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Indistinguishable from Magic (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

3.61  ·  Rating Details  ·  366 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
The most talented Starfleet engineers of two generations unite to solve a two-hundred-year-old technological mystery that turns out to be only the beginning of a wider quest. With the support of Guinan and Nog, as well as the crew of the "U.S.S. Challenger," Geordi La Forge and Montgomery Scott soon find themselves drawn into a larger, deadlier, and far more personal adven ...more
ebook, 379 pages
Published March 29th 2011 by Pocket Books (first published March 7th 2011)
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Maybe I'm just getting too old for Star Trek novels. Or maybe I've reached my saturation point with them and need to step away from them for a while. But curse them for having interesting cover blurbs and intriguing sounding concepts that keep pulling me back in.

Such is the case with "Indistinguishable From Magic." Set in the post-Nemesis continuity, the novel is a virtual who's who of guest stars from various TNG episodes all brought back together again. When an old NX starship suddenly turns u
Jun 13, 2011 Jeff rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jeff by: found it on the library shelves
Shelves: science-fiction
It is a tradition and a standard feature of star trek novels to pay homage to past incidents, characters, and places for the sake of continuity and as a treat for fans. But too much of these references to the past can be quite a distraction. McIntee piles on the references to the point of making me wonder if he needed filler to achieve a novel length story.

The characters are secondary to the plot in this book, which is a shame with so many interesting characters brought back for this romp of the
Okay, I've read every Star Trek TNG book out there and not many disappoint me. This one was an exception. This book had so much potential but for some odd reason they chose to end is very abruptly! With all my experience reading these books, they sure missed several potential story lines and twists they could have pursued. Disappointingly, this book IS a must read. It adds to the La Forge and Scotty history in ways you need to be aware of if you are a ST:TNG reader as I am. Don't get me wrong, t ...more
Jan 06, 2014 Barry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Geordi La Forge takes command of his first ship, together with a host of well known Trek characters for a bumpy ride whilst investigating the appearance of an old (and lost) NX ship. Together the crew battle nefarious Ferengi, Romulans and an alien life-form which routinely forgets to put it's headlamps on.

David A. McIntee has done a good job despite the difficult position he's been put in with this book. It's a frustrating read as it was originally meant to be two books, and continuity-wise it
Apr 21, 2011 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek
With so many big changes in the Trek universe, you kind of wish they had taken place in a better book that's not all over the place. Short, punchy sections of prose can be good. Short, punchy sections of character development, on the other hand, just seem out of place.

Way too much is packed into it, from the development of the Leah/Geordi relationship to an analysis of just what makes Sela tick, all the way to Scotty and Guinan, Nog, Rasmussen (from an old TNG episode), the Ferengi named Bok (w
Jul 11, 2015 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I don't know why so many people hated on this book so much. Without putting any real spoilers in. I do have to say that there were a lot of cameos, which i know some people did not like. From my point of view, some of them added more backstory to little used characters in the Star Trek Universe. I liked that the book was like a reunion of so many people that were familiar to me. The book also highlights one of the most underutilized characters of the main TNG crew in Geordi, and ties up a few lo ...more
Der Titel dieses neuesten Star Trek: Next Generation-Romans bezieht sich auf den, nach dem SF-Autor Arthur C. Clarke benanntem, 3. Clark'schen Gesetz: "Jede hinreichend fortschrittliche Technologie ist von Magie nicht zu unterscheiden", und das ist auch die Grundessenz dieses Romans, der in der Zeit des Typhon Pactes spielt, also nach dem Ende der Borgs, beschrieben in der Star Trek Destiny-Trilogie.
Der Hauptakteur ist der Chefingenieur der Enterprise Geordi La Forge, der an Bord der Challenger
Crystal Bensley
Good Geordi / Scotty based story but a tad too much technobabble for me.
Quinn Rollins
Feb 09, 2012 Quinn Rollins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I don't read every new Star Trek novel that comes out anymore, partially because there are too many of them, and partially because I don't have the time anymore that I used to. But David A. McIntee's 2011 entry in the series is a great one that uses characters and situations from several different television programs, and makes them all work together beautifully and naturally.

