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The Trek Nation - The Brave and the Bold

The Brave and the Bold

By Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at December 7, 2002 - 2:09 AM GMT

Title: Star Trek: The Brave and the Bold, Book One
Author: Keith R.A. DeCandido
Publication Date: December 2002
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0-7434-1922-7

Title: Star Trek: The Brave and the Bold, Book Two
Author: Keith R.A. DeCandido
Publication Date: December 2002
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0-7434-1923-5


Have you ever wondered about the relationship between Matt Decker and James T. Kirk? Or about how Tuvok managed to infiltrate the Maquis? Ever ponder why Captain Keogh of the USS Odyssey and Jadzia Dax disliked each other? Many fans wonder about the unfinished portions of the tapestry that is the Star Trek universe. There are thousands of unanswered questions.

Author and editor Keith R.A. DeCandido obviously loves to play in that big sandbox. He is entirely at home with both the setting and the characters. His writing exhibits an innate curiosity about that universe and the creativity to recognize the stories just waiting to be told within it. In his new duology The Brave and the Bold, DeCandido has expertly woven together elements from the various series episodes into an adventure that spans the Star Trek universe and allows us to see the characters through 'new' eyes.

It all begins when just a few months into their first journey from Earth, Jonathan Archer and the crew of the Enterprise NX-01 discover archeological remnants of the Zalkat Union, an ancient star spanning civilization ruled by the tyrant Malkus 90,000 years ago. Legend has it that Malkus ruled for a thousand years and the chronicle the Enterprise crew uncovers warns of four powerful devices--weapons unlike any before or since. When Malkus was at last overthrown, the four instruments were scattered throughout the quadrant in an effort to prevent them from ever being used again.

Book One of The Brave and the Bold tells the tale of the discovery of the first two of these terrifying weapons. Over one hundred years pass before the first artifact is found on an outlaying colony. Commodore Matt Decker and the crew of the USS Constellation and the USS Enterprise crew under the command of James Kirk join forces in a desperate race against time to find the device and a cure for the horrifying plague that it has unleashed.

The USS Odyssey has been temporarily assigned to the Bajoran sector to assist in colonization efforts when the second artifact is unearthed by the terrorist Orta on Bajor’s second moon. The hate filled, bitter Orta now has at his disposal a weapon of unimagined power and Dax, Kira and Captain Keogh must put aside their differences before Orta succeeds in bringing about the destruction of everything they hold dear.

The Brave and the Bold, Book Two continues the story when the newly launched USS Voyager discovers that the third artifact is in the hands of the Maquis. Assisted by Captain DeSoto of the USS Hood, Voyager’s security chief Lieutenant Tuvok infiltrates Cal Hudson's cell in an attempt to retrieve the device. Once he is successfully established, Tuvok must walk a fine line between fulfilling his mission and his duty as a Starfleet officer.

The final chapter of this engrossing century-spanning tale pulls together all the rudiments of the plot when the final artifact surfaces on the Klingon world of Narendra III after the Dominion War. The combination of Jean Luc Picard’s Enterprise-E and Captain Klag’s IKS Gorkon, created by DeCandido in his novel Diplomatic Implausibility, is the crowning portion of this inspired story that smoothly weaves together elements from both the series and the novels and marvelously succeeds in filling in a bit more of the tapestry.

You are probably thinking to yourself, "Yeah, yeah another ancient weapon run amok story, I’ve had my fill of those, thank you." I had that reaction myself at first, but then I began to read these books. What sets The Brave and the Bold apart from other Star Trek novels is the way DeCandido has chosen to tell the story. By teaming up famous starship captains, we are given the chance to see the characters in an entirely new way--through the eyes of their peers.

The Brave and the Bold is really four novellas that together almost seamlessly tell one grand and epic story. Book One is particulary poignant to read because as you are getting to know some of the crew members of the Odyssey and Constellation, you know in the back of your mind that ultimately they will meet a tragic end. The assurance and ease with the characters that the author demonstrates leaps off the pages of both books in a way that allows the reader to just relax and enjoy the ride. So place yourself in the hands of a skilled storyteller and settle in for a delightful and enlightening jaunt through the Star Trek universe.


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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.