I mentioned back in February of 2009, that I plan on reading ALL of the Star Trek The Next Generation novels. Sadly I only read books #0 - #4. But now I'm determined to continue my journey! So here's my review of book #5 Strike Zone by Peter David.
I was thoroughly entertained by this novel. It was fast moving, fun and action packed! What more could you ask for in a Star Trek The Next Generation novel? Well maybe a better ending, but I’ll get to that later.
Warning: Minor spoilers
The novel starts by introducing us to the Kreel, an unattractive alien race who are depicted as technology scavengers. They stumble across advance weapon technology on a deserted planet they consider within their territory. Now the Kreel have a century worth of animosity with the Klingons (who in return HATE the Kreel – they even spit whenever they say the name), who also stake a claim on the “deserted” planet (and the technology). Even though the Klingons are technologically superior to the Kreel, the Kreel manage to figure out some of the weapons and seem to have an upper hand against the Klingons.
In order to solve this problem, the Klingons and Kreel decide to meet and come to a resolution and of course the Enterprise must be the vessel to facilitate this meeting.
Meanwhile, our favorite 16 year old acting ensign Wesley Crusher (can you hear the sarcasm in my voice) is whining away that everyone calls him the “Brain Trust” and hates the fact that everyone views him as a genius. Sigh. But our boy wonder has a best friend name Jaal (who is Selelvian, a beautiful elf like alien). It is revealed that Jaal has a genetic disease which gives him 6-12 months to live which causes Wesley to go crazy with this news and he vows to discover a cure.
Side note: Maybe I’ve been reading too much slash fanfiction, but the way Wesley and Jaal's relationship is describe it totally seemed to allude to deeper feelings between the two and I kept waiting for one of them to pronounce their undying love for one another.
As the novel continues, we deal with major clashes between the Kreel (I began to hate them more and more as the novel went on), Worf gets a love interest (because we know humans can’t take the “lovin’” that is Klingon), Data and Dr. Pulaski bicker over her unease with androids, and I get even more annoyed with Wesley.
The author’s writing style flows easily and his use of humor caused me to laugh out loud more than once. The story does play out as a typical TNG episode but with more subplots and a typical ending which leaves you asking, “Really? That’s what is behind all of this???”