This week the Library Computer stops in the twenty-fourth century to check in on the newly deployed crew of the Enterprise-E as Captain Picard, Commander Worf, and pretty much all of the Federation begin to see just how shaky their present state is in the wake of the Borg Disaster.
REVIEW: Star Trek: The Next Generation – Losing the Peace by William Leisner
While a new commitment to exploration is supposed to be indicative of the Federation’s life in the wake of the Borg, reality quickly catches up with the crew of the Enterprise as the ship is placed on special duty in William Leisner’s new Next Generation novel, “Losing the Peace”.
Let me start right off the bat by letting you know that this is not a fast paced book, and it will be best enjoyed by savoring it in bits and chunks – a chapter at a time – particularly in the heart of the story.
“Losing the Peace” gives most of the current Enterprise crew a chance to have at least a few moments in the spotlight, dealing as they need with the physical and emotional impact of the Federation’s darkest day. T’Ryssa Chen draws particular attention and interest as family and professional pressures begin to develop in her life, adding dimension and depth to one of the newest of the Enterprise’s crew. Engineer Taurik is given a fair amount of attention in the wake of the attacks on Vulcan. Geordi has some development as well though, unfortunately, as it often does with LaForge, the development feels somewhat lacking in depth.
Several noteworthy personal matters rise to the forefront as Miranda Kadohata is compelled to confront the conflicts that often rise between career and motherhood while in the midst of a mission where she encounters what any Federation citizen would easily call a frightening sight – not the Borg, nor the aftermath of some failed experiment on a planetary scale, but the mass of sentience that has been displaced in the wake of the attacks. Kadohata is not alone on the trip as she is accompanying Doctor Crusher who is herself facing some very different thoughts – those of impending motherhood, her experiences with Wesley growing up, and the death of her first husband, Jack.
Be forewarned, reader – “Losing the Peace” is not a rip-roaring action adventure. It is a measured character exploration of the current crew of the Enterprise. Phaser fire is minimal, photon torpedoes barely get a mention, and I can’t recall reading about the deflector shields more than once or twice. There are plenty of aliens (including a welcome-but-underused guest from TNG’s 4th Season), and Vanessa Williams makes a bit of a guest appearance (in the form of Arandis from the DS9 episode “Let He Who Is Without Sin…”) which serves to demonstrate the major changes in lifestyle that some in the Federation will have to learn to adjust to.
This outing for the Enterprise crew is really an excuse (and a welcome one) to put some meat on the bones of several new and old hands whose backgrounds were thin or in need of further development. In this respect, Leisner’s book is a success, and worth the time. This would not be the book for someone who has been away from TNG novels for a while to pick up. For that, head back to either “Q&A” or “Greater Than the Sum” and get caught up through the Destiny trilogy, then you can really enjoy “Losing the Peace” for all it can possibly be.
"Losing the the Peace" will begin arriving in book stores soon and can be pre-ordered now from Amazon.
"Losing the Peace" available soon – preorder at Amazon
Next Novels – Summer of DS9
Coming up next from Pocket Books are two back to back Deep Space Nine novels, the DS9 books for a year. Next month is Olivia Wood’s "DS9: The Soul Key," which picks up where the June 2008 novel "Fearful Symmetry" left off, focusing on Kira and the mirror universe. Pocket has just put the back cover blurb for the book:
There is a void in the alternate universe that demands to be filled. Iliana Ghemor, the Cardassian operative who years ago was altered in both body and mind to replace Kira Nerys, dreams of fulfilling a prophecy that will mark her as the one true Emissary of that other reality — a messianic figure who could lead her followers into an era of renewed hope…or an age of deepening darkness.
Ghemor’s claim to the mantle of the Emissary is by no means certain, however, as the inexorable pull of providence tugs also at other souls who are swept into the vortex of the Prophets, the remote and timeless beings who have set these strange events in motion.
But the stakes are higher than anyone imagines: for the outcome of this struggle for the fate of one universe will ripple across many others, and become the key to unlocking a future that will prove to be the greatest trial yet for the heroes of station Deep Space 9.
"DS9: Soul Key" (July)
"Soul Key" will be followed in August with "DS9: The Never-Ending Sacrifice," by Una McCormack, which looks at the Cardassians and the aftermath of the Dominion War. There is no cover copy, but here is the early promotional sales copy description:
The fall of the Cardassian Empire, seen from both within and without. Rugal is a young man with a foot in two worlds — a Cardassian, orphaned as a boy and raised by Bajorans to regard Cardassians as oppressors. Reluctantly repatriated to Cardassia as a teenager, Rugal becomes a firsthand living witness to the downfall of the proud people to whom he was born, first at the hands of the invading Klingons, then during Cardassia’s unholy pact with the Dominion – a partnership that culminated in the near-destruction of the Cardassian people. Through it all, Rugal’s singular perspective sheds new light on these tragic events, unflinchingly illuminating the arrogance and folly that brought the Cardassians to their ruin …even as he learns that the Cardassian soul is harder to understand than he imagined.
"DS9: The Never-Ending Sacrifice" (August)
In addition to the reviews of the DS9 books, TrekMovie have more Star Trek book coverage planned for the Summer including previews of the rest of 2009 and 2010, and more.