Book Review: Headlong Flight (ST:TNG)

Having become an increasingly frequent reader of Star Trek novels in the past couple of years, I’ve observed that the books seem to be getting better by orders of magnitude. Sure, the series has a stable of good writers, but so have other media tie-in series and they have suffered deplorably. Not so with Star Trek: The Next Generation: Headlong Flight. This one kept my attention rapt through the entire book, and not for just a few reasons. First, there are the characterizations and dialog that Mr. Ward has captured as spot-on. From Data to Captain Riker (yes, you read that correctly), it felt very much as if I were watching a two-part episode right from the series.

Another aspect that made this book enjoyable was the story. To prevent spoilers, let’s leave it at this: there are multiple TNG crew dynamics involved in this story, by necessity. These different combinations come to prove quite intriguing as the author deftly weaves them throughout the story, creating a highly exciting and simultaneously interesting novel. There is also a bit more science to this one than can be seen in some of the other Star Trek novels in recent past.

The villains are a classic in this one, but again to prevent spoilers it seems best to keep that out of it, especially since it seems the book description is keeping this vague by saying only…

“…other parties have now taken notice…”

…without any direct reference to them by name. Suffice it to say that those readers who may be fans of author Diane Duane’s Rihannsu series shall not be disappointed.

One con to this story was it felt as if it occasionally suffered from some bloat, the author wandering into pages of character introspection or explanatory narrative that smelled of authorial intrusion. I did have moments of reflection where I felt like if I’d skipped over these parts I wouldn’t have missed anything. That aside, however, I actually enjoyed this one quite a bit and found a lot of entertainment and story value. Good to see this, as it’s my first sampling of Mr. Ward’s work and I commend the effort.

In the final analysis, Star Trek: The Next Generation: Headlong Flight by Dayton Ward is a solid, likable novel and ought to satisfy the vast audience of Star Trek fiction series fans. I recommend it without reservation. Live long and prosper!

This review originally published on SFRevu.com and is reprinted with permission.

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