Friday, May 1, 2009

Forgotten Books: Imzadi (Star Trek) by Peter David

(My next installment of the Friday Forgotten Book extravaganza created by Patti Abbott. Head on over to her blog for the complete list. This is the second installment of 'forgotten' Star Trek books leading up to the new movie. Here is the first from last week.)

“Let’s get the hell out of here.” So spoke James T. Kirk at the end of one of the best (the best?) episode of the Original Series, “The City on the Edge of Forever.” This is the one where Kirk, who has fallen in love with Edith Keillor (Joan Collins) has to let her die in order to preserver the true timeline.

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Imzadi begins with this closing scene of this classic episode. And, after two pages describing the closing scene and its characters, you get these two lines:
They [Kirk and company beaming back to the Enterprise] got the hell out of there.
And Commodore Data watched them go.
Now, if you are a Trek fan, your adrenaline just surged. Thus kicks off what I think is the best Star Trek: The Next Generation novel written to date. (Well, there is one other...) This one has everything: romance, time travel, political intrigue, future history. We get to see Admiral Riker (a big deal in 1992 when this book was originally published), we get Captain Wesley Crusher, and the aforementioned Commodore Data.

The central component of this book is the relationship between Riker and Deanna Troi. Imzadi is the Betezed term for “beloved,” and it is a relationship that has died away by the time of the events of The Next Generation (TNG) TV series. They are friends by that time and they get along. We get the whole story, the romance, the beginnings of their relationship. It’s wonderful for a SF book and author Peter David dishes out the emotion in heaping scoops.

The complicating factor is what Commodore Data learns in the future: that Troi’s death precipitated a truce between two warring factions. When, in the future, Admiral Riker decides to act and try and prevent Troi’s death, Commodore Data, also from the future, has to go back in time (to the era of the TV series, natch) to stop him. To go into more details would ruin all the fun surprises and twists.

Needless to say, there is a lot to like in this book and, since I’m not going to give away the ending, you’ll just have to find out for yourself. If you are a fan of Star Trek and TV's "Lost," this is the book for you. You won't be disappointed.

5 comments:

Randy Johnson said...

David is one of the better Trek writers. I used to collect them all until they went berserk with the titles. Now it depends on the writer and David is one I will still buy without knowing anything about it.

Scott Parker said...

Randy - I agree with you regarding David's work. There was a time where I'd only buy the 'giant' hardcover stories. Vendetta was a good one. This the one where the planet eater machine from TOS was, in fact, a machine created by Guinan's race after the Borg assimilated their plant. Q-squared was the one where Trelane from TOS was really a Q entity gone off the reservation. And Dark Mirror (not David, I don't think) was TNG in the mirror universe.

The one other favorite TNG story was William Shatner's The Return. It was his vision (and that of his co-writers) of what Star Trek 8 could have been. It was dang good.

I.J. Parnham said...

Peter David was a solid Trek writer, and one the few I didn't feel embarassed to read. Not read that one though. Anything with Troi in it gets me irritated!

Any forgive me the daft question but how does Forgotten Friday books work? I was gearing up to review a book later this week on my blog, and it's been forgotten...

Scott Parker said...

Ian,

Friday's Forgotten Books is the brainchild of Patti Abbott (http://pattinase.blogspot.com/). Started last year, it was her way of getting a bunch of writers to write about books they love that the rest of us have either forgotten or never known about. The thing for me is that many of the books I have written about for FFB I am reading for the first time. She posts links on Fridays with the names of writers participating in the festivities. If you are interested, send her an e-mail. You can see the round up of the names on her blog.

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