Top critical review
Not a bad book, but definitely disappointing.
on May 13, 2004
If the reader is not familiar with Ms. Hamilton's "Anita Blake" series, and goes into this book expecting simply another Star Trek book by a random author, he or she will doubtless be at least mostly satisfied. The plot is above average for the genre, and if it does have a fairly common theme for Star Trek (and particularly Next Generation) novels (inhabitants of unenlightened planet are in danger of destroying their planet's ecosystem) it is a storyline that is handled fairly well here; the plot moves, and the characters seem recognizable. The writing is a bit sloppy, with a few too many commas where there should be either semicolons or periods, but not to a truly distracting extent, and the occasional misuse of a word ("breath" used as a verb, instead of "breathe", as in "give me room to breath"; "suppose" used instead of "supposed" as in "what were the powers suppose to be able to do?"; "use" instead of "used" as in "It's what our world use to be") is annoying, but again, not so frequent as to be a really terrible problem.
The real problem is that, if the reader is familiar with Ms. Hamilton's "Anita Blake" series, he or she comes to this book expecting something truly exceptional, and that isn't at all what he or she gets. This book was published only a year before "Guilty Pleasures", the first in the "Anita" series, but the quality here is decades behind the quality in that book. Some of the problem, admittedly, is that we are working with established characters here, none of which is Anita Blake, and much of the delight to be found in that series comes from the portrayal of that very delightful character. Perhaps Ms. Hamilton would do better if she wrote a novel set in the period before Tasha Yar died, and wrote from Lt. Yar's perspective, as she does from Anita's. The characters are similar enough that she might truly be able to bring Tasha to life. But in this story, none of the characters, established or new, has a tenth of the spark that one finds in Anita Blake. It's unsettling to think that someone who could create such a dynamic character is a one-trick pony. Hopefully, she's grown as a writer in the last 12 years.