The first book in the six-part Double Helix series. A Star Trek: TNG series.

Publication year: 1999
Format: print
Page count: 226 + an excerpt of Vectors, the next book in the series
Publisher: Pocket Books

Infection is set in the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. In fact, it’s stated that this adventure happens only one month after the Enterprise-D crew gets together, so the characters are still getting to know each other and Tasha Yar is the security chief.

Archeron III is a remote agricultural planet. It was settled simultaneously by religious extremist group of humans and peaceful human-like Peladians. Ever since, it has been a hotbed of racial intolerance. Now, a very virulent disease has struck and its victims are all mixed-race people. The Purity League is attacking hospitals and saying that the disease is a judgement from their god.

Enterprise-D is sent with a shipment of drug which will lessen the symptoms, and Dr. Crusher has to work with Archeron’s Dr. Tang to find out a cure. Meanwhile, Dr. Crusher and Captain Picard strongly suspect that the disease has been engineered. But by who and why?

For such a short book, the entire cast is used very well. (Except Wesley. He doesn’t appear.) Riker, Yar, and Data are sent covertly down to the planet to investigate the Purity League, Dr. Crusher works around the clock, and Picard has to deal with the planetary government. La Forge and Worf also get their own assignments.

But the characters felt a bit strange. For example, Crusher has “two cup problems” meaning how many cups of tea she needs. That’s not from the show. There were a few other inconsistences, too, and the ending is pretty strange, wrapped up too quickly, and full of coincidences. Also, we got to see a glimpse of who is responsible for the disease but the characters didn’t.