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A Star Trek: The Next Generation: Time #7: A Time to Kill Mass Market Paperback – Aug 1 2004

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books/Star Trek (Aug. 1 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743491777
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743491778
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 11.4 x 2.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 82 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #328,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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THE BLASTER PULSE STRETCHED with a surreal, elastic quality as it missed Commander William Riker, who had been pushed out of harm's way at the final moment by his father, Kyle Riker. Read the first page
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By A Customer on Aug. 18 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is awesome, and any Star Trek fan should enjoy. It has everything, cool Klingon stuff, an interesting look into the Federation government, and even Section 31.
There are some stuff with Starfleet assault teams which get kind of long and dull, but this eventually serves its purpose in the end and doesn't detract from the story at all.
This also happens to be the first A Time To book which is actually worth the money you spend on these books.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 16 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
"Kill"er Plot but not flawless... July 30 2004
By Antoine D. Reid - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read "A Time to Kill" as the I did the other installments of this series and came out of it with mixed reactions. Four stars goes to the plot. This has to be one of the more original plots of the trek books to come out this year. It really is an allegory of the times we're living in; a story about a planet with a dictator-like leader who's actions nearly destroy his people and his planet. It also is about the Federation having to face it's own past actions that could lead to a dispute between the Federation and the Klingon Empire with Tezwa caught in the middle.

There are many things which to praise. First, this is a book that features Earth and the Federation political arena there. In the past books, we seem to meet Starfleet's many admirals who run the show. Well, there are appearances by the admiralty- including Ross, Nachayev, and Janeway- but it's the President and his advisor, Azernal, who take the spotlight. While you feel for the President who's caught in a crossfire, you can't help yourself but to despise the character of Azernal. Throughout the book he's playing a dangerous game that may keep the Federation out of more trouble but at the same time will lead to the sacrifice of many things.

This book also features Qo'nos and the Klingons. I'm usually not a big fan of Klingon-centric novels but David Mack works them into a complex plot, choosing not to portray them just as the warriors we know them as but equals to the Federation. Martok is a great contrast to the Federation President; ready to defend the Klingon's interests and avenge the deaths of many Klingons claimed by Tezwa and a Federation mistake. Worf, now ambassador of course, finds himself in a tough position that makes for a great conflict. After rising to a respectful position in the Klingon Empire, having a family once again and friend within Martok, does he betray all of that and give it away to answer a desperate plea sent by Picard?

The Enterprise also takes a beating and lands itself in a position of defending a planet that it also must conquer in order to ensure peace. The Klingons are racing to the planet, ready to destroy it and anything that lies in its path. The entire book is centered around the anticipated arrival of the Klingon fleet. The crew of the Enterprise are turned into commandos, given the task of going down to the Tezwa world and shutting down the dangerous weapons that nearly claimed the Enterprise and did destroy countless Klingon lives. Riker, La Forge, Data and Vale are all deployed on this mission that spans the entire alien world, each has to complete their part of the away mission in order for Picard to oversee a peaceful outcome. All the while, back on Earth, Azernal looks for a way to cover up the Federation's involvement.

I thought overall it was a good novel. It didn't have that usual sci-fi feeling and I felt as if it could easily parallel things we're experiencing in our own lifetime. Prime Minister Kinchawn is definately a villan worthy of the Enterprise crew. This isn't a black and white story. The book ends with one part of the problem being resolved but an entirely new situation being introduced for Picard and crew to solve. Mack also does a great job of integrating other Treks into this story. New Frontier's Danteri play a minor role in the book, Janeway and the EMH mobile emitter tech has a part as well, an ambassador from Bajor is introduced at the end as if to follow up the DS9-Relaunch series and even the Starfleet Corps of Engineers get a mentioning. All of these elements come together to make for a rich and original plot.

