This is the fourth book in the series "Star Trek, The Fall", and as such goes deeper in to the rotting core of a diabolical conspiracy far worse than the one led by Admiral Cartright, during the times of Kirk! This time it falls to William T Riker to snatch up the gauntlet to save the Federation we all know and love! If you've got this far in the series, I don't need to urge you to read it!
Book four in the 'The Fall' mini-series follows for the most part the USS Titan's crew as they react to the events of recent novels and find their routine altered dramatically by orders from Starfleet. A number of Deep Space Nine characters also show up, and I really enjoyed those appearances from my favourite Trek series.
The story doesn't really fit with the typical Titan formula - it's really more similar to a spy thriller, something that's becoming a frequent genre in the 24th Century Star Trek novels, but no complaints from me as I really enjoy them. The plot is really gripping throughout and Swallow achieved a great mix of action with authentic character moments, taking the familiar faces out of their comfort zones allowing them to grow.
There are some big plot points here too that further the ongoing narrative. It's definitely feeling like things are moving toward the conclusion that we're expecting in book five, but there are plenty of threads still dangling and I suspect a number of red herrings thrown in for good measure. A lot of the plot has some rather obvious parallels to real-world events, something that Trek has always done well, and it's interesting to see Swallow's take on how the characters would deal with these.
A great thriller that works really well in the Trek line. Swallow's certainly shown he can do interesting things with any Trek character and it seems like he was the perfect choice to tell this chapter. I look forward to more from him, as well of course to this mini-series' grand finale next month.
Even though star trek hasn't been this blatantly allegorical since shatner trod the decks of the original starship enterprise, this book is where on going plotlines start to come together. It's a decent mixture of action and detection, with familiar characters all having the right tone and voice (except perhaps occasionally Riker and Nog....but then a fully adult nog was never seen on television, and as much as a married Captain Riker was never seen, we now have Admiral Riker, and his even less familiar brother to contend with....so I think that works) I was especially pleased to see Tom Riker back in the fold, and this book itself shows the characters I grew up with addressing something of a problem I was beginning to have with trek in general....'this is not who we are'....the violence, the corruption...these things are not the ideals of the federation that many trend and are familiar with, and whilst it makes for good drama, things can only be so dark for so long. The other paths of the franchise (star trek online...the jj abrams shadow of the original series...) both seem a little lost in terms of how to get back to that positive heart, but here we see the novels hopefully begin the climb back from the difficulties that seem to face treks overall tone as modern American (and worldwide) fable and myth in a post 9/11 world. (It seems to be this that has made treks explorers into bloodied soldiers after all) and although in this November have covert operations, renditions, and corrupt power at the very heart of the federation....finally we get to see that our characters themselves have woken up and are addressing those issues within the fiction (no doubt to help encourage us in the real world, as the television series did, as well as to pull trek in at least it's literary form, back to somewhere less....grim...than it has been lately) and I am glad that it is Riker and his crew to so first. It seems fitting for the most diverse crew in Starfleet, and one of gene Roddenberry's avatar characters to make that change. (Rodenberrry certainly may not of always lived up to or even believed his own stated ideals, but Riker is doing the job his creator didn't in that regard)
I also enjoyed the tight character focus. I have loved some of the world building in star trek, but here we get to wander about with the people rather than the cultures. The only exception to this is the Roman colony commander, who I found very intriguing, if occasionally mildly grating with her odd speech patterns. There are many characters in this book who I wouldn't mind seeing again, and you can almost sense a new chapter with perhaps some new trek bridge families on the horizon.
This book ratchets up the tension that has been developing throughout the other novels in this series. Clandestine operations and confrontations between key characters leave you wanting more. There is also some continued character development in line with other Titan novels. I am greatly looking forward to the final book in The Fall.
The story is driven by the newly promoted Admiral Riker's investigation into the death of the Federation President at DS9, and the revelations that follow.
I have been impressed by both the quality of writing in all the Star Trek: The Fall novels and the continuation of the themes throughout. The novels seem to reflect the tone in the modern world today and seem very relevant despite their setting far in the future.
The novel also shows the dilemma's of people questionning their duty in the face of blatant challenges to what they believe is right, and the characters response to this.
All in all very enjoyable and I am looking forward to the last instalment to see the story arc completed.
I normally don't bother to review books as ultimately everyone's opinion will differ and aspects of a story that some people love others will inevitably hate. That being said this has to be one of the best Star Trek books I have read and so far is the standout winner of the Fall series. I won't say anything about details from the plot (no need for spoilers here) but this is the darkest and most noir Trek storyline and deservedly so as since the tragedy of the first book in the series we have been heading down a dark road in Star Trek. Suffice to say this book roars along and for me achieves the remarkable feat of making you love, hate and sweat along with the characters on the page. In a word, 'Brilliant'.
I've never really liked the Star Trek: Titan novels (there are too many un-Star Trek-like aliens for my taste) but there is something interesting about the crew returning to Earth and getting involved in the events Picard and Sisko have previously found themselves facing. Bashir and Nog from Deep Space Nine appear, with Bashir's story continuing from the previous novel, A Ceremony of Losses.
I really enjoyed this, and can be read as a stand alone story, despite being part of a series. Solid conspiracy mystery mission investigating the murder of the Federation president, with Will Riker, Tuvok, and Nog from DS 9 leading the charge. Nothing is what it seems.
it is a new look and shows that people have not changed regarding politics and personnel gain and that there is still a minority still wanting to stand up against it , it was exciting to read and still had the favorite characters in it ,
This is the first star trek book I have read in a number of years, I am relieved that the writing is as good now as before. This was enjoyable and was like putting on an old comfortable jacket that I had forgotten was in the cupboard.