Friday, July 18, 2014

Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Light Fantastic review,

This week I decided to review Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang. The book opens with Geordi La Forge who is taking shore leave on Earth and visiting Leah Brahms when he receives a call from the resurrected Data. Data explains that his daughter Lal, re-activated after the Cold Equations trilogy, and her caretaker Alice have been kidnapped by the holographic version of Professor James Moriarty, who seeks an android body of his own, and one for his wife the holographic Countess Regina Bartholomew . The duo of Data and La Forge travel to various individuals seeking information and artifacts to aid in freeing Lal and fulfilling Moriarty’s demands, meeting such beings as Deep Space Nine’s sentient hologram Vic Fontaine, an ancient Harry Mudd, a minor smuggler and troublemaker from The Original Series, and Kivas Fajo, who once kidnapped Data. During the journey there are various flashbacks showing the lives of Data, Lal, and Alice on Orion where Data has inherited his creator’s casino empire, along with some of Alice’s past before meeting Data, as well as showing life for Moriarty and Bartholomew in the program which they had believed was reality. All was going well for the couple and their two daughters until the core containing their program was damaged during the destruction of the Enterprise-D, with the damage deleting their daughters and wiping them from the memory of everyone but their parents thus leading to Moriarty’s long quest to find a way to interact with the real world in hopes of finding a way to restore his family
I give this book a 9 out of 10. Getting to see what has become of so many of the characters of old was interesting, and the beginning of this book does a decent job of reconciling the clashes between the events of the novel Indistinguishable From Magic and the other books set after it. Also getting a view of how other sentient holograms, and even some of the old Enterprise’s crew view the treatment of Moriarty and Bartholomew was fascinating. Plus I’m a sucker for happy endings, especially in Star Trek, and don’t see how this ending could have been much happier. And the ending strongly implies that something is coming which will lead to further adventures. However I’m leery because something similar to what is implied to be coming occurred in an older Star Trek novel trilogy, written before the effort to unify all novels set after The Next Generation movies into a single setting was launched, and I found the trilogy very disappointing and fear a repeat, with those fears fanned higher because the end of a recent Star Trek: Voyager novel reminded me very much of the end of that trilogy. 

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