Like other David Mack Star Trek novels, there is a lot going on and a lot of ties to other Trek novels as well as established canon. There has been a...moreLike other David Mack Star Trek novels, there is a lot going on and a lot of ties to other Trek novels as well as established canon. There has been a very strong political aspect in recent Trek novels set post-Nemesis, and this book continues that trend. I read this one because I enjoyed the last book in the series so much (by Una McCormick). I hadn't read the Typhon Pact novels, so at times I felt like I was playing catch up. The cast of characters and weaving of subplots was great, but since a majority of the plot centered on Bashir and his moral dilemmas while struggling to help the Andorian people.
The book leaves us on a bit of a cliffhanger, which I hope will be resolved by the end of the Fall series.
My biggest pet peeve is the feeling that some of the characters, Dax and Ro, acted out of character during the book. I have noticed this with Dax in other Mack books before, so I think this may just be that I see her a lot different that the author does.
I skipped the first book of "The Fall" series since it didn't get the greatest reviews and this was the book I was really excited about. Una McCormack...moreI skipped the first book of "The Fall" series since it didn't get the greatest reviews and this was the book I was really excited about. Una McCormack wrote "Never-ending Sacrifice," one of my favorite Star Trek books. In Never-Ending Sacrifice, she did such a fantastic job of fleshing out the world and people of Cardassia. Since this book deals mainly with Cardassia and everyone's favorite Cardassian, Garak, I knew I had to read this one right away.
I wasn't disappointed in the least. The only way I could see someone being disappointed with this book is if they are expecting an Enterprise-E story. Picard has his part in the novel and interacts very well with Garak, but he is not the main character here. Very few of the rest of crew even make appearances.
No. Make no mistakes. This is a Garak story. This is a Cardassia story. This is damned fine story.
It will also have lasting ramifications on the world of Star Trek literature. Major events happen in this book that can not be talked about without revealing major spoilers. Let's just say that, despite all of the rough times the Federation has seen in recent books, their darkest hour may still be yet to come. (less)
I've read a lot of Star Trek novels over the years. Some of them are amazing adventures that still manage to break new ground in a setting that has ha...moreI've read a lot of Star Trek novels over the years. Some of them are amazing adventures that still manage to break new ground in a setting that has had thousands of stories already written about it. Others are a bit formulaic. This one is extremely formulaic. It breaks no new ground. It isn't even super exciting. It is a basic adventure for the crew of the USS Enterprise. However, it gets the formula of the series so well that it ends up being a delight to read.
This could have been a lost episode. Tony Daniel not only gets the voice of the characters very well during the book, but he also seems to get all of the "moments" right.
The book also references a lot of elements from previous episodes of the original Trek series. When the characters are trying to stop an asteroid from hitting the planet, they think about and compare the situation to when they tried to stop a similar asteroid from hitting Miramanee's Planet (AKA Amerind) in "Paradise Syndrome." When talking about Starfleet's ban on Eugenics, Kirk and crew talk about their encounter with Khan Noonian Singh.....and there are the Horta! I don't think I am alone amongst Star Trek fans in my love for the Horta. They are one of my favorite Star Trek races, and I have always lamented that we saw so little of them on screen. Tony Daniel uses them very well in this book and writes them with such a great amount of voice and personality. The presence of the Horta pushed what was going to be an average book in to well-above average book.
Most of the Enterprise crew get good moments to shine during this story. I felt like the author planned carefully to make sure of this. It is fitting that Spock takes the cover, though. His role as the communicator with the Horta really gives him some great moments.
Kudos to the author for delivering a very well-planned Star Trek novel. He obviously did his homework. I couldn't help but feel that the author probably wrote this book after binge-watching all three season of the original series. It was obviously written by an author who "gets it."(less)
This book isn't a challenging or long read. The writing isn't fantastic, either. It is good, just not fantastic. However, I give it high marks for exp...moreThis book isn't a challenging or long read. The writing isn't fantastic, either. It is good, just not fantastic. However, I give it high marks for exploring a part of the Dominion War that was only mentioned on screen. In DS9, the writers wanted to suggest that the war was going badly for the Federation by saying that a major member-planet had been taken by the Dominion. They chose Betazed.
This book follows up on this idea with Deanna Troi and the Enterprise recruited for a special mission by Starfleet in an attempt to liberate Betazed from Dominion control. The book includes cameos by the Defiant, Worf and O'Brien from DS9 and really ties in well with a lot of the events and story elements of the Dominion War as seen on the show. It bothered me when watching the show that we never heard what the Enterprise was doing during the war. This and some of the other Pocket Books fill in that bit.
I particularly like the ethical dilemma the story presents Deanna and other characters in the story. Is victory worth any cost? Like the best episodes of DS9, the characters have to balance the needs of the war against their high ideals and the fun in the story is finding out which one wins out this time.(less)
I wish Goodreads allowed me to give a 4-1/2 star rating. This book was almost perfect. I could not put it down and only had a few small complaints tha...moreI wish Goodreads allowed me to give a 4-1/2 star rating. This book was almost perfect. I could not put it down and only had a few small complaints that would keep me from giving it a 5 star rating.
