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The Trek Nation - Gods Above

Gods Above

By Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at October 5, 2003 - 6:45 AM GMT

Title: Star Trek: New Frontier: Gods Above
Author: Peter David
Publication Date: October 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
ISBN: 0-7434-1858-1


After a two year wait fans of Peter David's New Frontier can stop wondering and speculating about what happens next in this unique series. New Frontier is back with a vengeance this month with three new titles on offer. First up is the continuation of the story that ended so abruptly in 2001's Being Human, Gods Above. Just when you think things couldn't get any stranger in New Frontier, they do.

In the last New Frontier novel, Being Human, readers finally learned the truth about Lieutenant Mark McHenry. Throughout the series author Peter David had been dropping numerous hints that the Excalibur's conn officer wasn't exactly what he seemed to be. That turned out to be something of an understatement when readers learned that McHenry was a descendant of Carolyn Palamas and Apollo ("Who Mourns for Adonais?"), and therefore a god. When the crew of the Excalibur declined to worship the god-like entities, the Excalibur was badly damaged by a a deadly thrashing at the hands of the Beings. Fortunately, he ship was saved in the nick of time by the sudden appearance of the Trident.

As Gods Above opens, McHenry and Morgan Primus are dead, Calhoun's pride is severely damaged and to say that the Mackenzie is pissed off would be putting it mildly. As the crew attempts to pick up the pieces and regroup, the Beings' power and influence begins to grow since they have succeeded in obtaining worshippers on the planet Danter. It's up to the crews of the U.S.S. Trident and the U.S.S. Excalibur (with a little help from a surprise 'guest') to try and stop these so-called 'Gods' once and for all.

Anyone who has been a devoted reader of New Frontier is well aware that the most effective way to enjoy a new book is to avoid spoilers like the plague, and Gods Above is no exception. The ridiculous plot twists are half the fun of reading New Frontier but it is how the characters react and interact with each other that makes or breaks the story. Peter David has returned to top form in Gods Above with a story that often had me shaking my head in disbelief at his sheer audaciousness even as I chuckled my way through the outrageousness.

The ongoing plotlines involving each character are carried forward to one degree or another, some in a more pleasing fashion than others. Thankfully the ending this time isn't quite so dramatic a cliffhanger and the next book, Stone and Anvil, will be following directly on the heels of this one.

Many readers I've discussed New Frontier with over the years have given up on the series because of its farcical direction. But for those of you that delight in the bizarre absurdities of this series and its hilarious characters should be delighted with Gods Above. If nothing else it's a very pleasant diversion.

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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.