I didn’t know who Peter David was before I picked up his first Next Generation novel, Strike Zone many years ago. I didn’t know of his long, definitive run on the Hulk comic books nor of his work on various Trek tie-in comics. But with two books, David quickly became one of my favorite writers for Trek tie-in fiction.
David has this way of finding the absurdities and pointing them out with humor. One memorable passage in Strike Zone has Picard and Riker in the turbolift in the early stages of season two. Riker has just grown his beard and he wonders if Picard isn’t jealous that Riker has more hair on his chin than Picard does on his head.
I’ll admit it — it still amuses me to this day.
But if his first two Next Generation books were appetizers, then Vendetta was the main course.
With Vendetta, David began his trend of big novels in the Star Trek universe that tied together threads from both (we only had two at the time!) series. In this case, David brought back the Borg and tied in continuity from the original series “The Doomsday Machine” to it. For a fan who loved all three Borg installments of TNG and “The Doomsday Machine” this was exactly up my alley. Basically, the Doomsday Machine was built to defeat the Borg.
And this one is set after the events of “Best of Both Worlds” and before Trek had to start “defanging” the Borg.
As a Trek fan, this absolutely pushed all the right buttons with me. This novel was one of the Giant Novels published in the Trek canon and it lived up to it. (The Giant Novels later became the hardcover releases when they realized they could get even more money out of us). Epic battles, continuity galore and the trademark David humor. This novel had just about everything and I have fond memories of reading it far too quickly because I was loving every minute of it.
Is this a book that is going to show up on a list of great literature of the 20th Century that should be studies and read by future generations? No, not really.
But did it entertain me no end and was it utterly memorable? Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes.
If you love TNG and TOS, do yourself a favor and read this one. Trust me.