Book #4 in the Star Trek: New Frontier series: Published 8/1/97
I own a copy of this book
Captain Mackenzie Calhoun: Wearing a veneer of civilization as others would a cloak, Calhoun will now find himself facing a scheme for revenge that may unleash the savage warrior he keeps locked within himself.
Lieutenant Robin Lefler: An eternal optimist, Lefler occasionally asks the wrong question at the wrong time…and yet this time it may lead the Excalibur crew to unexpectedly shocking answers.
Commander Elizabeth Shelby: Walking the fine line between duty and conscience, Shelby may find that she must decide between the life she loves and the man she once loved.
As the Thallonian homeworld faces catastrophe, Captain Calhoun must confront his own bloody past in a life-or-death struggle for survival and honor. But when the planet’s ultimate secret is revealed, only Captain Calhoun and the USS Excalibur can save the last remnants of the Empire from total destruction!
I’ve made it to a good break point in this series. Seems that the books released in a year are all in serial form and end with minimal cliffhangers. I should look into seeing if there are omnibus versions of later year’s serial. Of course I’m reading them all well after they were released so it matters little to me as long as I get my hands on all the books in an episode. Over all I’m pleased with my first venture into Trek fiction and will be looking into more books based on characters I enjoy from the universe. I’m a huge fan of Q and the continuum so that may be the next branch I will look into.
This book tied up all the plot threads and cliffhangers nicely with plenty of drama, witty dialog and nail-biting moments. I am seeing how some of the relationships, but not all, that I read about in The Returned Part I started. I like this crew; they work together well (for the most part) and there is some interesting chemistry between them. The bad-guy characters can be a bit cheesy at times but that isn’t all that different from the TV series. There are also some convenient solutions to problems, but again these are all easily overlooked once you realize this is for fun. These books are essentially fan-fiction and meant to be thrilling rides rather than literature with a big L. Having said that I still feel that the stories held true to Trek morality.
The only thing that took a bit of getting used to is the increased sexual tension and situations in the plot lines. Oh sure Kirk and Riker were always good with the ladies, but it was always PG on-screen. The books go into more graphic detail when it comes to the sex lives of their characters. Not that I’m against that, but it took me a moment to wrap my head around sex in my Trekverse.
While I enjoyed the books I’m still going to keep them in the three star rating range. They are fun and are getting better, but I feel they could be great. Perhaps I need to move into some stand-alone Trek books before I find what I am looking for.