Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Indistinguishable from Magic (Star Trek: The Next Generation)” as Want to Read:
Indistinguishable from Magic (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Indistinguishable from Magic (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  481 Ratings  ·  49 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 adventu
ebook, 379 pages
Published March 29th 2011 by Pocket Books (first published March 7th 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Indistinguishable from Magic, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Indistinguishable from Magic

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
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 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
Steven Harsch
Feb 05, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Last year, I started reading the post-Nemesis books from the various series in order. I love how they are taking story threads and weaving them through different books - it really makes the different Star Trek series feel like one universe. This book, however, was a real letdown. To me, it read like a piece of fan fiction.

The author brings in several secondary characters, and some of them felt forced into the story based on the other continuing story lines in the post-Nemesis series. Additionall
Jan 04, 2014 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 15, 2011 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
Crystal Bensley
Good Geordi / Scotty based story but a tad too much technobabble for me.
Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
First things first: the plot is not all that strong, and bringing Rasmussen into it was.... I literally cannot even describe how ridiculous and pointless it was. Also, the book did that "overly technical" thing that can be disorienting.


Having said that, it's still a great book. It takes Star Trek to places it's never been before, using a cast of characters we've come to love. It solves old mysteries, and gives a beautiful end (We assume.) to a beloved char
Judith Paterson
This book feels like it should be 2 books. It is long for a Star Trek novel and I felt in places I wanted them to get on with the story and stop chatting and pratting about. But then it would be quite dramatic for a bit. Nice to read about old favourite characters, Nog, Geordie, Guinon and of course Scotty. The 'science' of these warp and transwarp conduits etc is a bit incomprehensible to me.
Aug 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book started off well enough. However it would have been better had they done two books rather than the one. It felt like two separate books, with an underlying storyline. It'll be a while if ever that I read it again
May 03, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This one was a big mess.
Paul Lloyd
The book went up and down in terms of enjoyment, some parts good others bad.
Maurice Jr.
Feb 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another fine addition to the Star Trek Universe, featuring one of my favorite characters. Geordi LaForge. His erstwhile girlfriend Dr. Tamala Harstad was transferred to another ship, and Geordi found himself wondering if the relationship would survive. Before he could spend too much time wondering, the Enterprise happened across a mystery: the starship Intrepid, reported destroyed 200 years ago and a long way from their current location. After their initial investigation, they reluctantly left t ...more
Quinn Rollins
Oct 19, 2011 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
David Grenier
Aug 22, 2013 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
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
May 06, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek
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
Jul 11, 2015 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
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

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
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 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
Jun 18, 2012 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
Daniel Kukwa
Mar 27, 2011 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
Feb 14, 2013 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
I found this easy to pick up and difficult to put down. Pulling characters from all over the run of the series and putting them together on one ship while investigating a mystery was a genius move, and then deftly switching the crisis to a rather satisfying and delicious climax. Then we had a short interlude and the action started picking up again, interspersed with flashbacks and plot twists, building up to an even more satisfying climax. The final resolution was over too soon, and didn't answe ...more
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
Karl Schaeffer
Oct 17, 2015 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.
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.
Glenn Crouch
Aug 23, 2012 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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Star Trek Reads: Indistinguishable from Magic 4 26 May 01, 2012 05:49PM  
  • Losing the Peace (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
  • Q & A (Star Trek The Next Generation)
  • Rough Beasts of Empire (Star Trek: Typhon Pact, #3)
  • Greater than the Sum (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
  • Sword of Damocles (Star Trek Titan #4)
  • Before Dishonor (Star Trek The Next Generation)
  • A Time to Hate (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
  • A Time to Heal (Star Trek: The Next Generation: Time, #8)
  • Glass Empires (Star Trek: Mirror Universe)
  • Paths of Disharmony (Star Trek: Typhon Pact, #4)
  • Children of the Storm (Star Trek: Voyager)
  • Death in Winter (Star Trek The Next Generation)
  • Seize the Fire (Star Trek: Typhon Pact, #2)
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...

Other Books in the Series

Star Trek: The Next Generation (1 - 10 of 104 books)
  • Encounter at Farpoint (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
  • Ghost Ship (Star Trek: The Next Generation, #1)
  • 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)
  • Power Hungry (Star Trek: The Next Generation, #6)
  • 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)

Fantasy & Science Fiction Deals

  • The Silent Shield (Kingfountain #5)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Terms of Enlistment (Frontlines #1)
    $3.99 $2
  • The Immortal Circus (Cirque des Immortels, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Boundary Crossed (Boundary Magic, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Lines of Departure (Frontlines, #2)
    $3.99 $2
  • Gateway to Fourline (The Fourline Trilogy, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Scourge of Muirwood (Legends of Muirwood, #3)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Nightstalkers (Area 51: The Nightstalkers, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Book of Truths (Area 51: The Nightstalkers, #2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Dead Spots (Scarlett Bernard #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Rift (Area 51: Nightstalkers, #3)
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Blight of Muirwood (Legends of Muirwood, #2)
    $3.99 $2
  • The Forsaken Throne (Kingfountain #6)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Caraval (Caraval, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Rebel Genius
    $6.38 $2.99
  • Time Patrol (Area 51: The Nightstalkers, #4)
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Secret Hour (Midnighters, #1)
    $2.99 $0.99
  • The King's Traitor (Kingfountain, #3)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Insignia (Insignia, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Hollow Crown (Kingfountain #4)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Moving Mars
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Blood Rose Rebellion
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Ocean of Storms
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Space Between Heartbeats (Betwixt #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Glass Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Final Trade (The Dominion Trilogy, #2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Flamecaster (Shattered Realms, #1)
    $4.09 $1.99
  • Wool: The Graphic Novel
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Wretched of Muirwood (Legends of Muirwood, #1)
    $3.99 $2.00
  • The Novels of the Jaran: Jaran / An Earthly Crown / His Conquering Sword / The Law of Becoming (Jaran, #1-4)
    $24.99 $2.99
  • The Waking Land (The Waking Land, #1)
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Reluctant Queen (The Queens of Renthia #2)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Timequake
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Thief's Daughter (Kingfountain, #2)
    $3.99 $2
  • The Queen's Poisoner (Kingfountain, #1)
    $3.99 $2.00