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BOOK
Star Trek
The Next Generation
A Time to Die

Author: John Vornholt
Pocket Books
RRP 6.99, US $6.99, Cdn $10.50
ISBN 0 7434 6766 3
Available 05 April 2004


Picard is a prisoner in a Starfleet psychiatric care centre, under the watchful eye of Counsellor Cabot. This imprisonment is soon to end, due to the influence of the traveller, aka Wesley Crusher, a being able to traverse time and space in a blink of an eye...

A Time to Die continues where A Time To Be Born left off. Picard finds himself free of the constant scrutiny of Star Fleet and on the Enterprise once more.

It is not a perfect homecoming, there is a condition. In order to finally clear the name of Picard and restore the reputation of the Enterprise they must return once more to Rashanar. Plus in rescuing Picard from his simulated prison Crusher will set about a course of events that will threaten his status as a traveller - give him something more precious than his life and then take it away. Will he risk it all to save the reputation of Picard?

It is a journey that will lead them all to the verge of death, bring them into conflict with the Ontailians and show them a dark secret, hidden for half a millennia, a secret that could do unimaginable damage to the Federation.

As sequels go this is fine. But it is not brilliantly exciting, it does not cause you to fret over the future of the characters. The book feels more like it is wrapping up lose ends rather than adding anything to what the first book offered. There are some exciting events but nothing that memorable. Rashanar is much less grim and unforgiving and thus the book loses the tense atmosphere of a Time To Be Born.

In the end the book becomes predictable as everything gets tied up quite nicely, I think this is a shame as the chaotic nature of the Rashanar battle site and the isolationism of the Ontailians better fits this kind of Federation (one that has been left reeling by the Dominion war.)

Once more the characters are well represented, but this does not really make up for a disappointing read. As a follow up It wasn't expected to offer too much more, but the book simply doesn't offer enough. Still, I've read much worse and the first book is good enough to warrant reading the second one to see how the loose ends are tied up.

Charlie Brine

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