Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Time to Be Born

A Time to Be Born
© 2004 John Vornholt
284 pages

On the cusp of their epic battle with Shinzon, many of Captain Jean-Luc Picard's long-time crew were heading for new assignments and new challenges. Among the changes were William Riker's promotion to captain and his new command, Riker's marriage to Counselor Deanna Troi, and Dr. Beverly Crusher's new career at Starfleet Medical. But the story of what set them on a path away from the Starship Enterprise has never been told.
           UNTIL NOW.

Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the Enterprise-E have been dispatched to the site of a terrible battle during the Dominion Wars, a site filled with dangerous anamolies and mysteries. His orders are to collect the dead from Starfleet vessels and, analyzing the site's physicial remains and examining ships' logs, attempt to explain what happened during the conflict. He is accompanied by the Juno, an older Excelsior-class starship, and a few new allies who appear to have ulterior motives for infiltrating the rubble. Picard needs the help of his comrades and allies, for an unexplicable gravity sink, apparantly sourceless energy discharges, and a swirling vortex of debris are not the only dangers: combative scavengers flit among the remains, stealing parts and ambushing the Starfleet crews.  In the perilous darkness, nothing is as it seems, and Picard will have to make quick choces that end his career in Starfleet.

I bought A Time to be Born four years ago, although my reading of it stalled half-way through. In trying to get back into Trek lit, I figured I'd give the A Time to... series another shot. The series consists of nine parts, the titles of each coming from the Hebrew book of Ecclesiastes -- though that may be more familar to some readers as being from Pete Seeger's "Turn, Turn, Turn".  The series aims to bridge Insurrection and Nemesis, exploring character development, Alpha Quadrant politics, and answering questions about or mending mistakes of Nemesis.  The premise of this initial book is interesting, and I liked the ending, but the development of Picard's time within the battleground was a struggle to read through. If I'd only wanted the general story or events of consequence, I could read the introductory chapters and then skip ahead to Picard's trial.

Rough start but a promising ending. I intend on reading through the A Time To series, but not immediately.


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