Unexplained gravitational disturbances summon the Enterprise to the planet Elysia, and the android Lieutenant Commander Data to a date with destiny. For on this alien world, he will be drawn into an impossible quest, leading him to consequences both heartwarming and disastrous, as he finally dares to pursue his fondest desire: to become human.
Reviewed on 3rd December 2023
The first of the giant novels, this long TNG novel set in season two is focussed on Data, dealing with his emotions following the episode The Measure of a Man and dealing with his feelings for Tasha Yar.
Lorrah begins with a passionate foreword about how fans should accept TNG, and explaining that you don’t have to read her first TNG book before this one, despite her re-use of a set of guest characters.
The book is fairly neatly constructed out of distinct acts, which depict parts of the action. It has some science fiction tropes, which do help with neatness of fitting into this shared universe but feel like a more recent author might have tried to avoid.
But it’s a good piece of science fiction that expands on the world seen on TV in the way that only printed storytelling could back then, and really helps to explore the character of Data in several new situations.
But it feels like it’s been made giant by making the chapters longer, rather than by having more of them. It felt like quite a slog sometimes just to get to a convenient break point, and I think that’s what made it take so long for me to get through.