Posted in Loved It, Rated LI, Sci-Fi Friday, Science Fiction, Space travel, Star Trek, Uncategorized

Star Trek Voyager: a Pocket Full of Lies

 

Author:   Kirsten Beyer

Genre:      Science fiction

Rating:     LI

Synopsis:

 An original novel set in the universe of Star Trek: Voyager from New York Times bestselling author Kirsten Beyer—and the sequel to Atonement and Acts of Contrition!

The Full Circle Fleet has resumed its unprecedented explorations of the Delta Quadrant and former Borg space. Commander Liam O’Donnell of the U.S.S. Demeter makes a promising first contact with the Nihydron—humanoid aliens that are collectors of history. They rarely interact with the species they study but have created a massive database of numerous races, inhabited planets, and the current geopolitical landscape of a large swath of the quadrant. When an exchange of data is proposed via a formal meeting, the Nihydron representatives are visibly shaken when Admiral Kathryn Janeway greets them. For almost a century, two local species—the Rilnar and the Zahl—have fought for control of the nearby planet Sormana, with both sides claiming it as their ancestral homeworld. The shocking part is that for the last several years, the Rilnar have been steadily gaining ground, thanks to the tactics of their current commanding officer: a human woman, who appears to be none other than Kathryn Janeway herself… 

Opinion:  Time travel and the multiverse.  This sort of thing can give you a headache if you think about it too much.  Fortunately I enjoy it.  This book involves three of the species from the episode A Year of Hell.  For those of you not familiar with the episode, Voyager encountered a species called the Krenim. A Krenim scientist have created a Weldon that was capable of erasing objects, people, civilizations from time.  The scientist was trying to make his people the most powerful species in the sector.  But by erasing species (enemies) it had some unintended side effects namely his wife and Provence was wiped out.  This scientist had created temporal shields for his ship so they would not experience the effect of the changes being made.  They spent a couple of hundred years trying to undo the damage before Voyager stumbled onto them.  Voyager was a wild card that threw the temporal calculations off.  So naturally he tried to destroy Voyager.  It was a rough year for the drew, but in the end Janeway destroyed that ship erasing it from the timeline and thereby resetting everything.

Once the timeline was restored, the Krenim didn’t tamper with the timeline as much.  But there was two particular species that they were hell bent on annihilating- the Zahl and Rilnar.  This book explores why the Krenim wanted to destroy these species.
As far as the other Janeway, well if you’ve read Star Trek Voyager: the Eternal Tide, then you know that every Janeway in the multiverse died on the exact same day.  This othe Janeway died but then was revived.  Very interesting as to why this occurred.  Let’s just say our favorite letter of the alphabet is back. 

We catch up with Tom and B’lanna who have had a son Michael Owen.  The book explores more the aftermath of the effects on Nancy Conlon after her brutal alien takeover in Atonement ( I need to post this review).

Anyway, it was a very enjoyable read.  

Posted in Liked It, Sci-Fi Friday, Science Fiction, Space travel, Star Trek

Star Trek: Seeker: Second Nature

Star Trek Seekers

Author: David Mack

Genre: Science Fiction

Rating: LI

Synopsis:

A new mission: The late twenty-third century—Starfleet’s golden age of exploration. Desperate to stay one step ahead of its rivals, the Federation sends two starships, the scout Sagittarius and the cruiser Endeavour, to plumb the secrets of the vast region known as the Taurus Reach.

A doomed race: Drawn by mysterious energy readings to a lush green world, the crew of the Sagittarius find the Tomol: a species whose members all commit ritual suicide just as they reach the cusp of adulthood.

An old foe: The crew of the Sagittarius wants to save the Tomol from their cycle of self-destruction, but first they’ll need to save themselves—from the most nefarious Klingon starship commander in history.

