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Star Trek: New Frontier: After the Fall Mass Market Paperback – Dec 1 2005
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"Simply surrender and go along for the ride.... This is one of David's most raucous, unpredictable Star Trek novels to date -- a sheer breezy delight to read."
About the Author
Peter David is a prolific New York Times bestselling author whose career, and continued popularity, spans more than two decades. He has worked in every conceivable media—television, film, books (fiction, nonfiction, and audio), short stories, and comic books—and acquired loyal followings in all of them. In the literary field, he has had more than a hundred novels published. He lives in New York with his wife and four children.
Top Customer Reviews
read the whole series - and enjoy this one along the way!
Part of this is probably due to the fact that he's one of the most popular Star Trek/Superhero writers in the game, and since he's written at least four Comic Book film novel adaptions combined with his non-Star Trek work, his comics, and then of course his New Frontier series, he's obviously a busy man.
Success however doesn't seem to make him want to write any better.
All of his characters in this book, and for the past several books have been wooden, and most of them feel exactly the same. Peter David has the bad habit of trying to instill an almost Joss Whedon-like sense of humor to his books, by making his characters seem witty, but he fails miserably in the attempt. Most of the time his characters just quibble over meaningless words or argue semantics, and the fact that ALL of his characters do this really makes you feel like he has no sense of characterization whatsoever.
That said, his books aren't filled with typos or awkward sentences. He at least writes CLEARLY, if not WELL.
Also, maybe him writing about super heroes has gotten to him, but all of his Star Trek characters seem to be beyond human, and are capable of things that no real person is. Things like surviving in the vacuum of space for several moments, or having 30 guys come at you in hand-to-hand combat, and his main two protagonists are able to dispatch them all with ease. It's ludicrous.
Anyway, I bought MISSING IN ACTION, the sequel to this book, and I'm more or less done with Peter David at this point. If you want to see a better author who plays around in other people's universes, you should read Matthew Stover's Star Wars books.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
First, a bit of negative criticism. Having read all the books with the exception of "No Limits" and the short story in the Gateways finale, I sort of missed the big story Peter David chose to gloss over. In my opinion, that should have been the focus of a book or series of books. Instead, this starts off like any Greek epic and puts you in the middle of trouble without much explanation. Some of the leading characters like Shelby and Soleta get their moments but they aren't really in the book much. Characters reflect on them and what's happened but still, these characters are left on the outskirts.
The book is also hard to keep up with because there are so many characters in the story that some of the new ones aren't properly introduced, others (such as Selar) are only given a scene here or there, the whole Excalibur/Trident split leaves you wanting to get more of one or the other crew and there's an entirely new setting added, as if we didn't have enough to keep up with; New Thallon. Some characters such as Robin Lefler, Kat Mueller and the Trident's XO all get the spotlight put on them but how they reached this point in their lives is left to the readers to fill in the gaps with the little information provided. I would have also been interested to know how Jellico and Calhoun could have gotten beyond their big issues to become chummy friends. Or what exactly Soleta does in her new position.
Now, the good. The jump does allow for interesting plot developments. I thought I'd be bored to tears at the start with the New Thallon and Si Cwan plot. After getting into it, David seems to have truly created an original plot that only he could have come up with. I like that Cwan and Lefler still have one another to bounce off. There was still that laid-back feel that makes the book easy to read. I was glad to see the return of some old faces from New Frontier's past and a new alien threat being created that sets this series off from one another. What I most liked is that this story and series seems more off on its own than in the past. There has been a reference to some other Trek series or episode in the past. Or some appearance by Picard or mentioning of a big event in Trek that's spawned this situation. This is all original and though David could have mentioned Nemesis, Voyager's return or many other situations, they're left out and the story and series seems stronger for it.
I'd say this story is worth reading. I'm not sure if the book is worth this price. Though there is a dramatic change for the plot and many of these characters, and the juvenile-comic book tone is present in the beginning, there was a noticeable change towards the end of the book that made it seem as if it was getting more mature and leaving behind certain negative things. If you are a fan of Robin Lefler, Si Cwan and Kalinda, I'd say this book was written for you. The Excalibur and Calhoun don't appear to later on in the book and really don't have a large role until the last 100 or so pages. It's still a good read and I enjoyed it more so than I did "Stone and Anvil." It leaves me wanting to know what's going to happen which is more than what the previous few books have left me with.
His latest entry in the saga of Captain Calhoun and the crew of the U.S.S. Excaliber picks up the story three years after the events of Stone and Anvil. A lot has changed in the New Frontier universe. Si Cwan is now an important leader in the New Thallonian Empire and married to Robin Lefler, Soleta has joined the Romulan Empire, Shelby is an admiral and Calhoun is, well, he's still Calhoun. From the beginning, the strength of the New Frontier has been the characters and the freedom David has to play with them. Moving the plot forward three years from the last installment means that David can put these strong characters into new situations, but still have readers identify with them. One of the compelling things about this novel is the desire to see how each character got from Stone and Anvil to the events chronicled here.
And in this, David excels.
But there's also one heck of a good plot. Xyon, Calhoun's son returns and wreaks havoc with Kalinda'a wedding day. This throws the New Thallonian empire and Ci Swan's marriage to Lefler into chaos. Meanwhile, a new mysterious alien race shows up with the ability to use transwarp conduits.
For those of you expecting a complete novel, I will say this one ends on a cliffhanger and it's the first part of a new trilogy. But I didn't mind one bit. The story come to a good ending point--leaving you curious and wanting more. And you can bet I'll be the first in line for the next installment of this series later in 2005.
With the jump forward, this book was able to put in a lot of events and developments to characters we have grown to love. Especially since the last book (Stone and Anvil) took place over less than a week, it was nice to see some life changes. Even with the expanding cast, most characters were fit in at least in cameo, and were mentioned more.
There was typical David humor, and some really funny bits, a scene in the throne room literally had me laughing outloud, for awhile.
The publisher's review is a little misleading in places, but the story makes up for it. Unfortunately it also spoils some of the artificial suppense David created for the introduction of our characters in a new light. Many of the changes are left unexplained, but it seems that the information will be fleshed in eventually.
I'd recommend this book, and the seris, at least for a read, even if you have to borrow it from the library until the paperback comes out as it is one that I'll be reread several times.
My overall impression is that this novella was rushed out and doesn't represent the quality we have come to expect from Mr. David. Yet, even in this short, comic stretch it is good to see our New Frontier friends.
A side note. The letter to the readers at the beginning was very strange. Essentially, Mr. David lectured the reader that these are his characters and he would do what he pleases with them. That is part of my basis for thinking this was not a novella that was ready for publication. Very strange.