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A Time to Die (Star Trek The Next Generation) [Mass Market Paperback]

John Vornholt
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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THE PLEASANT TWITTERING of the birds, the gentle rustling of the breeze through the maple trees, and the rich smell of flowers and freshly turned earth lulled Beverly Crusher into a relaxed state. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars This book was just, well...not very good. May 18 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I did not enjoy reading this book, or the first one in this series. Poor characterizations, disjointed action, plodding plotlines, and a lack of flow in the writing style made me feel like I had to work hard just to get through these books.
While I was glad to see Wesley get some play time, I couldn't figure out the Colleen Cabot character at all. Not only did she feel fake, not a genuine person, but she also did some odd things for an intelligent female - the way she started her relationship with Wesley, for example, just rang false. Dr. Crusher's reactions to the return of Wesley also didn't ring true. The author has some difficulty writing female characters.
After getting through the first book in the "A Time To..." series, I read the second only so that I could read on in the series, simply as background. I did not enjoy Vornholt's style of writing. I've heard the other books are better, so I plodded through this one. The characterizations were just, well, not very good.
Two stars because I've read worse Star Trek (See "A Hard Rain" to know what I mean!)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Much more enjoyable than the first book. April 6 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
After A Time to Be Born I had rather low expectations for this book, and thankfully they were exceeded. The descriptions are good if not as spectacular as Vornholt can do. The characterisations are good, if slightly shallow. Kell Perim and Christina Vale not only get "face time", in this book they actually have personalities. Wesley Crusher is the major character of this book, and his sections are well done. Vornholt did a very good job integrating his abilities with the rest of the crew. They change the dynamic of how the crew operates, but they don't push the rest of the crew into the background. With that said, Colleen Cabot was overused and it was too much of a shift from her character in the first book. Also, she and Wesley basically meet, then jump in the sack. Their 'relationship' has no emotional depth to interest the reader. Finally, the beginning of the book, dealing with politics and Starfleet Command, really disturbed me. An Admiral basically orders Cabot to prepare to program Picard, and her only objection is that she likes him. Also, at the end, I was left with the impression that Command wants Picard destroyed, and their efforts will be a major subplot of the series. I wish they would drop that. Too late now, I guess.
Overall, I did enjoy this book. It is a good mystery and adventure story. It could certainly have been better, but unlike A Time to Be Born, this was actually worth reading.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Answers, Questions, Agendas, Development March 24 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"A Time to Die" picks up immediately where "Born" leaves off; Picard is railroaded by the tribunal, and Nechayev bargains for his career. Riker is made acting captain, Data has his emotion chip removed--voluntarily--and everyone else is left to deal with the reprecussions of Rashanar. It is key to remember that there will be a grand total of nine books in the "A Time to..." cycle, and not all answers can be--nor are they expected to be--revealed in the first two novels.
Vornholt has given the reader a taste of the changes--such as Data's loss of his emotion chip--and set the stage for what will surely be a poignant, bittersweet exit for the crew and family of the "Enterprise" prior to Nemesis; these characters are not archtypes, and by making them simply do the expected would not be conducive to good storytelling. For example, the admiralty; Ross has always been a good guy, but his dealings with Section 31 as seen in "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges" and his firm desire to keep the Ontailians as allies in the time of rebuilding merely add to his character.
Nechayev has always been somewhat standoffish, but she is one of Vornholt's favorite guest characters, and again, this is character building; I believe Peter David gave a throwaway line about how she had newfound respect for Picard because of his familiarity with Spock.
Onto the plot; yes, it is fairly obvious what will happen.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A tad bit overated, SERIOUSLY. March 10 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I just finished A Time to Die and find myself asking, "What?" These two books were a duology so in theory, most of the threads should have been sort of brought together, though I know there's time to resolve some larger themes in the coming books. Stil, I find myself with more questions and a very baffled feeling over these two books now that they're complete.
First, the little highlight picture is decieving (thankfully). For the first book, having Picard on the cover made sense. Unless they're doing the pictures on a scale of popularity, Data really doesn't have that much to do with the events of the book beyond the first few chapters. I believe, in my own humble opinion, that Wesley Crusher should have been here because this book was more about him being born into his Travler lifestyle and by the end of this book, maturing as a part of his died off. I'm sure the powers that be questioned putting Wesley Crusher on the cover though since he's not exactly one of the best loved characters.
Second, the Bad Admirals club thing was left up in the air. I asked on another thread why on Earth will Admiral Ross, one of the few admirals we've really gotten to know in a series, suddenly would have some secret agenda which he would be willingly to put the fleet's most respected officer and ship on the line. I waited for more of an explanation, thinking by the end the reader would be given a reason for these actions since at least in my opinion and view (and memories based on Ross from DS9)this book totally creates or reveals some new side to Admiral Ross. On another note, Nachayev. Still, I was not convinced that this woman who I've always taken as being very independent and stand-offish, and not really buddy-buddy with Picard, suddenly jumps to his defense.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Rather dull
A rather dull conclusion to the first part of the A Time series of books. The story was slow and repeatative and the writing leaves much to be desired. Read more
Published on Aug. 7 2005
1.0 out of 5 stars Does anyone who liked this book watch Star Trek TNG?
I can't begin to tell you how shocked I was at the reviews for this book. Not only does the author have trouble representing the characters truthfully (I mean he only has seven... Read more
Published on July 4 2004 by NYC Reader
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat Better than Vornholt's previous novel
John Vornholt's "A Time to Die" works better as a work of Star Trek fiction than his earlier "A Time to be Born", since he does a better job fleshing out... Read more
Published on June 19 2004 by John Kwok
5.0 out of 5 stars A Time to Die (Book 2 of 7)
Picard has been cleared of all charges. But he wants to go back to the Rashanar Battle Site. Counselor Coleen Cabot is his caretaker now, and Picard is still seperated from his... Read more
Published on June 16 2004 by Terry Farrell
5.0 out of 5 stars much better than the first book
a time to die starts out with wesley the traveler trying to convince several people in the higher ranks of starfleet to at least believe captain picard's story. Read more
Published on May 26 2004 by tammy
4.0 out of 5 stars FUN CONTINUED
The second book in this series neatly ties up the plot of the first one. While it isn't an Earth shaking experience, the novel is still very entertaining an well paced. Read more
Published on April 13 2004 by Tommy Jeffers
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story, shallow romance
The story of the Rashanar mystery was interesting and clever. The story of Picard and the political solution he represented was realistic. Read more
Published on April 6 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Wesley Crusher returns!
Wesley decides that he must help Captain Picard from being charged with the destruction of the federation starship. In the last book a phantom ship was destroyed by Picard. Read more
Published on March 9 2004 by Picardfan007
4.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Review
The conclusion of "A Time to Be Born" is an interesting novel. I was excited when I found it on the shelf and jumped right into it. Read more
Published on Feb. 29 2004 by B. Everett
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