Star Trek: Next Generation books

Planet X coverPlanet X by Michael Jan Friedman.

265 pages long.



All in all an enjoyable, easy read and good for fans of both Next Gen and X-Men, if however, you hate or know nothing of the X-men then this is not the book for you, if you only like to see the X-Men wooping Sentinals and being in charge, then you may find Picard's domination hard to swallow. For fans of both - great book!

The trouble with the book (unless the first adventure the X-Men have with Picard is finely detailed) is that it really needs to be another three hundred pages long, in order to properly express the relationships and characters, some come out defined, while others feel like simulations taken from other stories and episodes. Of the Enterprise crew I felt that Worf especially suffered from this, and Data a little. Worf vaguely repeated Klingon/Warrior-like phrases and merely attacking in A-typical Worf style with batt' leth. Geordi, Riker, Crusher and Troi are very well characterised indeed, with Picard the most alive and in full colour. As for the X-Men, they fare better with the usually less focused upon members getting some well-deserved attention for a change. Banshee and Nightcrawler are examples here, and Archangel's psyche is examined. Storm mixes emotions with Picard and Shadowcat and Colossus do their stuff, (even if Colossus does blunder at one point), ironically it is Wolverine who suffer most in the X-Men, he simply struts around saying 'Bub' and generally being brutish and coming across as stupid, his only saving grace is his wish to sample a 'warriors drink' in the enterprises bar, served by Guinan.

the Draa' kon felt like flat, comic-book lizerdine aliens, more akin to Gorns than any other species encountered in the Trek universe, their lack of information of the Draa' kon in the Federation databanks does not quite fit, I assumed at first they were from the X-Men's universe, but nothing is ever suggested as to where they come from. the book ends well if not rushed and with some nagging loose ends.

On the good side the book links the X-Men comic feel with the Trek omni-defining capabilities, the X-Men are examined by Doctor Crusher and Geordi and some good explanations as to their powers are explained, while others are left as un-explainable.

The book works! It succeeds in places to unite Trek and Marvel, and I was left wanting an reunion sometime.  The X-Men should of been far more powerful, however, Colossus and Wolverine in particular are targeted here. Data is compared to those like Colossus in strength, and Wolverine is placed upon the same level as Worf, I am sure Wolverines treatment of laser gun toting reptillians would of been against Federation codes of conduct, and later when Wolverine re-programmes the holodeck to feature some of his worst enemies, I do not think Worf would of survived long against the super-villains wolverine often meets.

The ability to write with both the Enterprise crew and Marvel super-heroes is a skill to be admired, but Michael Friedman needs to polish up a little to perfect his ability.

Enjoyment: 6, Depth: 3, Readability: 9, Layout: 5, Value: 4.

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Last updated: 6 March 2000