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SPOILER FREE REVIEW - An uncomfortable read at times
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.