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Ghost Ship (Star Trek: The Next Generation #1)

3.19  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,492 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
Essef - In a dream, Counsellor Deanna Troi senses the voices of a crew whose life-essences were somehow absorbed within a creature that destroyed their ship 300 years before. Now Picard must find a way to communicate with the creature - or the Enterprise crew will also be absorbed by the "ghost ship".
Mass Market Paperback, 258 pages
Published July 1st 1988 by Pocket Books (first published June 1st 1988)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,388)
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(Cross-posted to my blog, Android Dreamer.)

A consistent problem in bigger franchises such as Star Trek in which tie-in media is released almost simultaneously with the primary media is that who a character really turns out to be is a bit fuzzy. Generally, a writer of a novel such as this has very little to go on aside from rough preliminary outlines and early scripts. Keeping this in mind, I went into reading Ghost Ship reading kid's gloves.

Being the first novel in the Star Trek: The Next Genera
Mike McDevitt
Yes, the characters don't match the program. Dr. Crusher wasn't one to use her son as a catspaw, Wesley wasn't so incompetent, Yar didn't have enough hair to brush it out of her eyes, Riker didn't have this much discomfort with Data, Picard was rarely such a sour patch, and there's NO universe where Troi would be called a "mind slut" by the people of this future. They tended to be way more tolerant of each other.

Nevertheless, for never having seen the show, the author had a lot of interesting i
Jan 27, 2011 Adam rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I can't say that I'm the biggest Star Trek fan by any means. By that, I only really enjoyed "Star Trek: The Next Generation." Maybe it's because I was born in the early 80's, but for some reason I really can't get into Classic Trek, and I had a hard time really getting into "Deep Space Nine." Therefore, for me it's all about "The Next Generation." Seriously, I have all the episodes on DVD, I own all the comic books and now I've delved into the novels! I guess I'm a pretty big "The Next Generatio ...more
Rounded down to 2 stars from 2.5.

This novel was written extremely early in the series, and the writer chose to (or was told to) focus intently on characterization and the inner lives of the crew, before anyone (including the author) really had access to much created canon. Now, after years of canonical development, this book is essentially an alternate universe branching off within the first couple of episodes of the show. If you're looking for the comfort and familiarity of the characters you k
Randy Wiggins
Oct 27, 2011 Randy Wiggins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great novel for the begining the the STTNG book series. I've read it a few times now and it holds up well after multiple readings. It's hard to believe it was written before the author had ever seen the show and had to work with only charachter sketches and a partial script of the Farpoint episode.
Alexander Adamson
Jun 19, 2008 Alexander Adamson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: si-fi people
This is my favorite star trek book so far.
Jan 25, 2012 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-long-ago
In honor of the 25th anniversary, of what would be my all time favorite show if it were not for The X-Files,Star Trek the Next Generation is coming to Blu-Ray totally redone. Having read most of the novels over two decades ago, I thought that I would write my general feel for the serial STNG novels. I could never do a real review now, other than to say that I loved them.

Star Trek the Next Generation was both my favorite science fiction series in college, and also my favorite serial novel. I was
This is the first novel in the ST: TNG series.

In 1995, a Russian ship testing a new EMP weapon, is attacked by a unknown entity and destroyed. The crew is never found. 300 years later and Deanna Troi starts having nightmares about the incident and the dead crew start visiting the Enterprise. When they are also attacked by the entity, Picard faces some difficult decisions. Is his ship more important than the souls of the dead crew?

I really enjoyed revisiting the characters right at the start of t
Jesse Booth
Apr 01, 2015 Jesse Booth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
The book was alright. There were some fun elements, but there was a lot I could have done without. Riker's prejudice views on Data were downright annoying. The other characterizations were a bit off too. Picard seemed like he was sitting on a cactus the entire time. Troi was emotionally stuck, and Data was anything but Data.

That being said, the book succeeded at what Star Trek does so well. Ethics, prime directive, and tough decisions that end up working themselves out to help the audience come
Mar 24, 2016 Jerry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun, fun, fun! Books like these are why I love science fiction, especially space operas!
Daniel Kukwa
Jan 26, 2011 Daniel Kukwa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek
Diane Carey can write some great Star Trek (check out "Best Destiny"), but lord oh lord is her first TNG novel absolutely dire. I don't recognize ANY of the fact, some of them are rendered as absolutely distasteful. Since when was Riker -- of ALL people -- a bigot! The man understood Data immediately upon meeting him in "Encounter at Farpoint", but here we read he has an active distrust of the android...why?

