Monday, June 04, 2007


by Peter David
Pocket Books
392 pages

This is the 19th book in the New Frontier series created and written by Peter David. It is without doubt the finest Star Trek book series ever produced thanks to David’s overwhelming passion Star Trek and his talent in telling great adventure stories. New Frontier centers around the exploits of the Starship Excalibur and her captain, the roguish former warlord, Mackenzie Calhoun and his populated by such a diverse supporting cast from so many Trek sources it is almost impossible to remember them all.

The only true flaw with the New Frontier books is the fact that they represent an on-going series and very few can stand alone. David writes in long, sweeping, and yes, epic, story arcs that some times take at least two or more books to complete. MISSING IN ACTION is the second half of a plot begun in AFTER THE FALL. So, if you wish to truly appreciated the complexities of this particular chapter, I would strongly recommend running out and picking up that first half.

Meanwhile, let me continue by commenting on the new book’s two strongest points. Over the course of his career, Peter David, has demonstrated a very poetic ability to create and write memorable female characters. In MISSING IN ACTION, this particular talent crystallizes when the action being played out comes to spotlight all the New Frontier’s unique and remarkable female cast. They are Admiral Elizabeth Shelby, Calhoun’s wife, to Kathrine Mueller, Captain of the Starship Ship, Robin Lefler, a Federation officer married to Si Cwan, ruler of an alien empire, Soleta, half Valcan/Romulan Captain of the Romulan spyship the Specter to name the major players. There are others.

When a bloody civil war erupts in Thallonian space, Calhoun suspects outside interference and attempts to uncover its source. In the process his ship is hurled into another dimension where he and his crew must deal with truly bizarre creatures to find a way home. Meanwhile, Admiral Shelby, and the others mentioned, are left having to deal with the escalating war. In the process, one of the New Frontier’s most endearing characters is killed. This single act brings the entire series to a new level of maturity and drama that loyal fans, though stunned by it, will come to applaud. David has proven he is not afraid to take Calhoun and the Excalibur to places no other Star Trek enterprise has ever gone before. Bravo!

MISSING IN ACTION is a terrific addition to what has become my all time favorite science fiction series. If Hollywood ever hopes to re-energize the Trek franchise, they need look no further than the New Frontier.

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