After reading a few of his books, I would say that Mack is one of the best Star Trek writers. He gives his stories a very human element and manages to make large casts very exciting. (I usually prefer smaller casts allowing you to focus on a few characters.)
In this book, he has an extremely large cast. Besides the Captains and crews of four starships, he also has scenes dealing with some of the other folks around the galaxy. He is telling a sweeping tale here that affects the entire Federation, so he tells you a bit about what is going on around the whole Federation.
The Borg are attacking again. Yeah, the Borg are over-used and honestly, I am sick to death of them. They haven't really been cool since "Best of Both Worlds." However, Mack does make them feel like a threat again. In fact, they feel like more of a threat even then when they were in "Best of Both Worlds." This fact almost kept me from reading the book, and did keep me from reading the TNG books that led up to this trilogy. I am just really bored of the Borg.
However, the book includes so much more. There are the personal stories as Picard deals with how the Borg affects him, Troi and Riker deal with trying to conceive a baby, Pazlar's dealing with being a low gravity person on a high gravity ship, etc., etc.. There is also the flashback tale of the USS Columbia (from the 22nd Century) making first contact with a powerful alien species. There are the mysterious deaths on the USS Aventine (Ezri Dax's ship). There is so much more than just the Borg....and it all ties together.
Speaking of Ezri, that is another thing that keeps this book from a 5 star rating. Like many folks on Goodreads, I just couldn't buy her as a Starship Captain. The last time we saw her in the show, she was still extremely unsure of herself and certainly did not seem like Captain material. Of course, she could grow, but the book never really tells us what changed her or demonstrates her as that strong of a leader.
Small complaints aside, this is a fantastic read that I couldn't put down. Then, it ends with a nice little cliffhanger. I'll be picking up book 2 as soon as I find a used copy. (I'm frugal, not cheap.) I can't wait to read the next book. 4 and a half stars! (less)
This book collects issues 20-24 of DC's comic series from the early 90's. In the story, part of the crew is lost and believed to dead when they are t...more This book collects issues 20-24 of DC's comic series from the early 90's. In the story, part of the crew is lost and believed to dead when they are transported to another part of the galaxy. They find several other refugees from the Alpha sector there, living in a huge structure created from the flotsam and jetsam that came through the same wormhole to land in this distant place. Meanwhile, the Enterprise and crew believe their crew-mates dead and try to move on. It was a good story arc and worthy of a collected edition, but not the most fantastic Star Trek comics I have read. (less)
Saying that this book is by Shatner is misleading. He has two co-writers on his Star Trek books, Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens. They also wrote t...moreSaying that this book is by Shatner is misleading. He has two co-writers on his Star Trek books, Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens. They also wrote the excellent book, Federation, that I recently finished reading.
You can see their influence in the books. In particular, this book has a lot of nice touches and a lot of the secondary characters are used really well. In particular, this book makes good use of one of my favorite DS9 characters, Garak, the humble Cardassian tailor. The continuity and background of all of the Star Trek series (at the time...this is pre-Enterprise) are used.
However, the writing on Kirk feels....off. You would think that the author who played the character would have a strong feeling for the character, but I get the feeling that Shatner takes more control on the character and writes him in a way that he imagines the character, not the way he is usually written. Picard also feels off.
The writing is never fantastic, but it is entertaining and the story has enough "neat" moments to keep you reading through and wanting more. A fun, if not fantastic, read.(less)
I've recently been on a big Star Trek reading kick. The hype for the new movie got me nostalgic for the old stuff, probably. I used to read these book...moreI've recently been on a big Star Trek reading kick. The hype for the new movie got me nostalgic for the old stuff, probably. I used to read these books all the time when I was young and loved them.
One of the things I have now that I did not have then was the internet. I could find out what other Star Trek book readers enjoyed and I found a few message board threads online where people discussed their favorite Star Trek books. This book seemed to appear more often than the others. So, I hunted down the next time I was at the used book store.
It lived up to the hype. While the first couple chapters start a little slow, but the story picks up really quickly. Pretty soon, each chapter is ending in a cool cliffhanger.
The writers handle the characters of both the original series crew and the Next Generation crew very well. You can see and hear the characters in your head and at no time is there a feel that this is something you couldn't have seen on the screen. Certainly, this was a much better crossover between the two Captains than we would eventually get in Star Trek: Generations.
The story follows three storylines, all interconnected. The first is the story of Zephram Cochrane, recently returned to Earth from the first warp flight in the 21st Century and having to deal with a greatly changed political climate at home. The second story follows Kirk and crew as they deal with a conspiracy of some support in Starfleet involving Cochrane. The third story seems to have little to do with the others at first, but follows Picard and crew as they deal with an ancient artifact discovered by the Romulans.
I read a lot of Star Trek novels when I was young and am now reading a decent amount again. Star Trek novels are basically the geeky equivalent of reading Romance novels most of the time. There are tons of them and they are quick, fun reads. Every once in a while a book stands out that deals with some of the deeper themes and meanings in Star Trek. This is one of them. Like the others recommended this book on online forums, I will now list this as one of my favorites.(less)