As the first year of Nan Bacco's Administration unfolds, the
Federation Council is not always supportive of its new president;
the Romulan Empire falls into chaos; a Reman vessel approaches
Federation space, its intentions unknown; a successful first
contact becomes a diplomatic disaster; and the sins of former
president Zife prove hard to lay to rest...
time: I wasn't really interested in reading a Star Trek
version of The West Wing, which is what this book amounts
to. Though a big fan of Trek, I have (shock, horror)
never seen an episode of that other acclaimed series.
No, I wanted to read this book because it promised to pick
up on events in the first Star Trek: Titan novel, Taking
I wanted to discover what happened next regarding the troubled
Romulan Star Empire.
first I had to get to know President Nanietta Bacco (who was
introduced in the same author's A
Time for War, A Time for Peace) and her staff.
I did have trouble at first telling some of the many characters
apart. However, I soon grew to love the sardonic banter between
Bacco and her chief of staff, Esperanza Piņiero; the dry comments
of Sivak, the Vulcan secretary; the sarcasm of the unshakable
press liaison Kant Jorel; and the rest. In fact, there seems
to be a lot of sarcasm in Articles of the Federation,
a type of dialogue that DeCandido does well.
familiar characters from the many screen incarnations of Trek
also put in appearances of varying duration along the way.
One of the more major ones is Ambassador Spock, fresh from
his role in Taking Wing, but others include Admiral
William Ross (from Deep Space Nine), Admiral Leonard
James Akaar (the original series episode Friday's Child),
Ambassador Alexander Rozhenko (The Next Generation
and DS9), Admiral Kathryn Janeway, Joseph Sisko (DS9),
Captain Rixx (the TNG episode Conspiracy), Captain
Bruce Maddox (the TNG episode Measure of a Man),
the Doctor, and Chancellor Martok (DS9).
plot structure is episodic in nature, as different political
and personal upheavals come and go during the course of the
year 2380. My favourite segments are those concerning the
Remans, Spock and Akaar - because it follows on from events
in Taking Wing - and the diplomatic turmoil that follows
Starfleet's first contact with a race called the Trinni/ek
- because this species' perplexing behaviour poses a genuine
mystery. Love this race's name by the way: Trinni/ek sounds
like an expletive you might expect to hear on What Not
must say I find it gratifying that Star Trek's licensed
fiction seems to be aiming towards a coherent whole at the
moment. There was a time when authors were not allowed to
refer to each other's work, only to Paramount's official screen
output. In addition to referencing events in the A Time
to... and Titan book series, DeCandido also ties
in events in the graphic novel The
real-life issues are touched upon as well. At one point several
members of the Federation Council consider withdrawing aid
to the devastated Cardassia, because of problems that need
addressing at home, because the planet seems to be a lost
cause, and because some feel that the allegedly corrupt regime
cannot be trusted. Such arguments can be heard today with
regard to humanitarian crises in Africa.
story could have ended with greater impact. The repercussions
of Min Zife's Administration might have been a better crisis
to leave until last. Instead the plot seems to fizzle away
rather than go out with a bang.
this highly original book is, as Ambassador Spock would say,
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