Star Trek-Stargazer: Oblivion written by Michael Jan Friedman is the latest installment in the Stargazer series featuring a young Captain Jean-Luc Picard. As with most of Friedman's work this story has both an A and B plotline. So, hopping from one story to the next is what you'll have to do to finish this story.
Jean-Luc Picard is on a mission to find a long lost friend, Demmix, who has vital information on the Ubarrak about a defensive system to be installed on all of their spacefaring vessels. Demmix will only offer this information to his friend Picard, but the Federation isn't the only organization that is trying to cull this information, so are the Cardassians. Now, with the Cardassians in the picture, things get rather heated as Picard trys to avoid capture. Picard is young in this adventure, but he is developing his instincts as he runs into Guinan the El-Aurian who will become, much later, the master of Ten Forward on the U.S.S. Enterprise.
This book brings the reader into a tumultuous adveturous relationship between Guinan and Picard... as Guinan a long-lived El-Aurian still remembers Picard, who at the time of their first meeting was much older in San Francisco back in 1893. Now, she must work with Picard to find Demmix and all of his secrets.
As we read on in the book, we find a very different more vunerable Guinan... a person who experiences pain and longing, but with budding qualities that we've come to expect. There is some real soul searching going on on Guinan's part. As she yearns of the Cosmic String and it's promissed peace and oblivion. The story between Picard and Guinan gets filled in as to their relationship and brings the reader into a personal relationship.
So much for storyline A, storyline B is the crew on the Starship Stargazer. We get to see more of the personal relationships between the crew members in Picard's absence. Nikolas is still not over with his encounter with Gerda Idum from the other universe... that story is found in the book Stargazer: Three. The purpose of this storyline is to give the reader insight into the lives and thinking of the Stargazer's crew. Yes, it can be views as filler, but more importantly it gives us a view of the crew's fragilness.
I gave this book a solid 4 stars, for the good story between Picard and Guinan that sheds some light on their long relationship. The character development between Picard and Guinan may have been written stronger, but this is an early encounter between them and their relationship only grows strong with time. All in all, we begin to know what makes Picard tick and how Guinan draws her strenght from the man called Captain Jean-Luc Picard.