Star Trek
The Next Generation
A Time to Love

Author: Robert Greenberger
Pocket Books
RRP 6.99, US $6.99, Cdn $10.50
ISBN 0 7434 6285 8
Available 05 July 2004

Whilst two violent races struggled against each other in an unending cycle of war one planet became a home to members from both species. Surprisingly however there was none of the feared violence that was symbolic of the two species. Delta Sigma IV turned into one of the greatest examples of peace and interspecies co-operation that the federation has ever seen...

This paradise was jeopardised when it was discovered that a gas poisonous to the inhabitants of the planet will lead to their extinction. But it seems that this threat will be overshadowed by something much darker. It appears as if the people of Delta Sigma IV are turning against each other and forgoing generations of peace and harmony. What's more it seems that responsibility for this new danger can be directed at the Federation, or more squarely at the feet of the supposed saviour of Delta Sigma IV Kyle Riker. Once more the disgraced Captain Picard and the Enterprise must discover the truth behind the danger facing Delta Sigma IV.

What a shame, after the good books that have so far made up this series, there had to be a let down somewhere. A Time to Love is just that book. To be honest it's alright, which is the problem - it's just alright.

The characters are well represented and you feel at ease with them but the book is let down because it seems so slow. Apparently we're on a planet being ripped apart by tides of violence and riots yet this rarely seems to touch on the goings on of the characters.

Things do pick up by the end of the book, but by then I was a little bored. I had expected more action, desperate stands against overwhelming mobs. This happened occasionally but I felt divorced from any of the goings on.

The Author, Robert Greenberger, just did not get the right balance that has been present throughout the series so far. The tension between Kyle and Will was well constructed and this is what was really interesting. What will happen when father meets the prodigal son?

However this is sidelined by the main thread of the story. This felt more like the Next Generation but the book just lacked that little something all the others had. There was little emotional attachment. It's the difference between what you feel for a distant cousin or an old, old acquaintance rather than a great friend. So you can't get involved which is vital for a book like this which relies on you caring about the characters and the situation.

So if you're fans of the series its still a worthwhile read just lower your expectations a little.

Charlie Brine

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