Skip this...and skip TNG book #2, and go straight to "The Children of Ham
Conan Tigard
Nov 14, 2015 Conan Tigard rated it liked it
Ghost Ship mostly revolves around Geordi and Data's struggle to determine whether he is more than a machine and the survival of the Enterprise from the attack by the electrical cloud being. Some inconsistencies in character portrayal are: 1) Commander Riker is extremely harsh toward Data, 2) Captain Picard is more demanding than he normally is, and 3) Geordi shows open distain toward Riker. I do love a good Star Trek: The Next Generation story.

This book came out less than a year after the show
Katrin von Martin
I'm pretty new to the Star Trek fandom and therefore haven't been exposed to much of it. Whether or not this was a good place to start, Ghost Ship was my first Trek novel. The book certainly wasn't bad. The author seemed to know where she was going with the plot, but the characters seemed off (even from what little I've seen of them) and the feel of the novel just wasn't quite right.

The book opens with an introduction to the Sergei G. Gorshkov's crew. This really captured my interest, as the c
This was an interesting read. I'm a huge fan of Star Trek, especially TNG as I grew up watching it. I always have a tough time with media-tie-in books initially because I was trying to not envision the characters I grew to love on the show, because the authors who do them sometimes have a grasp of the characters, but not a complete grasp of them.

In this instance, most of the characters didn't match the characters in the show. I wish there was more of Worf, but at the same time I'm glad there was
Dec 04, 2010 James rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I saw this sitting on my Kindle and decided to give it a shot. I guess I can blame most of the character differentiation on the age of the book, and the fact that they were dealing with season one characters. Still, it gave me the feeling that the author just didn't "get it" in parts. Oh, and warp 13? Hrm....
Mar 18, 2016 Sidney rated it really liked it
This is an interesting read to me, in part, because it is the first in the book series and takes you back to TNG's starting point.

It's interesting to see this early take on the characters and the things that were new back in the day like the detachable saucer section. The characters do differ from their television counterparts a bit, but the series bible was probably brand new when this novel was started.

The crew's pitted against a formidable entity as well that's swallowed many ships including
Chris Johnson
Apr 17, 2014 Chris Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek, tng-ds9
Pretty good book. The characters are a little different from their television counterparts...but not enough that it harms the book. I liked the premise, the conflict was a little contrived--but it was still a lot of fun with characters I love.
Rich Meyer
This first original Star Trek: The Next Generation novel is definitely one of those books that the two-star "it's ok" rating fits. I'm assuming the author worked from the first shooting script or maybe the first showrunner's guide to get the characterizations down, since they're all a little over the top. Data's far too Pinocchio and haphazard, and everyone seems to have a little less respect for Picard than they should. Troi, at least, got a major role in this one, rather than her usual filler ...more
Aug 10, 2015 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reads like a "lost" pilot episode. The characters don't quite feel like themselves yet, but some of them do. It was published at the end of the first season, which probably explains why the characters are so weird, especially about Data's human-ness. Wesley is hilariously described as an "accident" by Picard, and Troi is confirmed as the most useless person in Star Trek history, taking up page after page after page of not quite being able to tell how she feels, just like in the show!

Picard: Can
William Johnson
Sep 16, 2011 William Johnson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: trek
The Grand Star Trek Book Review #1: Ghost Ship (TNG #1)

I've decided to go back and review all of the Star Trek books I've read. Why? Because I'm a complete loser, that's why!

Anyway, don't ask me to remember too much. I've read one Star Trek book since 2002 so my mind usually remembers where I bought the books, when I read them and where, and if they were good, bad, or terrible.

