23rd June 2010
This is the first official political thriller from the Star Trek universe, and covers the events of the first year of Nan Bacco's tenure as Federation President, dealing with the Klingons and Romulans, first contacts, unruly councillors and the repercussions of the events of A Time for War, a Time for Peace.
I found it a difficult book to get into. There was no particular overarching plot, but rather a series of threads that weaved throughout the story. It is divided up into chunks with gaps of several weeks or months between, focussing on key periods, but also breaking up the narrative's flow.
On the other hand, there's a really good feature where the reader is taken out from the main characters into the company of a random Federation citizen watching a TV political discussion. It helps to fill in the gaps between the sections and to give an alternative set of viewpoints on the events of the plot. The segments do seem a little implausibly short for a TV show though, which I wonder whether is a symptom of decreasing attention spans in the 24th century, or poetic licence on behalf of the author.
The characters are mostly likeable and the main ones easy to get a grip on. Some of the more minor characters I found a little hard to follow though, especially as there were quite a lot of them that were dropping in and out. Overall, I enjoy this different style of Trek novel though, and this is a good way to round off the 'A Time To' series and set up the next set of novels.