Star Trek: TNG — Collateral Damage

{4.5/5} “You might think yourself guilty, only to discover exculpatory factors. Or you might think yourself not guilty, only to find out that you’ve committed crimes of which you were unaware. But most important of all: It’s irrelevant. Because all that matters when this mess is done is what the state can prove — and on what facts we can cast reasonable doubt. The rest… is just theater.”

Star Trek: TNG — Collateral Damage by David Mack, published in 2019

Captain Jean-Luc Picard has returned to Earth to answer for his part in the removal of Federation President Min Zife from office 7 years ago. He only learned recently that Zife was later killed by Section 31. Meanwhile, Commander Worf and the Enterprise are on core-systems patrol when they get called to Celes II. By the time they get there, Nausicaan raiders are gone but they find their old friend Thadiun Okona.

The story features Admiral William T. Riker, Admiral Leonard James Akaar, Naomi Wildman, Chancellor Martok, and Attorney General Phillipa Louvois. It’s a terrific story for Worf, who deals with a very tricky situation.

It’s about difficult choices — when you’ve lost your home, and when someone in power has done something so heinous that they cannot stay in power.

Both storylines are terrific — unsurprising for Mack. He takes the Nausicaans, once mustache-twirling villains in a couple of episodes, and makes them into people worth reading about — and caring about.

I’ve read 12 books by Mack. I previously reviewed his Star Trek: Titan — Fortune of War. He also co-wrote a couple of DS9 episodes.

The previous novel in the story of the 24th century is Star Trek: TNG — Available Light.

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