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Excalibur Book 3: Restoration [Mass Market Paperback]

Peter David
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Nov. 1 2001 Star Trek: New Frontier (Book 11)
The ever resourceful Captain Mackenzie Calhoun abruptly finds himself at a loss -- marooned on he primitive outback world of Yakaba after his ship, Excalibur, is destroyed by deadly sabotage. He is separated from his loyal first officer, Shelby, who has gone one to command the Exeter and is certain that Calhoun has been blasted into oblivion. On Yakaba's dry frontier, Calhoun meets and befriends Shula, an extraordinary woman beset by enemies trying to control or destroy her and her gift -- summoning rain to her parched homeland.
Trapped on this hostile world, unable to relay to his people that he survived their ship's cataclysm, Calhoun must stand against countless adversaries who will stop at nothing to gain power or keep it from others. Life and death hang in the balance. Out in the distance, mourning but determined to move on, Shelby must discover what sort of captain she really is.

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About the Author

Peter David is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous Star Trek novels, including the incredibly popular New Frontier series. In addition, he has also written dozens of other books, including his acclaimed original novel, Sir Apropos of Nothing, and its sequel, The Woad to Wuin.
David is also well known for his comic book work, particularly his award-winning run on The Incredible Hulk. He recently authored the novelizations of both the Spider-Man and Hulk motion pictures.
He lives in New York.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One: Rheela

She knew he was coming before she even saw him.

It wasn't unusual for her to feel that he was approaching. Truth be known, most days she would get a cold feeling in the base of her spine. At those times, wherever she was -- whether it be doing chores in her run-down abode or standing on the cracked and arid plain that constituted what she laughingly referred to as her property -- she would stop what she was doing and wait to see if some sign of him appeared on the horizon.

Most times, it did not. On such occasions, the feeling would pass, and she would return to whatever it was that she had been doing. In short order, she would forget that she had felt any sense of dread at all.

This time, however, when she did see him making his approach, all those false alarms were naturally forgotten. Instead, all Rheela could think was, I knew it. I can always tell when he's coming. A gentle breeze was wafting across the plain, which was an unusual enough event in and of itself. She straightened the strands of green hair that were blowing in her face and turned back to the house. "House" might have been far too generous a term; it was not much more than a hut, although it was built of sturdy enough materials that it managed to keep the interior remarkably cool, despite the crushing heat. Just to provide a bit of style, she had even constructed a small porch on the front of the hut. She now sat on the edge of the porch, arranging her hands neatly in her lap and staring out at the emptiness of her land. Every so often, she would glance down at her hands, turning them over and studying them as if she was looking at someone else's hands. They were leathery and weather-beaten. When she had been a little girl, her skin had been so fair, so pale; but now it was such a dark brown that it seemed as if the sun had baked her as thoroughly as it had the land around her.

It was amazing, though, that the vegetation -- her crops -- was still fighting resiliently for life. They poked up through the cracks, green and brown cacti-like plants that seemed determined to ignore the untenable nature of their respective situations. They were going to need water, though, and very soon. It wasn't just her crop, either; she'd been hearing as much from other steaders as well. They spoke to her, as always, with that telltale look of annoyance and resentment, even as they talked wistfully of the rain that was needed in order to salvage their crops.

She looked to the sky, trying to feel the moisture in the air, in her bones. Nothing was forthcoming. But she could have sworn that the intensity of the heat was growing, rolling in waves off the land. Not for the first time, she felt a sense of vague despair. She didn't simply reside on the world of Yakaba. She fought it. She struggled with it every single day, the way that a germ cell would battle the white blood cells that strove to kill it. It wasn't her favorite analogy, though, because that, in essence, made her the infection, and she didn't fancy thinking of herself in that way. But perhaps that was how the planet thought of her.

The wind was picking up, and she heard a distant rolling. Although she continued to sit on the porch, still she shielded her eyes with one leathery hand while studying the horizon line. Ironically, she knew what she was going to see before she actually saw it. Sure enough, there he was: Tapinza.

