Star Trek: Collateral Damage by David Mack

Alongside Keith R.A Candido, David Mack is the best writer of TNG era novels. Together they have created a somewhat murkier Federation which struggles right itself after the Dominion and rebuild after a devastating Borg Invasion. Recently the books have focused on the political intrigue on the Federation Council and the demise of Section 31, this last part in particular has greater significance following Star Trek Discovery.

In this book and the previous one the chickens are coming home to roost from the earlier books when Picard was involved in the removal of a President from office. The book weaves a courtroom drama into a plot about refugee Nausicaans and see Worf in temporary command of the Enterprise.

With the new Picard series coming in January it is hard to see where this novel will even fit into the new canon that the series creates, but that doesn’t matter as this is a good book in and of itself, although it is hard not to look for clues to the future.

David Mack writes well and intones the known characters doing justice to each of them. He also knows the universe well and sets the action well within it. The book does much to explore the ramifications of previous decisions and in many ways the concept of survivors guilt. Where as the recent books showed a Federation creaking under its own weight we start to see one starting to return to its ideals.

My one criticism of the book and it is a small one is the in joke he introduces halfway through the book. Things of names can be hard an in this case Mack names the security team accompanying Chief Smrhova are all members of Brooklyn Nine Nine. Peralta caught my attention first but then Jefferds, Boyle and Diaz all appear and served to break the immersion of the story.

With new series incoming the future of this series is in doubt so for the time being just enjoy them as entertaining stories that serve to expand the universe. Oh yeah the cover is pretty neat and stylish too.

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