Bluestockings Opinion: There is only one character from this book that readers will be familiar with and that is Captain Clark Terrell who you will remember was the black captain in the Star Trek movie The Wrath of Khan. The crew is back in the Taurus Reach. I don’t think I posted any reviews of the Vanguard series arc (I need to correct that). The new species, the Tomol, have had their genetics tampered with by the Shedai. It seems some more benevolent species, the Preservers, took the remaining Tomol from their original home world after they destroyed it, and placed them on a new world with the command that once the Change started the individuals needed to sacrifice themselves. The Preservers also gave the Tomol a way to control anyone who resisted going to their deaths; the device could turn the person to stone.

Once I understood the Preservers role in this species, I was a little bit confused. Past books, in my opinion, had shown the Preserves to be a lot different than this. I would have thought that the Preservers would have fixed the genetic damage done to the Tomol. But as the doctor makes clear, she can’t fix the genetic problems without killing the Tomol. So I guess the Preservers are simply preserving the Tomol. Perhaps the damage to the Tomol genome exceeds even the Preservers’ ability to repair.

The Change that the Tomol go through gives them almost the same powers as a Q. Unfortunately, this happens when the Tomol turn 18, so they are experiencing a great physical change while going through puberty. (Yeah talk about a recipe for disaster!). Anyway, I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book. I hope that Starfleet can find some way to repair the genetics of the Tomol or if not, they need to find a way to limit them to their own home world.

Posted in Liked It, Sci-Fi Friday, Space travel, Star Trek

Star Trek Voyager: Protectors

Star Trek Voyager: Protectors

Author: Kristen Beyer

Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera

Rating: LI

Synopsis:

Following the destruction of four fleet vessels at the hands of the Omega Continuum, the U.S.S. Voyager and U.S.S. Demeter set course for a region of the Delta Quadrant far beyond any­thing previously explored. Captain Chakotay is determined to prove to Starfleet Command that the fleet’s ongoing mission is vital to Federation interests . . . and the key to doing so may lie in a distress call Voyager received nine years earlier but could not investigate.

Meanwhile, Vice Admiral Kathryn Janeway is recalled to the Alpha Quadrant for an evaluation period to determine her next assignment. Given the trauma she has recently endured, Admiral Akaar, Starfleet’s commander in chief, is questioning Janeway’s fitness to command the fleet. Janeway’s primary concern remains the fleet’s safety— for their mission to continue, she must find a way to secure the resources they require. But the uncertainty of her superior officers has left her powerless to act in their best interests.

Bluestocking’s Learned Opinion: I think this book takes place, immediately following the events in the Fall story arc. So Admiral Akaar is still trying to find allies. Between the Dominion and the Borg, the Federation does not seem to be changing for the better. The change in attitudes that some of the high-ups in Starfleet have is very disturbing. This book really concentrated on Janeway’s character, specifically her protectiveness when it came to her former crew. In fact there is some suggestion that one of the reasons that the whole Borg and Omega thing happened stemmed from Janeway’s inability to allow her crew to function on their own and take care of themselves. The future Janeway protected her crew to the point that she decided to alter the timeline.

Janeway is definitely going to have to come to terms with this particularly as at least two of her crew, Tom Paris and Seven, are being put in personal situations that could cost them. In the case of Tom, his mother is trying to get custody of his daughter due to the fact that they staged B’Elanna and Miral’s death to avoid the Warriors of Grethor. Seven is about to become a guinea pig for what appears to be a unexpected disease affecting planets that were transformed by the Caeliar.

Anyway, I’m interested to see what becomes of Janeway’s return. I think she could become a balance to some of the undesirable influences in the upper echelons of Starfleet.