Tapinza's skin was not a golden bronze color despite the sun. Instead, much of the paleness that was typical for those of the Yakaban race was still present. Not unusual, then, that Tapinza was clad appropriately, with a wide-brimmed hat and long coat that flapped in the steady breeze as he sped toward Rheela's stead. He was clutching the rigging of his customized sailskipper, guiding it with an expert hand. Rheela had to give him that much: When it came to sailskippers and similar desert transportation, Tapinza was second to none.

What did surprise her, however, was the smaller form that was also clutching the main mast of the sailskipper. She blinked and rubbed her eyes, not quite believing what her eyes were informing her she was seeing. "Moke," she called cautiously toward the house behind her, and when there was no immediate answer, she repeated, louder this time, "Moke!" Still no reply. She got up and went into the house to look around for herself, and, to her utter shock, found that Moke was, in fact, not there. She had been absolutely positive that her son had been indoors napping, and the fact that he was not was, to say the least, disconcerting. What brought it several levels above disconcerting was that it meant her eyes had not deceived her. It was unquestionably Moke clutching the sailskipper, the increasing breeze driving the skipper along faster and faster. And even from this distance, she could now hear the child's voice calling, "Maaaa! Look, Maaaaa!" across the broken plains.

"Hold tightly, boy," Tapinza warned him, "we have quite a few solid gusts propelling us toward your mother." Then he laughed quite heartily. Rheela had never liked the sound of his laughter. It sounded...cultivated. As if he had stood in front of a mirror for hours on end and practiced delivering a confident-yet-unthreatening laugh of which he could be proud. Everything about him seemed manufactured. For a woman whose very existence depended on nature, someone as "fabricated" as Tapinza could not help but set off all manner of mental warnings within her.

Tapinza had a fierce scar that ran from the top of his forehead to just under his nose. How he had acquired it was something of a mystery; in all the years he had resided on Yakaba, he had never once hinted at the mishap that apparently had laid open part of his face. His brow was a bit sloped, his eyebrows thick and green, and the overall effect was to give him the air of a primitive.

Rheela's impulse was to take issue -- very loudly and very intently -- with the fact that Tapinza had been reckless with her son's safety. Ultimately, however, she decided to try and tone down her ire, because it was so rare that Moke looked as happy as he did at that moment. She actually heard that rarest of commodities on Yakaba -- rarer even than water -- namely, her son's laughter, echoing across the plains. As opposed to the "manufactured" sound of Tapinza, Moke laughed with pure childhood abandon. There was such joy in it that Rheela felt a tightening in the pit of her stomach. She almost felt grateful to Tapinza, and she had to remind herself that such sentiments could prove disastrous if left unchecked.

Moke looked like a miniature version of his mother, so much so that she derived some amusement from it. She had yet to cut his hair; it hung in ragged braids, framing his face when he was at rest (which was seldom). As it was now, it fairly flew behind him as he whipped along across the desert, holding on for dear life while simultaneously celebrating a life most dear.

For a moment Rheela was convinced that the sailskipper was going to crash into the side of the house, and then Tapinza whipped it around. The wheels scudded across the plain, chewing up dirt and sending a small cloud scattering. Moke jumped off the sailskipper and ran excitedly to his mother. "You should ride it, Ma!" he said without preamble. "Maester Tapinza said he would take you!"

"Titles are never necessary among friends. A simple 'Tapinza' will do," Tapinza said to him. But as he spoke, his gaze was not upon the son, but instead upon the mother. The comment was obviously being delivered to her, and the small child was, of course, unaware of the subtleties of what was happening around him.

"Quite expertly guided, Maester Tapinza," said Rheela; continuing the use of the title, she was sending a message so clear that a blind man could have read it from ten feet away. "However, considering I was under the impression that my son was indoors, I am most curious as to what he was doing sailing around the desert with you."

"You're asking the wrong person, Rheela," he replied. "I was simply out and about, minding my own business. I happened upon young Moke, wandering about on his own. I thought that it would be only appropriate to return him to you." Just to be extra dashing, Tapinza removed his hat and bowed deeply, sweeping the hat across the arid ground. The gesture kicked up a bit of dust.

Rheela shifted her gaze to her son, who had suddenly developed a great fascination with the tops of his own feet. "Moke," Rheela said very slowly, very distinctly, "what were you doing out? It's the hottest part of the day. You should know better."