Star Trek The Next Generation: Indistinguishable from Magic is nearly 500 pages long, and is really two adventures that a
Jul 18, 2013 Dindy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek, kindle
This book is a mess. It reads as though it was written by a committee, and a dysfunctional one at that. There are passages that seem to have been inserted after most of the book was written, with little or no attempt to smooth the transition or maintain continuity. And the entire book needed a good copy editor--there are lots of misspelled words and errors in punctuation.

Okay, so the mechanics of the book need some work. What about the Star Trek part of things? Star Trek novels are my guilty ple
David Grenier
Sep 09, 2013 David Grenier rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to David by: Nobody
What do I say about this book? As an author I respect everyone's personal style, it's what makes reading interesting to all audiences. However, this book, was not my style. I often thought of putting the book down but planned on making this review so I muddled through and kept reading. That being said, there were some things I did like about it.

Story: I am a Star Trek fan. I've seen virtually every episode of all series from Next Gen through to Enterprise. I was happy to see the story kept well
Claudiu Tănăselia
Not really placed within the continuity, this book started with a lot of potential: we got to visit a Galaxy-class starship and see it trough Geordi's nostalgic eyes (pun intended). Also, some really nice friends are encountered along the way and the first part of this book seems to be the best TNG book on a long time. Unfortunately, this enthusiastic feeling is dissipated during the second part, as a verteron beam emitted from the deflector array would be scattered on a gluonic nebula.
Sep 26, 2012 Sue rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Like many others have said, this is a book jam-packed with references to every incarnation of Star Trek. The story itself was enjoyable, but very long with many rabbit trails (perhaps this should have been a 2-3 book series instead of a standalone novel). But my biggest issues came from the writing itself, which was not as enjoyable. Certain phrases and adjectives were used over and over, as if a thesaurus were not available, and grammar and punctuation seemed to be of no concern to the author. ...more
The two greatest engineers Star Fleet ever had working together hand in hand is always great news. This novel seems like every fanboys wishes come true. It's got a great roster of well known figures from the years of TNG and uses them to good effects. The novel itself draws around the mid a bit on and has some lenghts, but both beginning and ending are very enjoyable and right in the way the TV series went.

I don't think McIntire has already written another book in the Star Trek Universe, but thi
D. Eric
Dec 07, 2011 D. Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
A great engineering story with several returning characters from different episodes and series including Scotty, Geordie La Forge, Reg Barclay, Sela, Leah Brahms, Nog, and a few others. It is a bittersweet tale of closure on several fronts and keeps Star Trek fans captivated throughout as a group of Engineers attempt to find what is causing the trans slipstream anaomolies that have been knocking starships for loops for many years, including the USS Hera that went missing 13 years ago, captained ...more

Geordi from TNG?
Nog from DS9?
Scotty from TOS, and how he ended up in the TNG era?
Guinan from TNG?
Reg Barclay from TNG?
Spock from TOS?
Rasmussen, the time traveling thief from an episode of TNG?
Bok, the vengeful Ferengi from TNG?
Sonya Gomez, who appeared in a couple episodes of TNG?
Sela, Tasha's Romulan daughter from TNG?
Leah Brahms, the woman Geordi was interested in on a couple of TNG episodes?
The Hera, Geordi's mother's lost ship?
The EMH from Voyager?
The Nexus from Generations?

Well, th
Christopher Obert
This is an interesting Star Trek novel. It is just the type of story that I like best, heavy in technology. It uses the secondary ST characters rather than the main ones, which adds a deeper layer to the Star Trek universe. The story takes place over the course of 200 years and includes references to all of the Star Trek TV shows. It mixes characters from the different ST shows along with new characters in an imaginative way. The novel begins with a “NX” starship and leads to something(s) travel ...more
Oct 18, 2014 Jimyanni rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek
Not bad, not great.

This book is reasonably well-written, the characters are handled reasonably well, and except for a minor quibble or two, the plot isnt bad. It details Geordi's first command, and is a perfectly okay read for a fan of the series and particularly for fans of Geordi. But there's nothing here that really stands out as exceptional or remarkable.
Daniel Kukwa
Mar 27, 2011 Daniel Kukwa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek
Very easy to read, though in comparison to some of the other recent Star Trek novels (such as the recent Typhon Pact series), it feels a bit light in the characterization department.

