Shadows Have Offended
The USS Enterprise has been granted the simple but unavoidable honor of ferrying key guests to Betazed for a cultural ceremony. En route, sudden tragedy strikes a Federation science station on the isolated planet Kota, and Captain Jean-Luc Picard has no qualms sending William Riker, Data, and Chief Medical Officer Beverly Crusher to investigate. But what begins as routine assignments for the two parties soon descends into chaos: Picard, Worf, and Deanna Troi must grapple with a dangerous diplomatic crisis as historic artifacts are stolen in the middle of a high-profile ceremony, while nothing is as it seems on Kota. A mounting medical emergency coupled with the science station’s failing technology—and no hope of rescue—has Doctor Crusher racing against time to solve a disturbing mystery threatening the lives of all her colleagues.
Reviewed on 5th October 2021
An intriguing return to Next Generation novels set during, rather than long after, the TV series, sees us join the crew for two parallel stories - while Picard, Troi, and Worf investigate a crime, Riker, Data, and Crusher explore a new planet. As is traditional, La Forge doesn’t get to do much.
Set during the seventh season, the novel definitely has the feel of a classic TV episode - with the two plots, a smattering of science fiction mixed in with familiar storytelling, and familiar friends.
I had been expecting something a little more focussed on Troi and Crusher though. From the marketing I had seen, I had thought that this would be a novel that focussed on their friendship, which was not deeply explored in the TV series, but instead they are totally separated. Troi feels a bit short-changed in page-time too, with Picard and Worf having more aligned time than I was anticipating.
And I suppose finally I’m not quite sure I got the message of the story. I can’t align the two plots to a common theme to tie them together, and so this breaks away a bit from what otherwise feels quite a welcome return to the familiar settings and storytelling style.