Star Trek the Next Generation: Cold Equations #2: Silent Weapons
Product Description (from Amazon.com):
The second book in a new trilogy by the national bestselling author of Star Trek: Destiny!
Three years after the disastrous final Borg Invasion, a bitter cold war against the Typhon Pact has pushed Starfleet’s resources to the breaking point. Now the rise of a dangerous new technology threatens to destroy the Federation from within. Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the Enterprise crew answer a distress call, only to become targets in a deadly game of deception. To protect a vital diplomatic mission, they must find a way to identify the spies hiding in their midst, before it’s too late. But Worf soon realizes the crew’s every move has been predicted: Someone is using them as pawns. And the closer they get to exposing their enemy, the deeper they spiral into its trap….
I don’t know how often the second book in a trilogy is stronger than the first. Certainly it’s more likely that second books (like second movies) suffer from “middle of the story” syndrome. In the case of David Mack’s STTNG series Cold Equations, however, did not have that problem in any form. Instead, it’s a rollicking adventure that mixes politics and action in a really satisfying blend of plot and character.
I love that the Orions, whom we are used to seeing mainly as slavers and generally disreputable types are also the galaxy’s strongest defenders of personal privacy (reading this in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook, CT, school shootings was rather eerie), and have the only security system strong enough to host a meeting that involves not just the Federation President, but the leaders of at least one of the factions involved in the Typhon Pact.
As well, I like that this novel acknowledged the Typhon Pact series, which spans all of the modern era Trek series and also combines political intrigue with really lovely action, whether it’s on land or sea, or in space.
Is Data’s presence a bit contrived? Maybe a bit, but after all, the trilogy is about his return, so it would be weird for him to NOT be in the novel. Still, his new appearance and abilities are used well, and this new FullyEmotional!Data is one I wish we could get to know a bit better in a slower, gentler story…just so that we (well, I) are a bit more invested in THIS incarnation of the character.
Goes well with: espresso con panna and cinnamon rolls.