A Star Trek: TNG book
Publication year: 1994
Page count: 337
Publisher: Pocket Books
Last November, during Sci-Fi Month, I got the urge to reread some of my favorite Star Trek novels. Back when I first read Dark Mirror, I thought it was the best of the bunch. And it didn’t disappoint on reread.
Dark Mirror was written before the DS9 Mirror universe episodes so it doesn’t align with them. And that’s good. As much I enjoyed the DS9 Mirror universe episodes, this was far more chilling tale. Here we get a good look at what our beloved TNG characters would have been in a society which focused on ruthless conquest instead of peaceful exploration both in society as whole and also at individual level. The main characters are LaForge, Troi and Picard whose counterparts are, well, evil. Troi has more telepathic abilities rather than just emphatically sensing others’ emotions and it’s possible that they are the result of a far more ruthless training. She also enjoys others’ pain and enjoys casually invading other people’s thoughts against their will. Our Deanna finds her nauseating but also curiously interesting. The other Picard is just as ruthless in his own way and also enjoys causing others pain, especially Beverly. Apparently, he had murdered Jack Crusher and then taken Beverly as a lover. Poor Wesley is just looking for the right moment to kill him.
On the Mirror Enterprise, Troi is the security officer who has even more power than Captain Picard. Her job is internal security, keeping everyone else on their toes. She even monitor’s the crew’s thoughts.
Federation itself doesn’t exist. Instead Earth has formed an Empire whose purpose is to expand and subjugate all others to their power. This isn’t a new philosophy, as our Picard finds out when he looks at the Mirror Picard’s bookshelf. It seems that humans have been far more ruthless for thousands of years.
The first away team which is sent to the Mirror Enterprise is Troi and LaForge and they got to show their skills and training well.
However, the focus is on the regular crew and their reaction to this universe. The twisted characters aren’t explored much and I’m not sure I would have enjoyed it much, either.
As a lighter subplot, Riker and Worf explore Earth opera.
This is still one of my favorite Star Trek books, even though it’s far darker than usual Trek books.