Star Trek: Titan: Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin
Though the United Federation of Planets still reels from Andor’s political decision that will forever affect the coalition, Captain William T. Riker and the crew of the U.S.S. Titan are carrying out Starfleet’s renewed commitment to deep space exploration. While continuing to search the Beta Quadrant’s unknown expanses for an ancient civilization’s long-lost quick-terraforming technology— a potential boon to many Borg-ravaged worlds across the Federation and beyond—Titan’s science specialists encounter the planet Ta’ith, home to the remnant of a once-great society that may hold the very secrets they seek. But this quest also takes Titan perilously close to the deadly Vela Pulsar, the galaxy’s most prolific source of lethal radiation, potentially jeopardizing both the ship and what remains of the Ta’ithan civilization. Meanwhile, Will Riker finds himself on a collision course with the Federation Council and the Andorian government, both of which intend to deprive Titan of its Andorian crew members. And one of those Andorians—Lieutenant Pava Ek’Noor sh’Aqaba—has just uncovered a terrible danger, which has been hiding in plain sight for more than two centuries. . . .
Now that Andor has left the Federation, Starfleet is trying to pull its Andorian crew from their positions aboard starships to supposedly lower profile postings elsewhere. And Captain Riker has been told to hand over all seven of his Andorian crew. They won’t be forced to repatriate as Andor demands, but Riker and the rest of his crew aren’t happy with Starfleet’s decision.
Meanwhile, the Titan has noticed a planet affected by radiation from a nearby pulsar. And it’s ancient technology has deteriorated to the point of near destruction for the remaining inhabitants. But when an ancient artificial intelligence is awoken, it reaches out to two of Titan’s crew members for help in repairing the planet’s defenses.
This is only the seventh book in the Titan series, but the crew already has a strong bond and camaraderie. The crew is very diverse with fascinating new characters as well as a handful of familiar ones. If you aren’t current in the political climate of the “current” Star Trek universe, don’t let that deter you. Plenty is explained here in regards to the Andorians and as with other series, this is mostly a standalone story. Yet the suspense and mystery builds with the Andorian situation and leaves off in a bit of a cliffhanger ending for several crewmembers. While part of the mystery aboard the Andorian ship is predictable, there is a surprising twist I didn’t see coming in regards to an intriguing alliance. Fast-paced and full of fun adventure, Fallen Gods was an incredibly enjoyable read.