Posted in Liked It, Sci-Fi Friday, Space travel, Star Trek

Star Trek Enterprise: Beneath the Raptor’s Wing

Beneath the Raptor’s Wing

Author: Michael A. Martin

Genre: Science Fiction, space Opera

Rating: LI

Synopsis:

At the start of the twenty-first century, unconditional war swept across the Earth. A war that engulfed the great and the small, the rich and the poor, giving no quarter. Each side strove for unconditional victory, and as battle built upon battle, the living began to envy the dead. Chastised by the cataclysm that they had unleashed, the governments of Earth came together. Humanity vowed to put an end to war and to strive for the betterment of every living creature. A united Earth created Starfleet, an interstellar agency whose mission was to explore the cosmos, to come in peace for all mankind. It was a naïve wish that was battered by interstellar realities, yet man persists in the belief that peace is the way. Banding together with other powers to form a Coalition of Planets, humanity hopes that the strength each can offer the other will allow for peaceful exploration. However, the rise of the Coalition strikes dread within the Romulan Star Empire. They feel its growing reach will cut them off from what is rightfully theirs. The Romulans know that the alliance is fragile, that the correct strategy could turn allies into foes. Perfecting a way of remotely controlling Coalition ships and using them as weapons against one another, the Romulans hope to drive a wedge of suspicion and mistrust between these new allies. One Starfleet captain uncovers this insidious plot: Jonathan Archer of the Enterprise. Determined not to lose what they have gained, outmanned and outgunned, the captains of Starfleet stand tall, vowing to defend every inch of Coalition space until the tide begins to turn. The Romulans now plan to strike at what they see as the heart of their problem. With nothing left to lose, the Romulan Star Empire engages in all-out war against humanity, determined once and for all to stop the human menace from spreading across the galaxy.

Bluestocking’s Learned Opinion: Oh man, did this book move slow. It took me about a week to read it. I do remember in various Star Trek shows that when it came to the Romulans, humans pretty much beat them back singlehandedly. This book explores why that happened. Basically, the other signers to the Federation treaty all shared Vulcan based technology. Earth and Alpha Centauri did not. For some reason, humans are a lot more adaptable than Vulcans, Andorians, and Tellarites. It is very interesting to me that Vulcans got to the point where they voluntarily ceded its influence in the early Federation so that human could take over. The next book is the conclusion.

Posted in Liked It, Sci-Fi Friday, Star Trek

Star Trek Vanguard: What Judgments Come

What Judgments Come

Author:   Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore

Genre:    Science Fiction

Rating:    LI

Spoiler Filled Synopsis:  This book takes place immediately following Precipice.  As you know, Diego Reyes, the Commodore of the station, was court-martialed. for allowing Tim Pennington to publish a report about what was really going on in the Taurus Reach.  Reyes was supposed to be sent to a penal colony with the Federation, but ended up being captured by the Klingons and then finally was with the Orions- specifically he was being housed on the Orion ship that was docked to Vanguard station.  Starfleet couldn’t do anything about it.  So in order to extract Reyes, the Orions would have actually had to harm him.

Anyway, as you know the character Bridy Mac was killed in Declassified.  She and Quinn went to a planet where the Shedai Apostate existed.  The Apostate told them that the TKon empire had developed some devices that could capture the Shedai.  Bridy sacrificed her life to keep this knowledge from falling into the hand of the Kingons.  Quinn is still mourning.  T’Prynn decides to use Reyes as a spy.  The Orions had a device that could imprison the Shedai, and Starfleet wanted to know where they obtained the device.  Reyes agreed to be the spy to get the information.    T’Prynn does manage to extract Reyes.  They discover the world where the Orions found the devices and dispatch a ship to obtain more.

Meanwhile, some of the crew attempt to communicate with the Shedai Wanderer who had been imprisoned in one of the devices.  The reader discovers that the Wanderer is imprisoned with the Progenitor.  The attempt at communication disrupted the device to the point that the Wanderer was able to escape.

This entire story is told flash back style by Reyes.  Starfleet gave him a new identity and banished him from the Federation.  Tim Pennington tracked him down.  The last book is called Storming Heaven, and it is told from Pennington’s point of view about the last days of the station.

