Thursday, October 23, 2014

Q Are Cordially Uninvited...

Star Trek: The Next Generation
Q Are Cordially Uninvited... by Rudy Josephs
An E-book Exclusive Novella!
Release date: October 6th 2014
Read October 11th 2014


Previous book (The Next Generation): The Light Fantastic
Next book (The Next Generation): Takedown


E-book (Kindle): Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk

Spoilers ahead for Q Are Cordially Uninvited... and events in the post-Nemesis timeline!

Publisher's Description:
The wedding of Captain Jean-Luc Picard to Doctor Beverly Crusher was a small, private affair overseen by the mayor of La Barre, France, and witnessed by the groom’s sister-in-law and the mayor’s wife. At least, that’s what the happy couple always told their friends. On the anniversary of that blessed day, however, Worf and Geordi La Forge manage to coax the real story out of the pair, to discover a tale of mythical treasure and a lost civilization in the Delta Quadrant. It all begins when the omnipotent being Q crashes the festivities, declaring himself best man and bringing along an unwilling guest as a surprise for the groom.

My thoughts:

Once again, we get an e-book exclusive Trek novella from Simon & Schuster. I have been fairly effusive in my praise of these books in the past. How does this latest one stack up? Read on and see!

In the novel Greater Than the Sum by Christopher L. Bennett, we learn that Picard and Crusher have finally married, albeit in an "off-screen" ceremony. In Q Are Cordially Uninvited..., we finally have the opportunity to learn what happened on that auspicious day. As it turns out, Picard and Crusher married in a fairly (unsurprisingly) low-key affair. Or so it is believed! The truth of that day is much more interesting.

Q returns... as Picard's best man!
Enter the omnipotent Q. It turns out that in the hours before the wedding, Q sent Picard on an adventure with none other than Vash. A fun romp through ancient ruins is the backdrop to this impromptu "bachelor party" courtesy of self-proclaimed best man Q.

Q Are Cordially Uninvited... wasn't a bad story, but nor was it ground-breaking. The story held my attention throughout, but I couldn't help having a nagging feeling that much of Q's actions seemed somewhat out-of-character. Q has always been about the "big picture," seeming to guide the actions of Picard and humanity on a grand scale (at least in his appearances on The Next Generation). This affair seems a little too "small scale" for Q.

Having said that, regardless of whether or not the plot is out of character for Q, one thing that Rudy Josephs managed to get perfectly was Q's "voice." Every time the character had a line, I could hear John deLancie's delivery in my head. Similarly, Josephs had Vash's voice down quite well. Having her appear in this novel made me realize how much I enjoyed her character in her various appearances over the years.

Vash, Q's second-favorite plaything (or third, depending on where Janeway fits!).

Finally, I do have to say that the final scenes in which Q creates a wedding ceremony for Jean-Luc and Beverly was quite touching. As TrekBBS user "Ronald Held" put it, "What he does for Picard is a generous reward for perhaps Q's favorite pet," echoing Data's description of the relationship between Q and Picard in "All Good Things...."

Final thoughts:

A quick, fun read that will be entertaining for fans of the "silly" Q, but a little frustrating for readers who expect a little more depth to the character. That said, the scene of Picard and Crusher's wedding ceremony as conjured by Q will be moving for fans of the couple.

Not a terrible story, but not particularly memorable either. A nice, small glimpse into the previously unseen wedding was welcome, but to my mind, this was the first of the recent e-book novellas to disappoint me. However, it is saved somewhat by having a great deal of heart. Final rating for me is two stars out of five.

Further resources:

TrekBBS review and discussion thread for Q Are Cordially Uninvited...
Podcast: Literary Treks 80: The Dog of Mystery

My next read:

Continuing my re-read of the Terok Nor miniseries, my next review will be for the second book, Night of the Wolves by S.D. Perry and Britta Dennison. Coming October 30th!