Date Completed: August 14, 2007
Publication Year: 1997
Book One in the New Frontier series
Reason for Reading: Somehow, I missed this series. I did not even know that it existed, but earlier this year, Zeek posted for the Ten Books She Could Not Live Without (full blogger list found here) that she could not live without Peter David's New Frontier series (you can see her list here). I was intrigued, but it took me all this time to actually get around to both purchasing and reading the first book in this series. (Actually, I only found the book yesterday). Angela (ScifiChick) also likes this series, and since these are both people I trust, I am now going to read this series. (Although Angela did not have this on her list, but she did have A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle and Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn, which are two of my favourite science-fiction books.)
Sector 221-G: For the whole of Federation history, this large area of space has been controlled by the Thallonians, a cruel, militaristic race of which little is knownexcept that they rule the other races in their sector with vicious iron hand.This book largely just sets the series up. Some of the main characters are introduced, but they do not actually come together as a crew in this book. In the first section we meet the man that would go on to captain the U.S.S. Excalibur. He is only 19 years old when we first meet him and living on a very violent planet. Despite his youth, he has already accomplished a great deal and then he meets Jean-Luc Picard, then the captain of the Stargazer, who sees something in this young man that could equal greatness. It would be 20 laters later before he would become the captain of the Excalibur, and lots of things have happened in his life between now and then.
Now the Thallonian Empire has collapsed and the systems it once ruled are in chaos. Old hatreds are surfacing. Petty tyrants control deadly weapons. World after world is descending into disorder and self-destruction. The Federation must send a starship to help where it can and report what it finds.
That ship is the U.S.S. Excalibur, a newly refit Ambassador-class starship commanded by Captain Mackenzie Calhoun and manned by Starfleet's best and brightest, including some old friends from Star Trek: The Next Generation and some of the most dynamic new characters ever to crew a Federation starship.Join Captain Calhoun and the crew of the U.S.S. Excalibur as they explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and new civilizations, and boldly go where no one has gone before!
In this novel, we have Captain Jean-Luc Picard, some appearances from Ambassador Spock, some of the crew from the U.S.S. Enterprise-E, and other characters that I am sure that will go on to instill greatness. As this book only sets the series up, and all the adventures that will be coming are only hinted out, I thought I would share a wonderful scene from the book:
Looking at the monitor screen, in regards to their entourage, Commander William Riker commented, "I feel like a mother duck."(Pages 69-70 from House of Cards by Peter David (the four-in-one book)).
Data turned at his station and regarded Riker with such clear befuddlement that it was all Picard could do to keep a straight face. "Don't say it, Data," he pleaded, heading it off.
"Yes. Don't begin inquiring as to whether Mr. Riker will begin quacking, or waddling, or laying eggs or acquiring webbing between his toes. The answer is no."
"Very well, sir," Data replied reasonably. "In any event, it will not be necessary, since you have already voice all the possibilities that occured to me."
Picard opened his mouth again, and then closed it. Riker and Counselor Deanna Troi exchanged broad grins.
"Although," Data added thoughtfully, "there is a slight tendency toward waddling...."
Riker's face immediately darkened. The fact that Deanna was now grinning so widely that it looked as if her face was going to split in two didn't help matters. "Mister Data, I will have you know I do not, have never, and will never, 'waddle.'"
"You do tend to sway when you walk, sir," Data replied, undetered and apparently oblivious of the imagery he was evoking. "A sort of rhymthmic, side-to-side motion that could, under normal conditions, be construed as--"
"No, it couldn't," Riker said sharply.
"If you would like, I can demonstrate," Data began, half up out of his chair.
Both Riker and Picard quickly said, "No!" Surprised by the vehemence of the reaction, Data sat back down.
I LOVED this scene, no, I LOVE Data. I was laughing, and I could picture this scene in my head. It was priceless, and the best thing is.... I cut it off, there is more to the scene. This is Data, afterall. So, maybe people want to pick up a copy of this book just to see what else happens. I know that I am thrilled with the series, even if this book only starts things, I can see much more hillarious moments as the series progresses. I am prepared to sit back and enjoy the ride, that's for sure.