Review: Indistinguishable from Magic

Indistinguishable from Magic (Star Trek: The Next Generation)Indistinguishable from Magic by David A. McIntee
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Maybe I’m just getting too old for Star Trek novels. Or maybe I’ve reached my saturation point with them and need to step away from them for a while. But curse them for having interesting cover blurbs and intriguing sounding concepts that keep pulling me back in.

Such is the case with "Indistinguishable From Magic." Set in the post-Nemesis reboot continuity, the novel is a virtual who’s who of guest stars from various TNG episodes all brought back together again. When an old NX starship suddenly turns up after being listed as destroyed, a crack team of engineers is sent out to look into it. This includes Geordi, Scotty, Nog, Leah Brahms and Reg Barclay. Also included is Rasmussen from the fifth season TNG episode "A Matter of Time." And, of course, he has an ulterior motive and soon another old foe has returned with a plan that involves the newly found ship and time travel.

And that’s just the first half to two thirds of the novel.

I’ve read that this one was proposed as a dual novel storyline but condensed down to a single entry. And because of that, you’d think you were getting twice as much story for half the price.

Frustratingly enough, that’s not the case. Author David A. McIntee frustratingly spends a lot of time focusing on all the wrong elements of the story, drawing some things out far past the point of interest and compressing the interesting details down to a few scant paragraphs. What you end up with is a Trek novel with some interesting ideas, concepts and potential character exploration that ends up sagging and collapsing under its own weight.

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