Book Review – Star Trek: The Next Generation – Takedown

Takedown

I recently read this book while in Mexico on vacation (I’ll probably write about that trip in another blog post in the to-be-determined-near future), and as is with most Star Trek books, I really enjoyed it.

The first Star Trek book he has authored, John Jackson Miller, does a great job of taking us through some very interesting events, impacting multiple parties within the Khitomer Powers, and the Typhon Pack.

Back Cover
When renegade Federation starships begin wreaking destruction across the Alpha Quadrant, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise are shocked to discover that the mastermind behind this sudden threat is none other than Picard’s protege and friend: Admiral William T. Riker.

The newly minted admiral is on board the U.S.S. Aventine as part of a special assignment, even as the mystery deepens behind his involvement in the growing crisis. But the Aventine is helmed by Captain Ezri Dax – someone who is no stranger to breaking Starfleet regulations – and her starship is by far the faster vessel…and Riker cannot yield even to his former mentors.

It’s a battle of tactical geniuses and a race against time as Picard struggles to find answers before the quadrant’s great powers violently retaliate against the Federations…

As much as the U.S.S. Enterprise is featured within the story, the primary character we see throughout the entire plot, is Admiral William T. Riker, who has become the central figure with whom the events of the book tie together.

Throughout much of the book, there is a feeling of Borg, or perhaps Caeliar (a non-canon species, primarily written about in the Star Trek Book Series: Destiny, by David Mack),  involvement to the events being experienced by the characters.

Spoiler Alert
There is one exchange within the book, where the ‘holo’ Riker is speaking to Picard, in which he says “Incorrect Strategy Captain”, which is a throwback to the Star Trek: The Next Generation TV two-part Series Episode The Best of Both Worlds, in which Locutus of Borg (the then assimilated Picard), says to Riker, “Incorrect Strategy, Number One”.  I really enjoyed this homage to the TV Series.

Picard shook his head and walked across to the replicator.  There might just be enough time for a cup of tea before Enterprise arrived, and there certainly wouldn’t be time later.  He hoped it would clear his thoughts and help him focus on his strategy for the upcoming—

“Incorrect Strategy, Captain.”

Picard recalled the line from the encounter.  It rang in his ears as he stirred the cup.  Riker had said it, or the holo-Riker, or whoever he was.  It was an error on the part of whoever had programmed it, Picard thought: that odd phrasing.  “Incorrect Strategy, Captain.”  It didn’t sound like Riker at all.  It sounded in fact . . .

. . . like himself.  It was something Picard had said years earlier.

Or rather, that Locutus had said.

After Thoughts
This is one of the very few times that I have read any Star Trek book out of historical order, as I missed reading Star Trek: The Fall – Peaceable Kingdoms (written by Dayton Ward), which I feel would have given me some character specific background (for example, Riker’s promotion to Rear Admiral) that I would have enjoyed to tie parts of the story together more cleanly.

Off to Chapters.ca I go…

Historians Note
The main events of this story take place in late November 2385, after Kellessar zh’Tarash of Andor takes the oath of office for President of the Federation (Star Trek: The Fall – Peaceable Kingdoms) and concurrent with the visit of the civilian science ship Athena Donald and the arrival of the People of the Open Sky to Deep Space 9 (Star Trek: Deep Space 9 – The Missing).

Author: John Jackson Miller (Home Page: www.farawaypress.com)

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