It’s strange: Since a few years there’s basically an inflation of new book series in the Star Trek universe which are only indirectly related to the TV shows. Most notable for me are the SCE series and not to forget the “New Frontier” series. Since April 2005 there is now also a series around the newly promoted Captain Riker, former first officer of the USS Enterprise-E, and his new ship: The Titan.
The plot is set directly after the events of the ninth movie which led basically to the falldown of the Romulan Star Empire. Right before Riker can get his ship on a mission of exploration there is a new order sending him and his crew back into Romulan territory to clean up some of the mess that was left by late Preator Shinson. What follows is a quite decent story full of intrigues, politics and stuff but there is also enough action like a commando attack on romulan jail.
Well, that was event a little bit more than what is written on the backcover, but don’t worry: I don’t intend to spoil anything here :)
Normally, I’m not really a fan of the William T. Riker character but since the “A Time To…” series I came to like him. The character definitely evolved since the TNG show, away from a character that only had its values in his appeal to the ladies, more to a fighter, to a strong man, knowing what he wants and who can also , as was seen in the commando operation led by him on Tezwa to disable a secret Federation weapons platform, who is a man of the frontline.
One the other hand we have the first officer of the Titan: Christine Vale. She was previously head of security on the Enterprise-E and appears to me someone like between Domenica Corsi of the USS da Vinci and let’s say Pavel Chekov. A humorous but still very strong woman.
Well, and Deanna Troi is also there … I really don’t like this character so I won’t write about her here. No offense intended. I have one character in every movie and basically everywhere that I’m not so happy with so it has nothing to do with Martina Sirtis herself :) Perhaps there will also be a time when this will change as has happened with Riker. Perhaps after reading the “The Battle of Betazed”.
The other characters are also interesting and will definitely get even more intersting in the next books after I got to know them a little bit more. Basically the whole crew is very multi-cultural. A Ferengi, a Cardassian, a doctor most people fear duing the first book since he looks like a Dinosaur ;)
Also the stories were great so far. Interstellar and even intergalactic political affairs and also shares of universe spanning stuff get their right share.
To sum this up: I can’t wait until I get my hands on the 3rd book (“Orion’s Hounds”) of the series which is for the first time not by Andy Mangels and Michael A. Martin but by Christopher L. Bennett and will be released next January. And I can definitely recommend this series to everyone who likes the who TNG era.
I also want to use this post to critisize the release policy of Simon & Schuster a little bit. Last summer I read the book “Articles of the Federation” by Keith R.A. DeCandido (awesome book btw.). The problem here: The book is basically set after the end of the 2nd Titan book which had not been released back then. This wouldn’t be a problem if it wouldn’t include some characters that also appeared in this not released book :-? Perhaps a little bit more strict coordination would be much better ;)