NO Tea, Earl Grey, Hot: Captain Picard Effs Up

Collateral Damage

Part of Star Trek: The Next Generation
By David Mack
Read by Robert Petkoff
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio (October 8, 2019)
Runtime: 12 hours and 1 minute
ISBN13: 9781508296164


From the New York Times bestselling author of Star Trek: Discovery: Desperate Hours comes an original, thrilling novel set in the universe of Star Trek: The Next Generation!

The past returns to haunt Captain Jean-Luc Picard—a crime he thought long buried has been exposed, and he must return to Earth to answer for his role in a conspiracy that some call treason. Meanwhile, the U.S.S. Enterprise is sent to apprehend pirates who have stolen vital technology from a fragile Federation colony. But acting captain Commander Worf discovers that the pirates’ motives are not what they seem, and that sometimes standing for justice means defying the law….


My Take Oblong Shaped

I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader’s copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.

How can it be that Captain Picard is fallible – he’s Capt.-Always-Do-the-Right-Thing?!   And thus, this story made me feel I had missed something. He and Doctor Crusher are married?!  They have a baby?!  And, either Picard is a bad egg or The Federation or Star Fleet is wrought with corruption.  I guess I missed some stuff.   The Star Trek Universe is pretty big so, keeping up with all the series would be, at least, a part-time job.

So, at first I thought this story was based in  to another issue in THE NEXT GENERATION where there were some kind of symbiotic creatures taking over the top brass, but now I don’t believe the incident here is the same one.  But, some thing has resulted in a delayed reaction requiring an inquiry implicating Captain Picard either as a poor officer, or even as a criminal. 

All of it leads to a trial which rehashes Picard’s involvement as a  Captain, via intel and orders from his superiors,  in the removal of and, via suggestion, the assassination of a President of the Federation. 

It’s hard not to relate this entire scenario to contemporary political situations where there has been a suggestion of action OR  “just following orders,”  or any other current scandal about misuse of authority.  But, I kept getting stuck on the  undisputed idea that Capt. Picard is not the assassin but is being treated as if he were, or as if it were his involvement that caused the situation  The legal issues coming up against political and PR issues is

I find it sad that after another few hundred years after first contact with humanity, even the most evolved creatures in the Federation are still asshats in regards to politics, and that even the best of officers is perceived wrongly.  Additionally, a defendant’s noble nature is totally used against them is another strike against the future of the Federation. The legal issues coming up against political and PR issues was, at least to a person growing up with the ideal of the United Federation of Planets the concept of corruption in the wondrous future is disappointing.  

That Petkoff’s voice is not Patrick Stewart’s unmistable voice, and since that is a character which voice I would know anytime or anywhere, was bit of a full stop for me.  The uncertainty imbued in Picard’s character was also troubling; Picard always exuded confidence. 

I feel as I would have some catching-up to do to make sense of this part of the Star Trek books , but the others are engaging enough to give me the option of saving this series until later.

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