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BOOK
Star Trek
The Next Generation
A Time to Heal

Author: David Mack
Pocket Books
RRP 6.99, US $6.99, Cdn $10.50
ISBN 0 7434 9178 5
Available 04 October 2004


Amazingly and against all odds the crew of the Enterprise-E managed to avert a war between the Federation and the Klingon empire: a war that would have torn the quadrant apart. This is only the beginning for the crew as soon bigger problems arise...

Will Riker is missing presumed dead or captured, and the deposed leader Kinchawn leads a deadly rebel force determined to exact the highest possible price of the Federation and Tezwan civilians alike. This is not the only one of Kinchawns goals as he also seeks to put the Federation back on the war path with the Klingon Empire. This leaves Picard and his fellow crew to face determined and deadly insurgents, whose goals they don't fully understand, on a hostile and war torn planet. Whilst the leaders of the Federation play a deadly game of politics that, if it fails, the price will be too huge to calculate.

A Time to Heal is a brilliant book. The author David Mack excellently captures the sense of a world torn apart by war. The parallels between what occurs in the book and the events that occur daily in Iraq are astounding. Whether this is coincidence or an attempt by the author to capitalise on the views everyone must have on Iraq is speculation...

The greatest thing the author does is create a sense of unease. There is a lot of death in this book. It is very dark and this is very well suited to the situations. You don't really know what may happen next. People, often small characters that you get to know in the previous books, die - a lot of people die.

I was left questioning the motives of those in power in the Federation. The scale of the death and carnage was more reminiscent of the Dominion wars. A down side is that the book not only parallels real world events but is quite similar to the predecessors, A Time to Love and A Time to Hate. Both set on a world torn apart. But this time the author captures the mood perfectly. It does feel unstable, there aren't a lot of good and happy moments, It is a dark book. More late DS9 than Next Generation.

On the down side, the plot-line with Section 31 and Azernal was more unbelievable than believable. The ending however does not disappoint- It is the best book of the series.

Charlie Brine

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