The final book in the Star Trek: TNG A Time to… series.

Publication year: 2004
Page count: 344 + an excerpt of Star Trek: Titan: Taking Wing
Format: print
Publisher: Pocket Books

The year that started in A Time to Be Born is finally over. Picard and the crew of the Enterprise-E are finally back in the good graces of Starfleet, if not the fleet’s finest as they once were. This book almost feels like an episode of TNG.

The book starts in Qo’nos, in the Klingon homeworld, where Worf is unhappy with his job as an Ambassador because, once again, the job has required him to compromise his honor. Then, a group of Klingon terrorists attacks the Federation embassy rounding up almost all of the staff and visitors, Alexander among them. Unhappily for the terrorists, Worf is the only one who manages to stay free.

Meanwhile, the Enterprise is full of more frivolous story lines, which is almost a relief after the previous books which were so full of death and war. Riker and Troi have finally decided to marry and Troi’s mother immediately decides that the wedding will be on Betazed and that she will micromanage it. Riker has accepted the captaincy of starship Titan and he’s looking for his first officer. His first choice is LaForge who spends a lot of time thinking about it. At the same time, Starfleet Command is sending an inspection team to the Enterprise. Scotty has learned about it and is worried that the team has only people who have a personal grudge against someone on the Enterprise. So, he managed to include himself in the team.

I was delighted to see that the Enterprise part of the book starts with a poker game! The poker games were one of my favorite recurring events in the TNG series so it was great to see them back. Perhaps it helped to create a lighter mood to the book. The Klingon terrorists turn out to have information which could trigger a war between the Klingons and the Federation (again). However, this feels like pretty standard TNG stuff.

We also get to see a vote for the president. At the start of the book, the previous president and his chief of staff were force to resign over the fiasco at Tezwa. Publicly, they just said that it was time to get the Federation a peace time leader. In this book, two candidates are struggling for the presidency. (Really? Billions of planets and just two candidates?) However, we don’t see them enough for this to be really a book about politics. In fact, we barely get a glimpse of one of the candidates, Fel Pagro, who wants to stop Klingons from acting like, well, Klingons. The other candidate is shown in much more detail and with more moderate opinions. The outcome wasn’t really in doubt, for me at least.

This book sets up a lot of things, such as the Titan books. The final chapter is the start of Troi’s and Riker’s wedding in the movie Nemesis and the epilogue is set after the movie. A great way to tie up the loose ends from the series.