What Star Trek fan wouldn't be lured into the icy embrace of `Death in winter'?! That's my first question. But for those of you like myself who can't possibly resist the urge and plunge themselves unthinkingly into that ice-cold embrace...is it any good? That's my second question and the answer is yes, it is quite good. Unfortunately it isn't the outstanding story I was hoping for, but that's beside the point, because this is still `Star Trek: The Next Generation'- a generation I grew up watching and whose characters are as clear to me as the members of my own family. And one which I'm pleased to say has been very faithfully rejuvenated here by experienced Star Trek writer Michael Jan Friedman.
For me, the characterisation was perfect throughout, no exceptions and it was an absolute pleasure to be in the company of analytical, compassionate Crusher and strong but reserved Picard once again after so long a time devoid of their company. The love affair between these two has of course been a very long time in the making and my insides jumped with recognition and nostalgia each time Friedman would reference one of the television episodes that focused on their tentative relationship, as a way to clarify their feelings and emphasise this passion that has lain dormant and unspoken for so many years between them.
To be perfectly honest this is a bit of a lacklustre story, albeit one that's exquisitely phrased and grippingly written. But unfortunately there just isn't enough original material to elevate it above the more run-of-the-mill Star Trek novel, which touchs all the bases, but somehow doesn't add up to a greater whole. I was also slightly disappointed by the Romulan political sub-plot that ran parallel to the Picard-Crusher story-line; some small loose ends left at the end just niggled at me slightly. But if I vehemently object to anything in this story it's the omission of B-4. No mention is made of him whatsoever. Even if Friedman had felt he was extraneous to the story and would only have hindered the journeys of the main characters, he could have at least made a passing reference to him. Well that's my view anyway. But that was the only continuity error that I picked up on and I guess it's not that big of a deal.
It's an expensive novel and it falls short of the great Star Trek stories, but it comes to us from a master-storyteller, it breathes life into beloved characters sorely missed and it's beautifully presented. Worth buying.
- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Gallery Books; Reprint edition (1 February 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 143915001X
- ISBN-13: 978-1439150016
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.1 x 21.6 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 503 g
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