Monday, September 27, 2021

[Review] - Star Trek: Coda: Book 1: Moments Asunder by Dayton Ward

It seems there's a rule that if a genre television or movie series has a big fanbase, then tie-in novels will soon follow. Once the series has run its course, all media tie-ins come to an end. There are a few exceptions, such as Star Trek and Star Wars. The Star Trek franchise has been kicking out novelizations since 1967, and the first original novel, Mission to Horatius, came out one year later. To date, there have been over 850 Star Trek books published.

After the Star Trek franchise became dormant in the early 2000s, CBS licensing department gave authors free rein to explore what happened to our favorite Star Trek characters after 2002's Star Trek: Nemesis. In 2001, Pocket Books relaunched Star Trek: Deep Space Nine with the "Avatar" two-parter that picked up after the television series finale, "What You Leave Behind." Star Trek: Voyager's relaunch began in 2003 with The Homecoming, set after the series finale, "Endgame." Star Trek: The Next Generation's relaunch began in 2006 with Death in Winter by Michael Jan Friedman. The first Star Trek: Titan novel came out in 2005, featuring the TNG characters William T. Riker and Deanna Troi.

Star Trek authors were probably stunned when CBS All-Access (now Paramount+) announced Sir Patrick Stewart would reprise his role as Jean-Luc Picard in the new spinoff television series Star Trek: Picard.

Authors Dayton Ward, James Swallow, and David Mack brainstormed and came up with an exciting way to bridge the Expanded Universe gap so it will lead to Star Trek: Picard without tossing aside all that's come before. What they came up with is the three-part saga Star Trek: Coda. The first installment, Moments of Asunder, is written by Dayton Ward and will hit bookstores tomorrow. Book Two, The Ashes of Tomorrow, written by James Swallow, is scheduled for October 26th. The final part, Oblivion's Gate, is penned by David Mack, with a tentative date of November 30th.

Final Thoughts

Let me start by saying the cover for Moments Asunder is stunning. Well, at least it's stunning through the eyes of a forty-year-old Trekkie. LOL. If you haven't read all of the relaunch books, like me, then we're in luck because there's a four-page 'Previously" section before the first chapter to help us catch up on past storylines.

To avoid giving away too many spoilers, I'm not going to include a detailed synopsis. The plot involves temporal anomalies scattered across time and space, which gets the attention of 'traveler' Wesley Crusher, the crew of the 29th-century starship USS Relativity, and the Guardian of Forever. Who or what is responsible for these events is connected to a two-part TNG episode. Wesley time-shifts aboard the Enterprise-E in 2387 to seek help from his stepfather, Captain Jean-Luc Picard, and mother, Beverly Crusher, only to learn his half-brother RenĂ© is physically being altered by the temporal anomalies. That's as far as I'm going to go with the plot. Read the book if you want to know more. 

The story features other Trek characters, such as Captian Ezri Dax and the crew of the USS Aventine, Admiral William T. Riker, Commander Deana Troi, Commander Tom Paris, and Commander B'Elanna Torres. The USS Enterprise-D crew from an alternate reality (first seen in the Star Trek: TNG novel Headlong Flight) also appears.

Overall, I enjoyed reading Star Trek: Coda: Book 1: Moments Asunder. A part of me will mourn the loss of "the litverse" continuity but will welcome the timeline changes that I'm guessing will occur by the end of the third book. Sadly, all things must come to an end - or receive a timeline correction using good old-fashioned science fiction.

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