The second novel of the adventures of a young captain Jean-Luc Picard, which details his time as captain of the USS Stargazer.
A command he had gotten in special circumstances, this novel by Michael Jan Friedman details the adventures of the senior staff when they help out one of their own.
The story is about the chief engineer, a Gnala, who has to run a trial race to secure his bloodline. Picard and his staff help him out to try and obtain this goal, leaving second officer Wu in command of the Stargazer.
The ship, which has just received a heap of new crew members, receives a distress call from the Belladonna, a science vessel, caught in a plasma accredation of a binary sun, and has to go to the rescue without their experienced commanders.
Just one small note: don`t think the cover gives anything away, that big metallic slugwurm is nowwhere in the book...
The story tackles two different sides of the crew: the intense loyalty and friendship between the senior staff of the vessel on the one hand, while the "want to prove themselves" of doubting new members of the crew on the other.
It`s a good read, not the most "taking along" of Star Trek stories, but one that does a good job at looking into topics not that common in these sorts of paperback novels, but which Star Trek in general tends to handle better then most of other franchises.
Rating: 5.5 / 10
Mid Victorian Royal Navy Channel Fleet c1870
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