Written by: Dayton Ward
Cover Art: Doug Drexler and Ali Ries
Published by: Pocket Books (Simon and Schuster)
Release Date: May 26, 2015
Lieutanant’s Log: After events in THE FALL leave the still-floundering Federation reeling, the freshly-upgraded Enterprise E departs on a new mission of exploration in the Odyssian Pass, leaving the Typhon Pact and political intrigue behind.
Captain Picard and crew come upon a massive alien derelict from another time, adrift for decades; however – there are lifesigns detected, and the ship attacks the Enterprise without cause.
Sending an away team to investigate the ship, Picard soon finds himself facing a first-contact situation that pits him against two warring worlds, his hands tied by the Prime Directive and a ship that could annihilate anything in its path.
My Take: The iconic David Gerrold recently posted that a ‘reviewer’s’ job is to answer three questions: 1) What was the author trying to do? 2) How well did they do it? and 3) Was it worth doing in the first place.
Let’s take the first, shall we. Dayton Ward’s objective (it seems) was to move us past the stagnation of the Typhon Pact series and set readers back on a course of ‘seeking out new life and new civilizations,’ while letting us get an in-depth feel for this ‘new’ crew he now commands; as well as shining the light on Picard, himself. In light of all that has happened to him, does Jean-Luc still have what it takes to command a mission of this magnitude? With a resounding ‘yes,’ I would say Mr. Ward has succeeded masterfully.
The second, then… Mr. Ward has done a brilliant job of kicking-off this new mission. It was a breath of fresh air, for me, to see us getting our asses back out there and doing what we do best: exploring. The crew was well-written and gave us plenty of character development; the two alien species we encounter were well-thought out and the situation they face makes the reader reflect on our own society and our own politcal turmoil, today. Plus, Mr. Ward infuses the story with lots of humor, plenty action and suspense, a wealth of Star Trek lore, that includes ‘canon’ and non, and he sets a rapid pace that keeps the reader on the edge of their seats until the final pages, leaving us with a sense of hope for our own peaceable kingdoms, here on Earth.
Finally – Was it worth doing? Hell yeah! It was a terrific reading experience and a shining example of what I call #GreatStarTrek. I enjoyed getting inside of Picard’s head; seeing him as, not-only the flagship of the fleet’s commanding officer, but as a husband and father, and how he handled the delicate situation he and his crew find themselves facing.
It was great to see the spotlight shone on the rest of his crew, as well; most-notably, Commander Worf and T’Ryssa Chen – the latter performing admirably, while providing plenty of moments of both comedy and poignance. Also, it was nice to see Dr. Crusher (whom had been posted briefly at DS9) reunited with Captain Picard and René.. And…LaForge has a girlfriend – FINALLY! That, in and of itself, was well-worth the doing.
No, other than a few (in my opinion) drawn-out action sequences, NYT Bestseller Dayton Ward has proven himself, yet-again, why he is one of the reigning champions at Pocket Books, in regards to Star Trek fiction. I thoroughly enjoyed ARMAGEDDON’S ARROW, and I hope you will, too.
My Amazon Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
‘Til, next time, see ya ‘out there…’
Lt. Eric Cone
*Enterprise Art (shown above) by Ali Ries and Keaira Finlay