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Laurell K. Hamilton, best known to me as the author of the erotic vampiric thrillers in the Anita Blake series, tackled a universe already set up and rolling - Star Trek, the Next Generation. Basic Premise: You won't find any eroticism here!
This book was written just before the imaginative Anita Blake series with "Guilty Pleasures." It seems to me that Ms. Hamilton found the Star Trek universe a tight fit in trying to be creative; nevertheless, I did enjoy several themes.
Greed and corruption flow through all the plots and subplots. The warring factions on a planet devastated by two hundred years of war want peace. At least some of them do. Picard beams down with Troi and Worf to sort things out. The characterization is typical of Star Trek, though Picard is placed into the background (the usual "you're under arrest for murder" kinda thing!). The customs of the Oriana people are odd (a barbaric race, no "honor", per Worf) and Troi and Worf put on a good show.
Mental Ingenuity: A race of people which has forgotten it has empathic abilities, even to the planet itself. Troi fighting a losing battle in losing her identity to these people. Worf takes on trying to play diplomat without killing anyone. Pretty cool how the characters interrelate here.
Engines that Think: The Enterprise is involved in a subplot of rescuing an alien vessel so they're not around to help out Picard. Geordi is able to actually communicate with the engine as he tries to prevent it from blowing up as those around him are fatalistic and don't mind dying with their ship. Similar themes of "you can't possibly help because you don't understand us." This sub-story is quickie and not really as well-written as the main story on the planet. A few plot holes too. Geesh.
Bottom Line: Considering her restrictions with staying within the penciled lines of the Star Trek Universe, Laurell K. Hamilton does not do a bad job of keeping the story on track, involving the reader with the horrors of deformed babies and a dying planet, and makes a few points regarding honor, integrity and not giving up on your friends. A very simple read. Eroticism? Nope! Open "Guilty Pleasures" for that!
I bought this book two days ago and have finished reading it. I have been watching the Star trek the Next Generation episodes and was curious about this book. I loved it. It makes you see different points of view from the characters of Star Trek the Next Generation, instead of watching the characters actions "though the book manly focuses on Wolf and Deanna Troi". Overall, I loved this book and read nonstop for two days. I would recommend this too Star Trek the Next Generation fans. I don't know if this book is from any of the episodes of Star Trek the Next Generation. I hope you enjoy it.
I read all of LKH's books, and like many other fans, am tiring of the constant sex. I have been a Star Trek fan since nursery school, and so I thought I'd give this book a try since it combines two of my favorite things. I have to say, Laurell did a great job with this book. It keeps to the Star Trek TNG characters and gives insight into how Deanna and Worf think. Sure, since this is Laurell's book, there is torture involved, but NO SEX! It is a nice breather from the Anita books. I recommend this to Star Trek TNG fans as well as Laurell fans.
Not the type of book you'd associate with Laurell K. Hamilton, but it's one that is very well written. In it she puts Worf in a position that causes him to look at things very differently than from his normal Klingon ways.