The Romulan Star Empire is in disarray. Several factions have
contacted the Federation Council, each laying claim to political
power. Starfleet delays the USS Titan's long-anticipated
mission of exploration and orders Captain Riker to Romulus
to set up power-sharing talks. But even as the factions take
their first faltering steps towards building a new Romulus,
civil war looms...
I have previously indicated how much I appreciate Christie
Golden's Spirit Walk series of Voyager novels
for moving the franchise forward, rather than being stuck
in Star Trek's "past". However, even the Spirit
Walk books take place before the movie Nemesis,
whereas this new Titan series, which depicts Captain
William T. Riker's new command, goes well and truly beyond
the final film's frontier.
I suppose a "glass is half empty" view of this creative freedom
would be that it indicates that Paramount has no intention
of exploring the 24th century itself for the foreseeable future.
In a way, the Trek novels have switched places with
the Doctor Who books. Whereas for nearly 15 years the
Who books presented regular new adventures for the
current Doctor, now they must defer to the new television
series. Conversely, with no new series or movies on the horizon,
Trek novelists have finally been freed from Paramount's
with the recent Stargazer series and Ex
Titan is populated by oodles of weird and wonderful
alien crewmembers. In fact, the ship has what is described
as being the most biologically varied crew in Starfleet history.
It includes a Ferengi geologist, Dr Bralik; a Cardassian communications
specialist, Zurin Dakal; and a dinosaur-like chief medical
officer, Dr Shenti Yisec Eres Ree.
there are also plenty of familiar names. In addition to his
wife and chief counselor Deanna Troi, Riker is accompanied
by Christine Vale (who appeared in the A Time to...
series) as his newly promoted first officer; Admiral Leonard
James Akaar (who was born in the original series episode
Friday's Child); Elaysian stellar cartographer Melora
Pazlar (from the Deep Space Nine episode Melora);
and nurse Alyssa Ogawa. We also encounter Tuvok, on an undercover
mission; Ambassador Spock, still trying to unify the Romulans
and the Vulcans; Picard's recurring Romulan enemy Tomalak,
who has now ascended to the role of Proconsul; and - not surprisingly,
since this book is a sequel to Star Trek: Nemesis -
three Romulan characters from that movie, Tal'Aura, Donatra
narrative is rather slow going, being more concerned with
character development than with plot. However, the events
culminate in a gripping space battle and the book concludes
with a cliffhanger that leaves the reader hungry for the next
one in the series, The Red King.
looks like Riker has an interesting voyage ahead of him. Paramount
had better not go spoiling it by making a new series!
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