The Children of Hamlin
Fifty years after the entire adult population of Hamlin were ruthlessly slaughtered and their children abducted, the Choraii ships have appeared again. But this time the Federation is ready. This time the Choraii must face Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the starship Enterprise.
Reviewed on 9th June 2014
The third numbered book in the Star Trek: The Next Generation novel series sees the crew on a pair of missions - transporting a group of agricultural colonists to a new home and answering a distress call from another Federation vessel.
The focus seems to be mostly on the guest characters rather than the regulars - in fact, it meets the Original Series cliché of having a visiting Starfleet dignitary take over in a useless manner. I liked some of the aspects of the colonists' culture, which was presented in a way that enabled the reader to learn without feeling like exposition was being poured down your throat. By contrast however, some aspects of that culture feel tired and overused.
The plot was interesting, and generally fit the series well, although there are aspects that are totally predictable far in advance, which rather than seeming like good foreshadowing make the main characters feel stupid for not seeing what's happening.
Most of the story seems to fit well the TNG season one mould, although a couple of aspects were jarring - the relationship between Picard and Crusher wasn't quite how it was realised on TV, and there's an early mention of Romulans which is contradicted by the end of the first season.
Overall, I didn't feel that the book was anything special, but it's not lacking in quality as I feared when starting my re-read of the series.