There are certain flaws that I felt took away from the near perfect novel. Each scene gets its own chapter, making for a choppy, staccato feeling to the book. I felt as if it could have come off better if these scenes were grouped together in the usual dozen or so chapters. Instead, the book has 66 chapters with scenes cut up and spread out throughout the novel. After getting to the end, there were certain scenes or plot lines that I personally was left not truly understanding or remembering. The reader knows this is going to be a hard away-team mission; it feels drawn out and almost a chore to follow each team throughout the book and read about all of their actions. I'd rather have seen the Qo'nos scenes extended. While in other books the featured crewmember gets their time to shine, Worf seems to be reduced to a guest appearance. I also was left questioning Worf's actions. In Deep Space Nine he seemed to have made many sacrifices to reclaim his Klingon honor and heritage. Suddenly in one book, with one simple call from Picard, he hesitates for a moment before setting out to destroy his Klingon honor and acclaim? He seemed more human after living among the Klingons since the end of DS9 than he did when portrayed on Deep Space Nine and his Next Generation days.

Something else that bothered me about the book was that there were some character simply pushed into the background. The "A Time to..." series had done a great job of finally finding a place for Beverly Crusher and Deanna Troi on the Enterprise. They weren't just the ignored and flat characters they were in the actual show but important members of the crew who could go outside their usual duties and offer something to the plot. Crusher only appears once or twice but all the build-up she had been given during the start of the series and through the last novel, "A Time to Hate," seems to have fallen off. She's just a doctor who may have a job. She's avoiding Picard and apparently hasn't been speaking to him as they usually have. I find that hard to believe based upon how she was in Next Generation and in this series. Troi, who ended "Hate" with questions about her own career and having really contributed to the Delta Sigma situation is stripped of all that made her a great character and is left rather stale. She's just the counselor and suddenly she's crying and an emotional 1950s lady in distress at the end. To me, these things were unfortunate. Why not find a way to work the entire crew into the fold as the past books have?

This book also felt as if it didn't fall into the rest of the "A Time to..." series. Perhaps it's the fault of the setup of the group. We don't hear how the admiralty and Starfleet Command reacted to Picard's actions at Delta Sigma in the last books. We just skip ahead to this new mission without much mentioning of the events of past books. Even when meeting with the admirals, I felt as if that entire "A Time to be Born" had never happened. From how it was being hyped, it wasn't something that was easily going to be forgotten. Nachayev, Janeway, and Ross who have all been involved to some degree in the Enterprise's "A Time to..." events come off as if they have amnesia and this is just another mission worthy of the Federation's flagship. Also, the La Forge and Data plot of the resource situation, something rather big and important, isn't even given a mentioning. "A Time to Kill" seems to have set off on its own, like an unruly child, being a tad bit rebellious and setting itself apart from the rest of the group. That's good in a way because it makes for an interesting novel that's above average. It's bad in that it gives the "A Time to..." series a rather interupted feeling.

This review though is bases solely on this novel. The next in the series, "A Time to Heal," is a continuation of this novel and may deal with some of the short commings I personally felt this novel had. Alone, it is a good novel though and worthy of your money and time. I don't feel as if reading the past novels are really required for this installment but it certainly wouldn't hurt.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A Time To...Move On. Sept. 26 2004
By C. A. LOPES - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As I have read every other entry in the "A Time To..." series, with the exception of the forthcoming novel: "A Time for War, A Time for Peace," (October 2004) I can honestly say that "A Time to Kill" is the best story, so far.

Well-written and fast-paced, little time is wasted on the introspection of the main characters. Instead, the plot quickly opens, revealing a new, post-Dominion War Federation that can no longer disguise its misdoings beneath the guise of "Patriotism."

Assigned a mission they are not even expected to accomplish successfully, the crew of the USS Enterprise-E must, and does, endeavor to to save the lives of billions of innocent (and not-so-innocent) people from annihalation.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book because it dared to explore the notion that the (UN)ited Federation of Planets is concerned firstly with its own survival and secondly with maintaining its apparently sterling reputation. It was also nice to see Worf in action again.

I give this book Three Stars because it outshines every other title in this series, including its sequel "A Time to Heal," which is a decidedly undisguised criticism of current world events. The reason I didn't rate the book higher is twofold: predictability and continuity.

Predictably, as with every TNG storyline, Picard and his crew are an incredibly moral bunch that NEVER have bad days or commit transgressions of the "Prime Directive," even when it seems that half the crew is dying for no apparent reason.