This is a plot driven novel, with lots of crowd-pleasing fanwank. It's David McIntee doing with "Star Trek" was his fellow author Gary Russell usually does with "Doctor Who". It's not a filling, culinary main course...but it's a wonderfully endless, easy to munch on snack. It's lots of nods to the past and the future
Sep 30, 2015 Mrklingon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek
Scotty, Geordi, and Nog - oh my.

The most talented Starfleet engineers of two generations unite to solve a two-hundred-year-old technological mystery that turns out to be only the beginning of a wider quest. With the support of Guinan and Nog, as well as the crew of the "U.S.S. Challenger," Geordi La Forge and Montgomery Scott soon find themselves drawn into a larger, deadlier, and far more personal adventure. Helped by old friends and hindered by old enemies, their investigation will come to thr
It is about the Hera and draws together characters from TOS (Scotty), DS9 (Nog), and a few mentions of Voyager in addition to the mostly TNG characters. Geordi is the main character. He joins a science vessel helmed by Scotty. It starts out focusing on time travel and becomes a story about closure regarding slipstream time and his mother's lost ship Hera. I found that it dragged in the middle with the Romulan intrigue, but in the end it all came together like a good mystery novel.

It's also full
Robert Lewter
Sep 17, 2015 Robert Lewter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Open questions
Aug 10, 2015 Raimi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek
Leider nur zwei Sterne. Punktabzüge gab es für:
* diverse out of character Momente
* teilweise sehr hastige / oberflächige Szenen bzw Dialoge
* hätte einiges mehr an Länge vertragen können.
Schade. Hätte wirklich ein sehr gutes Star Trek Buch werden können.
Karl Schaeffer
Jan 31, 2016 Karl Schaeffer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good Star Trek book. Like getting caught up with old friends. TNG story with Scotty. Engineers to the rescue... "I know engineers, they love to change things." (with apologies to Bones McCoy). Real alien aliens, Romulans, and technology (trans slipstream) that is indistinguishable from magic in the tradition of Arthur C Clarke. The book is very readable. I will look for other books by David McIntee. I hope he writes osme Star Trek books.
Raymond Masters
Jun 06, 2013 Raymond Masters rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't believe I've ever read a single-volume story that had this much going on in it. Despite that, the author never lost sight of the story he wanted to tell. It was a blast to see so many characters from throughout the various Trek franchises under one cover. And, the best part was it was all done organically, without it being too, too blatant fan service. Very enjoyable.

- Raymond
Apr 02, 2013 Yitzchak rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The story was interesting enough to finish the book, but it was filled with farfetched physics and circumstances, and a rather unlikely memory-lane assembly of characters plucked from different TNG episodes and other ST series. The writing was OK but somewhat hokey and contrived. Could have stood for some more proofreading as well.
Jul 15, 2013 Sharla rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was very exciting at the start -- a derelict spaceship, a mystery, time travel! But, then, the story went off the rails for me -- poor editing didn't help it much. The story labours on through a part two that was mostly rather dull. One major loose end was never addressed. And the copy was riddled with typos.
Glenn Crouch
Aug 23, 2012 Glenn Crouch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
I quite enjoyed this book that gathers just about all of the well known Star Trek Engineers into one story - and I've always been partial to Scotty :)

I did think that it slowed down a bit in the middle but thoroughly enjoyed the ending - and it was good to see Geordi as a Captain, and good to see Leah again.
Apr 09, 2013 Kristen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, star-trek, 2013
3.5 stars. Loved seeing Geordi get his own command, even if it was short-lived. Loved seeing Scotty and Guinan and Reg Barclay again. *sniffles* Scotty. And I liked the Romulan story as well, even though it made the book really seem a bit disjointed and more like 2 separate books.
Oct 03, 2013 Gene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek
I liked this boo a lot, it was good story, introduced some interesting new characters. That said, I think there were too many things - characters and stories, tied together in one book - but it wasn't wuite enough to detract from a good story.
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Star Trek Reads: Indistinguishable from Magic 4 24 May 01, 2012 05:49PM  
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McIntee has written many spin-off novels based on the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who, as well as one each based on Final Destination and Space: 1999. He has also written a non-fiction book on Star Trek: Voyager and one jointly on the Alien and Predator movie franchises. He has written several audio plays, and contributed to various magazines including Dreamwatch, SFX, Star Trek C ...more
More about David A. McIntee...

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