Moke shrugged.

"Moke, what would you have done if Maester Tapinza hadn't picked you up?"

He shrugged again. Much of his vocabulary seemed shaped by shrugs.

She should have let it pass. But instead, Rheela felt -- as unreasonable as it sounded -- as if the boy was showing her up somehow. Being defiant of her while in the presence of a man in front of whom she did not wish to be defied. This time, she resolved, shrugs would not be sufficient. She took Moke firmly by the shoulders and asked once more, "Why were you out?" trying to make it clear by her tone of voice that an articulated response would be the only acceptable one.

Moke took a deep breath, and then looked her squarely in the eyes. "Looking for Dad," he said.

Well, you deserved that, thought Rheela. She didn't release the boy so much as her fingers simply slipped loose of him. He didn't step away from her, though, but just stood there and eyed her with curiosity.

"I didn't find him," Moke added, almost as an afterthought...and then he looked curiously at Tapinza and back to his mother. "Did I?"

"No," she said tonelessly. "No...I'd wager you didn't."

"'Cause I thought maybe Maester Tapin -- "

"No." This time she spoke much more quickly, and with far greater force. It was so loud, in fact, that Moke jumped slightly. "No...Maester Tapinza is not Daddy."

"Are you sure?" He sounded a ...

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
Overall, I'd say that Peter David set this trilogy up perfectly, with the first two books covering the crew and everything they went through after the destruction of Excalibur and this last, exceptionally outstanding novel "Restoration," covering mostly Shelby and her command of Exeter and what happened to Captain Calhoun.
The one thing I never truly expected in the New Frontier series was a western which is exactly what you get in Captain Calhoun's story and it is written very well, reminding one of days gone by reading Louis L'Amour classics. Shelby's story is just as interesting as you see her going through some angst during her first command.
As is usual with Peter David's writing, "Restoration" is another fine example of some the best writing in the Star Trek universe from one of Star Trek's finest authors. You'll find that this novel is a quick read given the high level of intrigue, humor and overall feel of the novel.
The cover art is among the best in the New Frontier series. What's most interesting about this novel, both in the hardback and paperback versions is the Star Trek New Frontier Minipedia which covers all of the significant and not so significant people, places, and events from the very first New Frontier novel to "Restoration."
The premise:
During the first two books of this series we were lead to believe that Captain Calhoun sacrificed himself in an incredible attempt to get everybody off of Excalibur as it was in the middle of a warp core breach. What would the New Frontier series be without its brazen captain though and we soon find out what happened.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The mystery is almost solved April 30 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This novel is clearly the finale of the Excalibur trilogy, so I started it with the hope of finally learning what happened to Calhoun. Did he really survive the explosion as one could surmise after Peter David's subtle hints and his refusal to go into details about the events shortly before the disaster? Well, if you want to know the same thing you won't be disappointed. The veil of mystery is lifted in "Restoration" as we do indeed learn that Calhoun is one of those Star Trek captains that manage to survive against impossible odds (and be honest: How could New Frontier continue without this extraordinary man who is so much more than just a captain?). The book is (as the previous two have also been) split into a couple of parallel stories. There's Calhoun, marooned on an unknown planet, quickly getting involved in the almost medieval actions of the indigenous populace against a woman with a curious gift... The second story focuses on Captain (!) Shelby, newly assigned to the starhip Exeter who struggles to feel comfortable in the role fate has cast her and to come to terms with the loss of Calhoun...
I won't say more about the contents here, you have to read for yourselves. I still don't feel at ease with his splitting of stories, though. Possibly designed to keep the suspense I still find it faintly annoying to be always yanked out of one story to be thrust into the next one - and back again. It just disrupts the flow one can get so quickly into - anyway, the language itself is fluent as usual, the events lead so smoothly into one another, that each chapter is a pure pleasure to read.
