Star Trek: The Next Generation: Collateral Damage by David Mack
The past returns to haunt Captain Jean-Luc Picard—a crime he thought long buried has been exposed, and he must return to Earth to answer for his role in a conspiracy that some call treason. Meanwhile, the U.S.S. Enterprise is sent to apprehend pirates who have stolen vital technology from a fragile Federation colony. But acting captain Commander Worf discovers that the pirates’ motives are not what they seem, and that sometimes standing for justice means defying the law….
Collateral Damage follows the recent line of Star Trek: The Next Generation novels, post TV series. Following the Section 31 coup, Captain Picard is indicted and put on trial. So, Worf commands the Enterprise as they rush to assist various outposts under attack. The Nausicaans want revenge for losing their homeworld to the recent Borg war, which they blame on the Federation.
This latest novel was a lot of fun. The suspense of the trial was well-paced and didn’t get bogged down. And the Nausicaan storyline was surprisingly poignant as well. The highlight, for me, was a subplot narrated in first person by Okona (from the TNG episode “The Outrageous Okona” played by Billy Campbell.) Which, of course, made me want to rewatch the episode. Okona is a funny, brash, and flirtatious scoundrel – perfect for comedy relief. Events build to a surprising ending that I didn’t expect from Worf. With legal drama, espionage, danger and suspense, and a bit of humor – this was another solid and exciting installment in my favorite series.