Bluestocking’s Learned Opinion:  This is definitely not one of my favorite series.  There is a lot of set up in this series.  I am imagining that some of these events will play a bigger part in books to come.  I enjoyed learning more about the Tkon Empire.  There was a 3 story arc featuring this empire.  In that arc, Q takes Picard on a tour of his life to show him why he tests humanity.  Q meets another non-corporeal entity who appears to be Shedai.  From what was revealed by the Apostate, the Shedai caused the Tkon sun to go nova.  In that arc, that non-corporeal entity destroyed the Tkon sun.  The Tkon were very advance.  They had built a huge transporter device to replace their sun with a new star.  I will be interested in seeing the last book.  Capturing the Shedai just does not seem like a very good idea at all.

Posted in Liked It, Sci-Fi Friday, Star Trek, Uncategorized

Star Trek TOS: Allegiance in Exile

20130225-221717.jpgAuthor: David R. George III

Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera

Rating: LI

Synopsis:

A beautiful green world, rich in fertile soil and temperate climate . . . a textbook Class-M planet that should be teeming with life. Scans show no life-signs, but there are refined metals, including those associated with a space-faring race . . . and a lone city. But where are all of the inhabitants? Captain James T. Kirk leads a landing party from the U.S.S. Enterprise, hoping to get some answers.

The away team discovers a city in ruins, covered by dust, utterly bereft of life. Tricorder readings indicate that this is no ancient metropolis—it has been deserted only for a year. And just beyond the citadel lies what appears to be an ancient spaceport . . . a graveyard of ships that have clearly been sabotaged.

With these ruins too far from either the Klingon or the Romulan Empires, the Enterprise crew can only wonder: Who could have done this? And could this unnamed threat now pose an imminent danger to the Federation?

Bluestocking’s Learned Opinion:

Hmm. I had no idea that the Federation’s relationship with the Bajorans went back to the days of James Kirk. From the other books, it was clear that Bajor had attained long distance space exploration far early than humans. The Ascendants also featured in this book. They place a much larger role in the Deep Space Nine series. I’m interested to see how this beginning relationship with both species will play a larger part in the upcoming books. Recently in the Star Trek series, nothing in any of the stand alones is mentioned by accident. It always plays are larger role.

Posted in Liked It, Sci-Fi Friday, Star Trek

Star Trek Voyager: the Eternal Tide

20130225-215024.jpgAuthor: Kirsten Beyer

Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera

Rating: LI

Synopsis: I hate to use the blurb on the back of the book, but as I am so behind on reviews it will have to do until I get caught up!

As the Voyager fleet continues its exploration of the Delta Quadrant, investigating the current status of sectors formerly controlled by the Borg becomes a key priority. Two of the fleet’s special mission vessels, the U.S.S. Galen and U.S.S. Demeter, are left at New Talax to aid Neelix’s people, while the Voyager, Quirinal, Esquiline, Hawking, and Curie do a systematic search for any remnants of the Borg or Caeliar, even as the Achilles moves to a location central enough to offer aid to the exploring vessels as needed. As this critical mission begins, Fleet Commander Afsarah Eden, who has shared what little she knows of her mysterious past with Captain Chakotay, begins to experience several more “awakenings” as she encounters artifacts and places that make her feel connected to her long-lost home. She is reluctant to allow these visions to overshadow the mission, and this becomes increasingly difficult as time passes. But in the midst of this growing crisis, no one in the fleet could anticipate the unexpected return of one of Starfleet’s most revered leaders—a return that could hold the very fate of the galaxy in the balance.

Bluestokcing’s Learned Opinion: Part of this plot was a little bit strained for me-namely bringing Janeway back from the dead. I had often thought that killing Janeway off in Before Dishonor was a bad idea. I mean they had not long returned to the Alpha Quadrant. I think a whole time travel element would have been a less hokey way to bring her back rather than using Q. That said, I’m glad that she’s back. I like the explanation that they give for the origins of the Omega particle. If you will remember from the show that there was an Omega directive in addition to the Prime Directive.

