This week I decided to review Star Trek: The Next Generation: Armageddon’s Arrow by Dayton Ward. When the story begins the Raqilan warship Poklori gil dara is preparing to test its primary weapon. This test destroys a moon occupied by a science station belong to the Golvonek who live on a neighboring planet in the same system as the Raqilan homeworld. The war between the two worlds has raged so long that both civilizations are on the brink of collapse, but in addition to its main gun the Poklori gil dara is equipped with a device that allows the ship to travel through time. As the crew prepares to go into stasis before they jump to a time before the war, they find themselves under attack. The story then shifts to the Enterprise-E which has been assigned to explore areas never before visited by crewed Federation vessels. They find the Poklori gil dara adrift and, after defeating its automated defenses, they board the vessel by shuttle because the ship’s hull interferes with transporter use. Inside they find that the system which was supposed to revive the crew has failed due to battle damage, and with two exceptions, the crew has died while in stasis. While the Enterprise examines the craft and tries to revive the crew a Golvonek fleet arrives to claim the craft as a prize and its crew as prisoners of war. When the crew of the Poklori gil dara is revived, they realize that the war they were sent to prevent began long before they woke up. The commander reveals that the Poklori gil dara is already under construction and Captain Picard sends a team to examine the construction site where they find the remains of an ancient and familiar vessel which the Poklori gil dara is based off of. But the team is captured before they can return, and Picard must struggle to find a way to both save his crew members and to end the conflict before it dooms both civilizations.
I give this book a 9 out of 10. It manages to stay far away from the political mess that most of the recent books in the series have focused on while introducing interesting new characters and problems. In my opinion it does a much better job of feeling like a novelized version of an episode of the TV series at its best than most Star Trek books in the past few years. I also loved how the author mentions some of the events of the early Next Generation books, one in particular, rather than ignoring them.