STAR TREK TNG: Resistance (Mania.com)
Review Date: Thursday, September 13, 2007
Reading like a fleshed-out spec screenplay from Next Generation’s early 90’s heyday, J.M. Dillard (a.k.a. Jeanne Kalogridis) pens a precise, yet unfortunately dry, chapter in the realm of Star Trek’s most successful embodiment.
Dillard’s Star Trek TNG: Resistance picks up a scant few months after the events of NEMESIS, that detestable, Stuart Baird-helmed film that signified the last nail in the coffin for TNG motion pictures. Rather than try to pick up the loose threads created in the wake of Captain Picard’s near-death and Data’s destruction on the Romulan-Reman ship Scimitar, Dillard returns the reader’s focus to the Federation’s most formidable adversary: the Borg.
Having repaired the damages sustained to the U.S.S. Enterprise (after ramming the Scimitar), Captain Jean-Luc Picard and his crew return to more normal duties in the Alpha Quadrant. While on their way to the planet Repok to aid the Repoki in truce negotiations with the nearby Trexatians, the crew gets a new addition. Since Counselor Deanna Troi’s departure to work with her husband Will Ryker on the Titan, the Enterprise has been in need of a new ship counselor and summarily gets outfitted with T’lana, a Vulcan Starfleet officer with impeccable recommendations.
Also new to the bridge crew is conn commander Sara Nave, a 25-year-old prodigy who already has quite a few years of experience under her belt as former Chief Security Officer. Speaking of which, Worf is now acting Number One for the Enterprise, but surprisingly refuses Picard’s offer to become the permanent First Officer.
Things continue to proceed off-plan when, before the ship even reaches Repok, Captain Picard suffers several intense mental barrages of Borg chatter that has once again pervaded his consciousness. But the cursed mental static has also brought Picard a much-needed warning: the fractured Borg have begun constructing a new cube ship and, more importantly, have started birthing a new queen.
As fate would have it the Enterprise is the only Starfleet vessel close enough to the Borg to stop them before new directives are given and the cube heads to Earth. But this time the hauntingly adaptive entity has no plans of assimilation, only destruction of the races that silenced their empire. So disregarding the advice of his new counselor and Admiral Janeway’s direct orders, Picard brings the Enterprise to the dark side of a moon in Sector 10, where he once more must face the Federation’s greatest threat and his own nightmares of the past.
If there’s one thing that can be said of Dillard it’s that she’s a woman who definitely knows her Star Trek lore. Worf, Picard, Beverly Crusher, and the rest of the crew that made TNG so memorable are all painted with a deft and knowledgeable hand. The first few chapters of the novel read like the opening of an episode, one with a distinct air of foreboding before the Borg ever physically arrive on the scene.
The novel does, however, suffer from some sizeable flaws. Chief among those flaws is the fact that, despite the charged rivalry between Enterprise and Borg, Dillard fails to imbue a sense of energy or gravitas into the story. The action is minimal, decisions are somewhat uncharacteristic and, worst of all, the plot is pretty much devoid of any twists, turns, or surprises.
Though a well-crafted story in its own right, by Resistance’send you’ll have wished Dillard would have tackled something involving Ryker’s new command rather than the enemy that made FIRST CONTACT the best TNG film out there.
Mania Grade: B-
Maniac Grade: A+
Author: J.M. Dillard
Publisher: Star Trek Books