Plot or Premise
This is the fifth in the series about a vengeful attack on the universe by an “unknown” assailant who uses biological weapons to wipe out races in the Federation. This book puts Riker on the Excalibur, dealing with Shelby et al; Mackenzie on a secret undercover mission to infiltrate the assailant’s lair; and, Picard undercover to do the same thing, eventually linking up with Mackenzie.
What I Liked
There are a series of one-liners with Shelby and Riker that are occasionally funny, Mackenzie’s infiltration is really interesting at the start and his character is great, and there is an interesting interplay between Admirals at one point.
What I Didn’t Like
The Riker and Shelby section is not very well-written, Mackenzie’s infiltration becomes repetitive at the end, and when Picard and he link up, it makes little to no sense for most of it. However, my real problem with this story is the sequencing…up until now in the series, you haven’t known why the assailant is doing what he is doing, or even who it is. This one reveals all, and the motives are kind of a cliché. The New Frontier portion stays true to form while the rest of the interactions with The Next Generation universe is more of a caricature than reality.