Disclaimer: I am friends with the author; however, I purchased this paperback at full price.
This twentieth-anniversary celebration of Star Trek: The Next Generation novel is a fitting tribute to the lasting mark Q has left on the franchise. And I can’t think of a better writer to infuse Q’s ridiculousness into text form.
This story includes many new and familiar faces from the Star Trek universe, but they’re all up to the task of sorting out this good, wacky mystery that spans from a single planet to the universe as a whole. The action centers on the Enterprise-E, but DeCandido is a master of interludes. Our visits with the Q and other characters in the greater galaxy are quirky but solid, filled with character depth despite the short passages.
While I didn’t necessarily “like” the new senior officers aboard the Enterprise, I absolutely loved what the author brought to the table with them. Especially our new security chief, a “mustang” officer who didn’t go to Starfleet Academy but rose through the ranks as enlisted first. The connected subplots of Enterprise officers still mourning Data’s death in the film Nemesis while also adjusting to this new “family” was a lovely backdrop to Q’s shenanigans.
About which I can only say, as anyone probably could, “Oh, Q.”
Cons to this story: Too many baseball references. The joke is getting old. Massive pros: Yay for multiverses! DeCandido takes threads from through-out the history of The Next Generation and crafts a solid, enjoyable adventure. I highly recommend this stand-alone novel to all Star Trek fans.