Continuity in the bloated Star Trek pantheon has become as tenuous as it is in the Star Wars universe. With so many different authors writing so many different stories, it has become difficult to keep track of everyone and everything. Primarily, I was/am confused about the roll of the Corps of Engineers (except as a vehicle to keep the "Scotty" character viable). And I am confused about the shadowy spy organization mentioned in both "A Time to Kill" and "A Time to Heal." Who are they? What are they? Why are they? As it is overly presumptuous to assume that every reader has read every book and series, I think it is the duty of a responsible author to engage disparate thematic elements, not simply evoke them.

Additionally, I am always amused by the tactics Star Trek writers employ to negate the technological advantages of Starfleet. How can a society with faster-than-lightspeed vessels equipped with energy weapons/shielding, and matter transportation and replication capabilities, be constantly rendered essentialy useless? If the Federation and its Starfleet just concluded a massive war with the Dominion on the heels of numerous conflicts with the Borg, Romulans and Cardassians, where are their shock troopers? Where are their dedicated combat warships? Where are their fleet defense fighters/shuttles? How can any force so strategically impotent defend the interests and sovereignty of an interstellar government?

Star Trek is a great and wonderful world of imagination and insight. But it is beginning to crack under the weight of its own expansiveness. I hope that Paramount allows new authors to take the franchise in whole new directions (i.e., New Frontier) before disenfranchised fans begin to feel that the Star Trek saga is no longer viable; that it is A Time to Move On.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An incredible and very enjoyable story. Dec 2 2004
By R. Spottiswood - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book starts with a seven page recap of the series, and then plunges right into an incredible political intrigue. At one-third through the book, where previous books of the series are ending their recaps, it switches over to commando missions. The pacing never lets up. The descriptions are very clear and the action scenes are very dramatic and generally well done. The characterisations start out a bit flat, but are excellent during the commando sections. The plotting of the story is remarkable. We follow six commando teams, plus asides to the Enterprise, Qo'noS, Earth and other places. I do not think I have read a book that follows so many characters at once. I certainly have never read a book that does it so well, completely clear about who is doing what. On a minor note, there are references to many events since the Dominion War, including from books that have not been released yet, seamlessly worked in. Also, I finally get an explanation of the Federation politics that has underlain the series. That is really interesting, but I do not know why they did not present it earlier. Last, the scope of this story is huge. If the Enterprise crew fails, a war to the finish with the Klingon Empire is an absolute certainty, and the characters never forget it or allow us to. I have only one complaint. Koll Azernal is neither devious nor capable enough to sustain his plots. He probably would have come unglued long before this. That does make me look forward even more to the next book, though, as then the real master schemers should get into the action. It is worth mentioning at this point that this book, unlike previous books in the series, is a complete story in itself. The next book is also the next story. Obviously, I give this my highest recommendation.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Re:C A Lopes Nov. 3 2004
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The "shadowy spy oprganization" (aka "Section 31) in the "A Time To.." series mentioned in the review below did NOT originate in any novel, it first appeared in the televised DS9 episode "Inquisition".

As for the 'bloated' continuity, I really don't see it as being a problem in the current Star Trek novel universe. The continuity displayed is more in simply keeping consistant with previously published novels rather than being dependent upon them (as contrasted to the Star Wars novel universe and its NJO, which while entertaining, was heavily dependent on previous novels).

As for David Macks A Time to Kill/Heal duology, I thought it was a brilliant and gripping tale which shows an accurate parellel to current world events. Trek has always been at its best when it comments on the state of the world WE live in.

The conclusion of the series, "A Time For War, A Time For Peace" by Keith R. A. DeCandido is much better capstone for the TNG crew than the shaky 'Nemesis' feature.

I think if Paramount hired the current batch of Trek novelists to do the shows and movies (as opposed to the hacks who currently do Trek for Paramount) Trek would be in a much better place than it is today.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The Grand Federation Sept. 15 2004
By B. Everett - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the seventh book in this series and the first of the two written by David Mack. I am not sure why I liked this novel but it is getting the highest rating I can give it.

This novel is a step into the ability of the Enterprise crew to pull off true miracles. They are given a mission that they are expected to fail at but with little time, less help and incredible levels of luck, they pull of this feat of greatness and surprise.

The real power of this story is the portrayal of the Federation. If you enjoyed the Deep Space Nine episode `In the Pale Moonlight' then you will love this novel.

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