Beverly Crusher's past comes back to haunt her; a plague that
had ravaged the Kevrata when she was a teenager reappears.
Having survived the incursion of Praetor Shizon, Beverly is
sent back to the Kevratas on a secret mission to save the
planet. But things go wrong from the start and she is captured
by the Romulans. Picard is sent with another team to deal
with the plague but cannot help but think of Beverly. The
woman he has loved for too many years. On a cold and inhospitable
world they must both fight for survival...
in Winter is written by Michael Jan Friedman, who has
written so many successful Trek novels that I hope
it's at least bought him a new house by now. So now we know
we're in the hands of an author who knows his stuff.
in Winter is set not long after the end of the last Star
Trek film Nemesis. Romulas is in turmoil, the political
vacuum left by the death of Shizon has been filled by a new
Praetor, Senator Tal'aura, but with little success. There
is unrest at home and the Empire is starting to loose control
over the outer rim worlds. On the Homeworld unrest is being
whipped up by an admiral turned argent provocateur, turning
the city mob against the Praetor.
I have to say that for the most part I enjoyed this novel.
There were a number of minor quibbles with it though, mostly
with the use of the minor characters. I can understand that
you need to blanket bomb your book with as many characters
that have appeared in the show, but this leads to a number
of problems. In a novel of this length these minor characters
rarely have enough space to have any meaningful development.
In truth, you could have cut out the sections with Worf, Geordie
and Janeway and not lost a single plot thread in the book;
their inclusion really served no purpose.
leads to another problem, with the continual use of the same
characters, the trend in Trek novels seems to give
the impression that Starfleet consists of about twenty players
with a few other minor characters thrown in for good luck
- or bad if you happen to be wearing a red shirt at the time.
The same really happens with the characters that go with Picard
on his rescue mission - we could have lost them without missing
them one iota.
not to say that this is a bad book, in actual fact it's a
real page turner. Friedman's prose style is so well honed
now that he most probably writes these in his sleep. But,
in the end, it kinda feels like a Big Mac: filling at the
time, but leaving a bit of a void in the end. I would have
liked to have read more about the political machinations on
the Romulan home world. Here was a good chance to write the
first seriously good political thriller set in the Trek
universe. The characters of Greyhorse, the reformed mental
patient (wonder how long he held out for Crazy Horse, before
he gave into an editor with no sense of humour) and Pug don't
really add anything to the plot either.
dear readers a good book, but not a great one. I loved the
bits on Romulas, but hated the inclusion of references to
the show. You would think that everyone in a genre book has
a real personality problem as none of them seem to be able
to move on from their pasts, spending great chunks of their
days going over and over what has happened to them in the
at least there wasn't a shuttle crash in it.