To put it in a nutshell: I loved the book. I hated the ending (that's why there are only four stars). Let me just say that I do enjoy happy endings - they simply have to be plausible.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Change of pace for Calhoun April 9 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Peter David's final installment with the former crew of the USS Excalibur as existing without one another. Finally we find out what happens to Mac. His path leads him to a desolate world that seems inescapable. Shelby is moving forward but keeps looking back. Not one of the better STNF novels. David has created a very dynamic starship captain that is reminiscent of Kirk in style and attitude. Something sorely missed in the next gen ST universe. However, he slows down Mac's character development by putting him on a backwater planet. Mr. David's dialogue among the characters is witty as usual which makes up for the lack of excitement in the novel. Still, it's worth reading if you're a NF fan.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An appropriately-titled adventure. Jan. 26 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Feels like I've been all over the map with my reading of the New Frontier novels. I went through the first ten paperbacks like gangbusters a number of years ago, and then lost interest when this particular installation came out in hardback (another evil marketing ploy). I read Calhoun's "Captain's Table" and "Gateways" stories, plus six or seven (or eight or nine) other Trek novels till I came across this in the library and decided "what the heck?"
"What the heck," indeed! Do I need to tell you who is "restored?" I don't think so. But I *can* tell you the way he goes about it is certainly in keeping with the purple-eyed Mackenzie Calhoun we've all come to know and love. Instead of *dying* in the explosion of the Excalibur, Calhoun instead miraculously survives his shuttle's nasty crash-landing and *lives* on an arid back-alley planet called Yakaba, taking up with a rainmaker and her young son in his effort to find a way *off* said planet.
He accomplishes this in a big way, and in the end finds himself with another boy to call his son. And there are plenty of hints for the future that this boy, Moke, ain't no one to trifle with any more than is Calhoun himself.
Meanwhile, Calhoun's former first officer, Elizabeth Paula Shelby, is busy with problems of her own as captain of the Exeter. These problems include, but are not limited to, dealing with a first officer with an all-too-familiar attitude about the rules and regs of Starfleet, grieving for Mac and what could have been, and trying to come up with a way to "Calhoun" a potential Federation member into doing the right thing. At times, she barely recognizes herself.
Add to this a 27-page "Star Trek: New Frontier Minipedia" in the back, and I'm ready to forgive 'em for publishing in hardback first. If you're reading them all, you've got to have this one.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excalibur: Restoration - ST New Frontier
Excalibur: Restoration is an excellant book. Why do I say that? Quite obviously, as the title says, a Restoration. Read more
Published on Dec 31 2001 by Joe Zika
5.0 out of 5 stars Calhoun Lives! (Of course...)
The only thing I didn't like about this book, is the seeming *four years* it took for the book come out in paperback. Read more
Published on Dec 27 2001 by Julia Walter
2.0 out of 5 stars Restoration was a Disappointment
I will keep this brief. This is Peter David's worst New Frontier book. I recommend it only if you are an avid New Frontier fan. The plotting is poor, the dialogue stilted. Read more
Published on Sept. 23 2001 by J. McCain
2.0 out of 5 stars Sad "Resolution " to a once fresh book series
Peter David's latest New Frontier novel is sadly the worst of the series. Like DS9's only hardcover "Warped", this much- anticipated tome was very poor both in prose style and... Read more
Published on July 7 2001 by Curt H. Danhauser
4.0 out of 5 stars Truly where no one, or at least no series, has gone before..
At the end of book eight in the New Frontier series by Peter David, we learn that the Excalibur was destroyed. Read more
Published on July 2 2001 by Jonathan Burgoine
4.0 out of 5 stars New Frontier meets the old west.
'Restoration', the 10th installment of Peter David's new vision of the Star Trek Universe is a pretty fun read, but nothing overall surprising stands out, and a return to a type... Read more
Published on April 26 2001 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars The Good, The Bad, and The Mackenzie.
Move over Clint Eastwood. There's a new gringo in town, and his name is Mackenzie Calhoun. A villain, a hero, a love story, a show down at high noon, a jail, a bar, a shootout, a... Read more
Published on March 30 2001 by utsugi6string
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring
Sorry, this story would be worth listening to if it was free. Poor storyline, nothing innovative, nothing gripping. I felt ripped off.
Published on March 9 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of Peter David's best
I was quite surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. The two books following up to the hardcover were good but not as good as this one. Read more
Published on Jan. 30 2001 by Michael from NY
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