Oddly, I read Ghost Ship really late and it was towards the end of my Trek reading days, sometime around 2001 before I w
Angela Kolter
I do not read a Trek novel for its perfectly attenuated narrative accuracy, nor do I expect an independently written Trek one-off to attain the gravitas of a well crafted DS9 or NG episode. I approach it as an end in itself, cradled in the mythos of the Trekiverse, beholden to it, but free of its ultimate restraints. In this approach I find Ghost Ship a smoothly crafted novel more as a study of the craft of franchise novelization and less as a reflection of its nearness to accurate characterizat ...more
Jun 15, 2013 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an OK introduction to the world of TNG in book form. As I mentioned in my status update, I was a little put off by the hair flipping and silliness early on in the book and about half way through the writer kind of telegraphed (to anyone who knows anything about how Star Trek formula works) how the story would end (or at least the device in which it would be led to be saved).

As has been mentioned by others who have read this book, it's hard for the author to write this book as the charact
Jessica Stephenson
3.5, really. If this novel can be so enjoyable despite thr drawbacks of limited foreknowledge about the characters, then I am very much looking forward to further tales that have more to go on. I found some of the writing in this too cheesy, but it WAS written some time ago and could be much more dated than it is. The great news is that I still don't find TNG to be dated, and if this book can make me feel like I'm enjoying further adventures of one of my favorite shows of all time, then I am a h ...more
Brian Lewis
Jul 11, 2014 Brian Lewis rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I can't add much that the other reviewers did not say already. It's understandable that the author couldn't get the characters right under those circumstances, but "those circumstances" has nothing to do with making a boring book. If the characters were off, but the story was good, I would have no problem giving it 3 or 4 stars. However, this one has nothing going for it, with the exception some cool cover art!
Denise Link
I went back and forth on my stars for this one. On one hand, the characters did not ring completely true to my memories of them from the series, the movies or other novels. On the other hand, this is the first novel! And it was definitely not awful. However. The best ST leaves me with a feeling of hope, of joy, a physical, happy ache. This book didn't give me that.
Jason Vargo
Written early in the TNG run on television, the problems with Ghost Ship center more on inconsistent characters than bad storytelling. Without finished episodes and performances to use as a guide, Diane Carey was forced to imagine how the crew would act and interact. That's a huge problem when fitting this story into TNG canon. Additionally, the story is pedestrian without anything to distinguish it. This story could be done on any Trek show and is not unique to this franchise.
Dec 16, 2014 Tom rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book when it first came out years ago. I read it, but honestly was not impressed. The characters seem wrong somehow. The story is lame. The overall plot wasn't something I cared about. However, it was a fine first attempt of a novel. I am glad it happened, so we can have more and better novels to enjoy.
Jason Roark
Apr 18, 2014 Jason Roark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book

It's been a while so it took me a bit to get back into the storyline, but once I caught myself up with the Next Generation storyline the book was terrific and just as I remembered the series. characters from the past is my favorite so that made the story even better.
Mar 07, 2014 Paul rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think it was written before the characters were developed. Some of their actions were not appropriate at all. Story line was decent though so it kept me wanting to find out what happened. But like I said, a great deterrent being that the characters were very often out of character.
Natasha Lahovski
Characterization is definitely off. However, it was the first book in the series for TNG; the writer did not have much to go off of.

The idea of the ghost ship itself is actually pretty interesting. The story addresses some interesting, serious issues that we face in life.

Rounded up from 2.5 stars.
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Diane Carey also wrote the Distress Call 911 young adult series under the name D.L. Carey.

Diane Carey is primarily a science fiction author best known for her work in the Star Trek franchise. She has been the lead-off writer for two Star Trek spin-off book series: Star Trek The Next Generation with Star Trek: Ghost Ship, and the novelization of the Star Trek: Enterprise pilot, Broken Bow.

For more
More about Diane Carey...

Other Books in the Series

Star Trek: The Next Generation (1 - 10 of 103 books)
  • Encounter at Farpoint (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
  • The Peacekeepers (Star Trek: The Next Generation, #2)
  • The Children of Hamlin (Star Trek: The Next  Generation, #3)
  • Survivors (Star Trek: The Next Generation, #4)
  • Strike Zone (Star Trek: The Next Generation, #5)
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  • Masks (Star Trek: The Next Generation, #7)
  • The Captains' Honor (Star Trek: The Next Generation, #8)
  • A Call to Darkness (Star Trek: The Next Generation #9)
  • A Rock and a Hard Place (Star Trek: The Next Generation, #10)

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