After the FallBy Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at December 8, 2004 - 10:43 PM GMT
Title: Star Trek: New Frontier, After the Fall
Author: Peter David
Release Date: November 2004
When you pick up a Star Trek: New Frontier novel you always expect popular novelist Peter David to do something outrageous with the characters he has created in this bestselling series. After the Fall, the new hardcover novel in the New Frontier series more than lives up to that expectation, it exceeds it. In this amusing romp, Peter David takes the series in a daring new direction--the future.
Set three years after the last New Frontier novel, Stone and Anvil, much has changed in New Frontier since we last saw the crew's of the USS Excalibur and the USS Trident in action. Elizabeth Shelby, promoted to Admiral, now outranks her husband Mackenzie Calhoun. Soleta's gone Romulan. Si Cwan has become the prime minister of the New Thallonian Protectorate, and Zak Kebron has fully embraced his softer side by taking up counseling. All of this is given away on the book jacket so if you are hoping for major spoilers you will find this review a disappointment. Half the fun of reading New Frontier is the audacious surprises David throws in and there are plenty of those in After the Fall.
The question isn't whether or not After the Fall is worth reading. If you are a fan of this series you're going to read it anyway. The question is whether or not Peter David made the right move in jumping so far ahead? I for one think he did. By boldly jumping so far into the future David has freed himself from the ramifications of previous plot lines and has let his imagination soar when it comes to the characters and let's be honest here, the characters are the main reason the fans love the books.
In typical Peter David fashion After the Fall generously mixes humor with the action. David knows every writer's trick in the book and never hesitates to employ those tricks to the fullest making the New Frontier novels both predictable and unpredictable at the same time. Predictable in terms of the style but totally unpredictable in terms of where he is going with the plot. Anyway you add it up; it's a whole lot of fun.
At 329 pages After the Fall is a very quick read but the page count is deceptive as the font is quite large. I will give away one other tidbit, that won't come as much of surprise given the history of this novel series; After the Fall ends in a humdinger of a cliffhanger and those dreaded words "To be continued..."
Jacqueline Bundy reviews Star Trek books for the Trek Nation, writes monthly columns for the TrekWeb newsletter and the Star Trek Galactic News, and hosts the Yahoo Star Trek Books Group weekly chat.