The Omega particle is a very unstable element. It has the ability to destroy sub space for several light years. If any Starfleet captain comes into contact with this particle, they are to destroy it at all costs.

The Omega Directive started in the book Star Trek Section 31 Cloak by S.D. Perry. In that book it took Enterprise several months to return to unaffected space. In The Destiny Trilogy, we learn that the Caeliar have learned to successfully harness the Omega particle. In this book, we learn that the Omega particle is merely a shade of the real thing which has enough power to destroy the universe. The Omega particle exists in the Omega continuum which is the opposite of the Q continuum (possesses all the creative power of the universe).

I thought it was very interesting the way this author decided to take the Q. In every prior book, the Q have been portrayed as above it all. They descend to mingle with lesser life forms every now and then, but mostly they keep to themselves. It was interesting to see them have to deal with loss of life which is something they are totally ill equipped to handle.

I’m very curious to see how and where they will take Voyager as a series.

Posted in Liked It, Sci-Fi Friday, Science Fiction, Space travel, Star Trek

Star Trek TNG: A Time to Sow

This is the third book in the Time to Be Born series. Over 200 years ago, the Dokaalan sent a probe into outer space. Their world was doomed. They were calling out to anyone who could help them. The Vulcan’s found the message first. After examining the probe, they determined that the incidence had happened in the past and that the world had already been destroyed. At that point, Earth was still dealing with the Xindi. Not to mention, it didn’t have any long range ships like that.
Fresh from the Rashanar fiasco, the Enterprise is assigned to investigate this mystery. They discover a remainder of the Dokaalan people struggling to survive on an asteroid. This book starts off more leisurely. They gave a lot of background on the people. It’s done primarily through the journal of character Hjatyn.
Anyway, the Enterprise steps in when one of the reactor cores of the mining facilities. The crew offer technology that will help the Dokaalan speed up their terraforming project. During the crews visit with this race, it becomes readily apparent that something is not right. While Crusher is treating the Dokaalan injured when the react blew, they started showing systemic failure in their bodies. Even though their injuries were healed, they were slowly dying. In addition some of the Dokaalan, especially those on the ruling counsel, don’t trust the crew. Finally, it seems that someone is trying to sabotage the Dokaalan’s mining facility, not to mention deactivate Data. The plot thickens even more when LaForge and Taurik discover that some of the Dokaalan have first generation phaser pistols from the Federation. It seems that at least some of the Dokaalan have outside contacts. When the book ends, there are several terrorist strikes on the asteroids, and hundreds are dead or dying. So the crew must discover what is going on in this system.

Posted in Liked It, Sci-Fi Friday, Star Trek

Star Trek Titan: Over a Torrent Sea

Since it the fifth book in the Titan series, which is about William Riker’s captaincy of the Titan. As I haven’t reviewed the other books yet, I’ll give a little bit of background. The Titan is a Luna class vessel. It’s primary purpose is as a long term exploration vessel. The Titan is different from most Starfleet vessels because it has a much larger mix of non-humans aboard. In fact, the ship had to be modified to accommodate an aquatic member as well as a member that grew up in almost 0 gravity. Then there are eating habits; for instance there are certain species above the ship that are extraordinarily carnivorous and eat there meat raw. They have different meal times than the omnivores. It has been a challenge for the crew to integrate so much diversity.

In chronology, this book takes place after Star Trek A Singular Destiny. Riker and his crew are given new orders to continue their deep-space assignment. Riker is concerned that in the Borg invasion aftermath, the Titan should stay in the Alpha quadrant and be part of the relief effect. But the brass insists on sending the Titan for two reasons. First, the Titan was responsible for saving the Federation. Second, the beleguerd people of the Federation need to have something inspiring. And to remind them that exploration is what Starfleet is all about.

