criticism is that the end happened so quickly that I felt there could have been more content to flesh it out. Whilst I felt like I was reading an awesome Star Trek movie-style story all the way through, the final confrontation felt like it lost some heart and just appeared rushed. I would still recommend people to buy it as it does kick off a massive change in the expanded universe of Star Trek.
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on 4 February 2009
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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on 30 December 2016
This story takes a hold and doesn't let go , its a must-read leading into into the destiny series. With some of the best characters from the star trek universe it doesn't disappoint
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