“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.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.
And Commodore Data watched them go.
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.