So the crew sets off into the Canis Major region. Based upon what I remember from astronomy, I’m going to hazard a guess and say that this region in space would be the area around the constellation containing the star Sirius. Don’t quote me on that though.
Anyway, the crew decides to visit a world that they have called Droplet. It is an ocean planet, class O, subclass L1- a Leger-type class O. This means that the planet has no land and little minerals on the surface. Just in case you were wondering, Earth is considered class M in this universe. Anyway, there is life on this planet which is unusual because most planets need some heavy metals like iron in order to sustain life.
The mission to explore this world is headed up by the aquatic Ensign Lavena. At first everyone is enjoying themselves. The life forms that they have observes seem like basic chordates, who seem quite afraid of the crew’s equipment. Lavena begins to suspect that the creatures may be somewhat intelligent when they rescue her and Melora from a sea creature bent on eating them.

Lavena ends up establishing a tenuous connection (overseen by Riker who has joined the away team on the surface) with the creatures and discovers that one of the species is in sentient- Squales. The only problem is that their language is so complex that the universal translators cannot decode it. The creatures are more adept at learning Selkie (Lavena’s language), so this is how they communicate. The species is completely animate. This is due to the fact that there is little to no metal content on Droplet. All their “technology” are life forms that they have groomed for mechanical purposes through selective breeding. The Squales are terrified of Titan’s tricorders and shuttles.

But then another problem arises, there is an asteroid headed for the planet. The impact will cause significant loss of life. Riker and Lavena try to convince the Squale to leave the asteroids projected impact point, but to no avail. So the Titan tries to destroy the asteroid. Unfortunately, the asteroid consists of some really funky metal. Instead of the phasers and torpedoes vaporized the asteroid, the metal absorbs the energy then explodes with more force than was originally in the weapon.
Despite the crew’s best effort, enough of the asteroid crashes to the surface. The damage is done. Fortunately on an ocean world, there is no tsunami. But the exotic energy of the photon torpedoes and the phasers is more than, Droplet can naturally handle. This energy changes the magnetic field of Droplet and inadvertently kills off a second ecosystem that lived closer to Droplet’s core. Basically it’s like killing off the lower part of the food chain. The crew realizes that had they done nothing to avert the disaster the Squale would have recovered in time rather than risk certain extinction.

The the crew works hard to rectify their mistake. Anyway, during the impact both Riker and Lavena are injured. Although Squale medicine is surprisingly advanced, both slowly begin to deteriorate because they lack mineral content in their food. Meanwhile, the trauma of the impact has caused Troi to project her emotions on Dr. Ree, a Pahkwa-thanh male. (Think giant talking civilized lizard). This projection causes Dr. Ree to go into the protector mode of the males of his species. Basically he will protect Troi’s infant at all cost. He kidnaps her from the ship so she won’t be in danger. Some of you will remember that Betazoids can project strong emotional responses on other like Lwaxana Troi did in that one Deep Space Nine episode. But the crew pull off and technological miracle. Deanna has her baby girl, whom they name Natasha Miana Riker-Troi.

