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Star Trek TNG: Greater Than The Sum (2008)
Fiction Review by The Gravedigger

Star Trek TNG: Greater Than The Sum (2008) Author: Christopher L. Bennett

A lot has changed in the Star Trek Universe since the movie STAR TREK: NEMESIS. Picard is still trying a mostly new crew, as Will Riker went off to command his own ship, TITAN, with his wife, Deanna Troi. Picard's Chief engineer is still Geordi LaForge and his first officer is the Klingon, Worf. Picard is also recently married to Beverly Crusher, his medical officer. There are also a lot of new characters and situations.

There's a new threat from the Borg in the Alpha Quadrant and in some recent novels they had taken over the Einstein, an exploration vessel commanded by Admiral Kathryn Janeway.

These Borg are different, more modern-looking that the ones from the TV series, and more apt to outright kill than assimilate. They are quicker and more ruthless and seemingly operate without a "Borg Queen".

The Einstein was thought destroyed but is discovered to have grown larger. It's also attacked the Starship Rhea but not before one of its crew members, a half vulcan officer named T'Ryssa Chen, had miraculously escaped. Months later she joins the Enterprise and becomes pivotal in communicating with a strange alien species that may be able to help them stop the Borg. The Enterprise has to stop the zombie cyborgs from obtaining access to slipstream technology. If these advanced Borg manage to get back to their homeworld they'll spread their knowledge and newfound abilities and that would be the end of everything.

I found the character of Lieutenant T'Ryssa Chen interesting, as she poses a sort of foil to Picard's stoicism and does about everything to deny her Vulcan heritage. Hopefully she'll be sticking around in future novels. The return of the Borg, Hugh, who was introduced in the TV show fifteen years ago, was also handled well. What I found most surprising is that Picard and Beverly Crusher are discussing starting a family....but isn't her character supposed to be in her 50's? And Picard is at least 65?

The good thing with these new books is that because there will never be another STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION movie, the authors are allowed to make some big changes to characters and situations.

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