Sunday, December 27, 2015

Q-Strike

Star Trek: The Next Generation #49
The Q Continuum, Book 3 of 3
Q-Strike by Greg Cox
Published September 1998
Read December 21st 2015


Previous book (The Q Continuum): Q-Zone

Next book (The Next Generation): #50: Dyson Sphere


Spoilers ahead for Q-Strike!

From the back cover:
The mischievous creature who calls himself Q has subjected Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Starship Enterprise to many of their strangest experiences. But little had been known of Q's curious existence or that of the advanced dimension from which he comes. But now Picard knows more than he ever dreamed about an ancient conflict whose consequences might spell the doom of the entire galaxy.

The galactic barrier has fallen and Q's oldest enemy is free once more. Captain Picard and his crew find themselves in the middle of a cosmic war between vastly powerful entities. The future of the Federation may be at stake, but how can mere mortals turn the tide in such a superhuman battle? Picard has to find a way, or neither the Q Continuum nor the galaxy will survive.

My thoughts:

Here it is, the final review on Trek Lit Reviews in 2015! It's been a long road getting from there to here, to coin a phrase.

This week, we wrap up the Q Continuum trilogy with Q-Strike by Greg Cox. This has been a fun trilogy, with a lot of great insights into Q and his past. How does the third and final entry stack up? Read on to find out!

After Picard and Q's whirlwind tour of the past, we learn the final fate of 0 and his compatriots. 0 was banished from the Milky Way galaxy, and the infamous "galactic barrier" was constructed to keep 0 from re-entering. Meanwhile, the entity known as "The One" was banished to the center of the galaxy behind what came to be known as "the great barrier." Now, Lem Faal's experiment threatens to bring the barrier down and admit 0 into our unsuspecting galaxy. The Q Continuum was barely able to defeat 0 the first time around, and he may be more powerful than ever now.

I enjoyed the conclusion to this story, with all of the plot threads wrapping up nicely. The final fate of Lem Faal's relationship with his children was heartbreaking, and I found myself really feeling bad for his son, Milo. The ending to the Calamarain issue was also very satisfying, with a very "Star Trek" solution to the threat that they posed.

The Q family dynamic takes center stage in this story.

I found the exploration of the Q family dynamic to be a really fun aspect of this story as well. The idea of Q's family dynamics has always been a bit of an abstract concept, but when q is threatened in this story, we see the female Q's reaction just as any concerned mother's might be. In some ways, it really "humanized" the Q (an idea that I think they would find quite insulting).

"Humanized"?

I came away from this trilogy feeling that Greg Cox really gets what Trek is all about. His ability to weave disparate parts of continuity together into a cohesive whole really makes this story enjoyable to read.

If I had one complaint, it's that this trilogy should probably have been two books rather than three. I felt like each volume was a little too short to warrant having its own book. While there isn't much I would have considered cutting from the story, I still feel like the story could have been condensed into two volumes. Regardless, I found Q-Strike and the whole Q Continuum trilogy to be a very good read and a very worthy addition to any Star Trek reader's library.

Also by Greg Cox:

My next read:

Watch for my yearly round-up of Trek reviews and news for 2015: It's the 2015 Trek Lit Year in Review!