At the end of the day, Riker has to consider the Prime Directive. It seems that there is probably no harm no foul in this case. Apparently the Squale once had a space program, but they disbanded it. They didn’t realize that being out of their planet’s magnetic field would disrupt their neurological system. Thanks to Titan’s discovery of this little fact, they have come up with a way to compensate. It is assumed that the Squale will solve faster than light travel relatively soon.
This book deals with character development of Riker, Troi, Ensign Alli Lavena (from an amphibious species called Selkie), and to a lesser extent- Tuvok. Though Vulcan, Tuvok has been having increasing difficulty controlling his emotions due to the various trauma he has experienced over the years as a Starfleet officer. One of his children died when the Borg destroyed the world Deneva; Tuvok is unable to grieve his son’s death. Interestingly enough, it is dealing with Dr. Ree’s kidnap of Deanna that helps him begin the healing process.
Troi, of course, has to deal with becoming a mother. As she had been having trouble with all of her pregnancies, she is understandably worried about her current pregnancy.
Then we have Riker and Lavena. It was revealed in one of the earlier books that Riker and Lavena had a fling years ago, when Riker visited Lavena’s homeworld. Both of them have moved passed that. Riker more so than Lavena. Apparently there are some interesting social moré. The Selkie spend the first part of their life as land dwellers. They don’t become fully aquatic until they are adults. While they are land dwellers, they are expected to have children- and as many of them as possible because ocean planets are more dangerous than the typical terrestrial planet. The expectation is that Selkie during this period will be very responsible parents. Oh and Selkie don’t marry; they flit around. Lavena was not a responsible parent. She often left her children to pursue dalliances. As it turns out Lavena blamed her mother for the death of her sister Miana. She saw her mother as a failure for preventing her sister from being killed. This led to Lavena resenting the restrictions placed on her. So she ran away from her planet once her eight children were self-sufficient. Essentially, she has spent her Starfleet career running from responsibility. But this situation makes her face it for the first time. Being stuck on the surface with Riker makes her deal with her past. It was interesting to see more alien psychology. Most the of the time, you deal with humanoid species who have more human type of social issues. But this was different.
That was a really long review. Anyway, I think the next book will be a Voyager book.

Posted in Liked It, Sci-Fi Friday, Science Fiction, Space travel, Star Trek

Star Trek Titan: Over a Torrent Sea

Since it the fifth book in the Titan series, which is about William Riker’s captaincy of the Titan. As I haven’t reviewed the other books yet, I’ll give a little bit of background. The Titan is a Luna class vessel. It’s primary purpose is as a long term exploration vessel. The Titan is different from most Starfleet vessels because it has a much larger mix of non-humans aboard. In fact, the ship had to be modified to accommodate an aquatic member as well as a member that grew up in almost 0 gravity. Then there are eating habits; for instance there are certain species above the ship that are extraordinarily carnivorous and eat there meat raw. They have different meal times than the omnivores. It has been a challenge for the crew to integrate so much diversity.


In chronology, this book takes place after Star Trek A Singular Destiny. Riker and his crew are given new orders to continue their deep-space assignment. Riker is concerned that in the Borg invasion aftermath, the Titan should stay in the Alpha quadrant and be part of the relief effect. But the brass insists on sending the Titan for two reasons. First, the Titan was responsible for saving the Federation. Second, the beleguerd people of the Federation need to have something inspiring. And to remind them that exploration is what Starfleet is all about.


So the crew sets off into the Canis Major region. Based upon what I remember from astronomy, I’m going to hazard a guess and say that this region in space would be the area around the constellation containing the star Sirius. Don’t quote me on that though.


Anyway, the crew decides to visit a world that they have called Droplet. It is an ocean planet, class O, subclass L1- a Leger-type class O. This means that the planet has no land and little minerals on the surface. Just in case you were wondering, Earth is considered class M in this universe. Anyway, there is life on this planet which is unusual because most planets need some heavy metals like iron in order to sustain life.


The mission to explore this world is headed up by the aquatic Ensign Lavena. At first everyone is enjoying themselves. The life forms that they have observes seem like basic chordates, who seem quite afraid of the crew’s equipment. Lavena begins to suspect that the creatures may be somewhat intelligent when they rescue her and Melora from a sea creature bent on eating them.
Lavena ends up establishing a tenuous connection (overseen by Riker who has joined the away team on the surface) with the creatures and discovers that one of the species is in sentient- Squales. The only problem is that their language is so complex that the universal translators cannot decode it. The creatures are more adept at learning Selkie (Lavena’s language), so this is how they communicate. The species is completely animate. This is due to the fact that there is little to no metal content on Droplet. All their “technology” are life forms that they have groomed for mechanical purposes through selective breeding. The Squales are terrified of Titan’s tricorders and shuttles.


