Monday, April 13, 2015

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Death in Winter by Michael Jan Friedman- Book Report #132

One of my reading goals is to read most of the post-Nemesis novels in the Star Trek universe.  This is quite the challenge, not only because there are so many books but also because the plots have become so intermixed and complex that I need a flow chart just to keep track of it.

Luckily there are two sources that offer such charts.  My favourite is from Jim's Books where he has taken the time and effort to create a beautiful map using the cover art of each book.

The other is provided by the Trek Collective and takes on the monumental task of charting all the books that fall outside The Original Series.  It's quite the head-scratcher, but also a lot of fun.


Death in Winter begins by explaining how Picard's genetic material was gathered in order to create Shizon from the movie Nemesis.

Crusher is on a mission to save a race of people who are suffering a plague while also suffering under Romulan occupation.  This is a covert operation that finds her held captive by the Romulans.  Call in Picard and two men from his past to rescue her.

The reason this book exists is to finally have Picard admit to Crusher that he loves her.  It is also the first treatment of the Star Trek universe free from the limitations placed upon authors of a TV or movie series that is still in production.  Death in Winter's job is to set up this new environment.  By doing so Friedman tells many important stories.  There is firstly the story of Picard and Crusher, which was the dullest of the plot lines that the whole book relies on to expose the other sub-plots.

Picard's two friends, from his days on the Stargazer,  Pug and Greyhorse, are re-introduced into the time line.  Tasha Yar's evil Romulan "twin", Sela also makes a welcomed appearance.  And the power vacuum in the Romulan Empire, that was created by the events in the movie Nemesis, is explored with yet more characters dredged up from the TV series.

The story of Picard rescuing Crusher was the least entertaining as it was used as a device to add exposition.  For the most part Picard and company spend a lot of time walking through snow storms and tunnels to avoid Romualn patrols.  While hiding, there was plenty of time to think about the past.

In the end, although I was disappointed with the Picard / Crusher thread, I was happy with the rest of it.  I was given a greater understanding of the bigger picture that is the Star Trek Universe.

Michael Jan Friedman's website is:

Michael Jan Friedman

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