Friday, July 12, 2019


Star Trek: The Next Generation
Resistance by J.M. Dillard
Published September 2007
Read June 5th 2019

Previous book (Post-Nemesis Continuity): Titan: The Red King
Next book (Post-Nemesis Continuity): Titan: Orion's Hounds

Previous book (The Next Generation): Death in Winter
Next book (The Next Generation): Q & A

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E-book (Kindle): | |

Spoilers ahead for Resistance

From the back cover:
Captain Jean-Luc Picard, his ship repaired, must now reassemble his crew. With the departure of both William Riker and ship's counselor Deanna Troi, the captain must replace his two most trusted advisors. He chooses a Vulcan, a logical choice, and for his new first officer, Worf. But the Klingon refuses the promotion and the new ship's counsellor appears to actively dislike Worf. A simple shake-down mission should settle everything. Except that once again, the captain hears the song of the Borg collective. Admiral Janeway is convinced that the Borg have been crushed and are no longer a threat. Picard believes she is wrong, and that if the Enterprise doesn't act the entire Federation will be under the domination of its most oppressive enemy.

My thoughts:

The Borg. To the Federation, they are a menace and an existential threat. To Captain Jean-Luc Picard, it is much more personal. His experience as Locutus created wounds in his psyche that are not easily healed. The scars left behind have, at times, made him the perfect weapon against the Borg, and have also been a handicap that has clouded his judgement when faced with the cybernetic menace.

When Captain Picard hears the Borg in his mind and is convinced they are preparing to attack the Federation, his long-time crew believes him and supports his desire to intercept the threat. However, Picard's new counselor and Starfleet Command are unconvinced. Admiral Janeway advises Picard to hold position, sending Seven of Nine via shuttlecraft to rendezvous with the Enterprise. Picard instead chooses to set course for the suspected position of a Borg vessel that he believes is arming itself for an attack, and readying a new Borg Queen.

This novel takes place after a great deal has changed for Picard and his crew. Data, Riker, and Troi are all no longer members of the crew, and Picard and Beverly have begun a romantic relationship. One of the changes we are introduced to in this novel is the addition of new members of the Enterprise crew: the aforementioned counselor, T'Lana, is one of them. A Vulcan, she brings an outsider's perspective to the story, questioning Picard's rationality when it comes to the Borg. It's easy to dislike her in her debut here, as she is very much an outsider, criticizing not only Picard's judgement, but also the appointment of Worf to the position of first officer. She believes that the choice he made on a prior mission to put his wife ahead of the mission (see the DS9 episode "Change of Heart") disqualifies him from holding the first officer position.

Worf's decisions on a mission during the Dominion War come back to haunt him as he contemplates taking a promotion to first officer of the Enterprise.

Resistance is a tough novel to review. On the one hand, there is some great character work, especially with the newer members of the crew. The chief of security, Lio Battaglia, and the conn officer, Sara Nave, have a relationship that was interesting to read about. That said, the outcome of the relationship, while dramatic and compelling, was a bit on the cliched and predictable side. And as far as characterizations of the main cast goes, there were a few elements that left me feeling cold.

For example, after having sent an unsuccessful away mission to destroy the Borg Queen, Picard opts to take up the mantle of Locutus once again in order to infiltrate the Borg vessel. This decision, while interesting, struck me as wildly out of character. I could see this as an absolute last resort, but to Picard, it just seems like the logical next step that he must take because the plot dictated it. There was far less agonizing over the decision than I would have expected. It almost seemed to me as though the idea of Picard becoming Locutus again was a tantalizing thing to write into this novel, but not as much thought went into the execution of it as there should have been.

Resistance involves Picard becoming Locutus once again, but that decision didn't seem as well-thought out as I feel it should have been.

The one major highlight of the novel was Beverly Crusher sciencing her way to a solution after Picard is captured by the Borg Queen. While some of the science felt a bit dodgy, with the Borg creating a queen using "royal jelly" like insects would, it was fun to see a typically Star Trek science solution to a complex problem. And the fact that Beverly was the one to implement it was fun, as she never seems to get enough to do, either in the novels or the television show, or the films for that matter.

Final thoughts:

Resistance was an interesting read with plenty of action and high stakes, but at times the story felt rushed and a bit aimless. Some things in the plot seem to happen because they seem like a cool idea, rather than an organic plot dictated by the personalities of the characters. Contrived situations such as Picard's choices seem to be a bit out of left field, but there are enough saving graces that allowed me to enjoy the novel. Not stellar, but entertaining enough.

More about Resistance:

Also by J.M. Dillard:

My next read:

Next is my video review of Christopher L. Bennett's new TOS novel: The Captain's Oath.

1 comment:

  1. This one is fun as long as you turn your brain off and don't ask too many questions. I recently read Ice Trap by L.A. Graf and it fits perfectly into that senseless Trek romp category too.