But then another problem arises, there is an asteroid headed for the planet. The impact will cause significant loss of life. Riker and Lavena try to convince the Squale to leave the asteroids projected impact point, but to no avail. So the Titan tries to destroy the asteroid. Unfortunately, the asteroid consists of some really funky metal. Instead of the phasers and torpedoes vaporized the asteroid, the metal absorbs the energy then explodes with more force than was originally in the weapon.


Despite the crew’s best effort, enough of the asteroid crashes to the surface. The damage is done. Fortunately on an ocean world, there is no tsunami. But the exotic energy of the photon torpedoes and the phasers is more than, Droplet can naturally handle. This energy changes the magnetic field of Droplet and inadvertently kills off a second ecosystem that lived closer to Droplet’s core. Basically it’s like killing off the lower part of the food chain. The crew realizes that had they done nothing to avert the disaster the Squale would have recovered in time rather than risk certain extinction.


The the crew works hard to rectify their mistake. Anyway, during the impact both Riker and Lavena are injured. Although Squale medicine is surprisingly advanced, both slowly begin to deteriorate because they lack mineral content in their food. Meanwhile, the trauma of the impact has caused Troi to project her emotions on Dr. Ree, a Pahkwa-thanh male. (Think giant talking civilized lizard). This projection causes Dr. Ree to go into the protector mode of the males of his species. Basically he will protect Troi’s infant at all cost. He kidnaps her from the ship so she won’t be in danger. Some of you will remember that Betazoids can project strong emotional responses on other like Lwaxana Troi did in that one Deep Space Nine episode. But the crew pull off and technological miracle. Deanna has her baby girl, whom they name Natasha Miana Riker-Troi.


At the end of the day, Riker has to consider the Prime Directive. It seems that there is probably no harm no foul in this case. Apparently the Squale once had a space program, but they disbanded it. They didn’t realize that being out of their planet’s magnetic field would disrupt their neurological system. Thanks to Titan’s discovery of this little fact, they have come up with a way to compensate. It is assumed that the Squale will solve faster than light travel relatively soon.
This book deals with character development of Riker, Troi, Ensign Alli Lavena (from an amphibious species called Selkie), and to a lesser extent- Tuvok. Though Vulcan, Tuvok has been having increasing difficulty controlling his emotions due to the various trauma he has experienced over the years as a Starfleet officer. One of his children died when the Borg destroyed the world Deneva; Tuvok is unable to grieve his son’s death. Interestingly enough, it is dealing with Dr. Ree’s kidnap of Deanna that helps him begin the healing process.


Troi, of course, has to deal with becoming a mother. As she had been having trouble with all of her pregnancies, she is understandably worried about her current pregnancy.


Then we have Riker and Lavena. It was revealed in one of the earlier books that Riker and Lavena had a fling years ago, when Riker visited Lavena’s homeworld. Both of them have moved passed that. Riker more so than Lavena. Apparently there are some interesting social moré. The Selkie spend the first part of their life as land dwellers. They don’t become fully aquatic until they are adults. While they are land dwellers, they are expected to have children- and as many of them as possible because ocean planets are more dangerous than the typical terrestrial planet. The expectation is that Selkie during this period will be very responsible parents. Oh and Selkie don’t marry; they flit around. Lavena was not a responsible parent. She often left her children to pursue dalliances. As it turns out Lavena blamed her mother for the death of her sister Miana. She saw her mother as a failure for preventing her sister from being killed. This led to Lavena resenting the restrictions placed on her. So she ran away from her planet once her eight children were self-sufficient. Essentially, she has spent her Starfleet career running from responsibility. But this situation makes her face it for the first time. Being stuck on the surface with Riker makes her deal with her past. It was interesting to see more alien psychology. Most the of the time, you deal with humanoid species who have more human type of social issues. But this was different.


That was a really long review. Anyway, I think the next book will be a Voyager book.