In 1996, Star Trek "RM": First Contact "TM", the second Star Trek movie to star the Next Generation cast, grossed over $100 million at the box office to become the biggest grossing Star Trek movie of all time. Star Trek IX, with Star Trek: First Contact's Jonathan Frakes once more in the director's chair, should top that record high. In this novelization of the stunning movie adventure Captain Jean-Luc Picard must stand alone against a threat to the very soul of the Federation.
J.M. Dillard is a veteran of Star Trek novelizations, having written them for the last five films. Her latest, Star Trek: Insurrection, finds her in fine form. The film is much lighter in tone than the last Next Generation offering, First Contact, and Dillard captures this relaxed mood well, transferring the humor from screen to page with a sure touch. The plot moves at a good pace as Picard and crew attempt to protect a group of peaceful Ba'ku villagers from the sinister alien Son'a and Starfleet's Admiral Dougherty, who is being less than candid about his mission. The planet has a rejuvenating effect on everyone who lands there, and this is what the Son'a, a dying race, are after. Dillard deepens the complexity of Dougherty's character, and fills in more of the background of the Ba'ku and Son'a peoples than the film had time for. The book diverges slightly from the screen version in places, presumably because Dillard was working from an earlier version of the script, but at least this means that Picard and Anij get to kiss one another! For those who enjoyed the film, this is a good way of fixing it in the memory, and it works as an exciting novel in its own right. --Elizabeth Sourbut, Amazon.co.uk