Book Review: ‘Peaceable Kingdoms’ by Dayton Ward

March 30, 2021 at 1:00 am | Posted in Books, Reviews, Sci-Fi, Star Trek | Leave a comment
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Star Trek: The Fall: Peaceable Kingdoms is the fifth and final novel in the epic crossover series of books from Pocket Books, written by Dayton Ward, and released in December of 2013. 

This book definitely felt like it would fit as one of the Next Generation movies. There is a lot of action, but also some great character moments. Unlike the Next Generation movies, it actually follows existing canon and works as part of a series.

The plotlines with Ishan Anjar and the plot to kill Nanietta Bacco are in full swing, with the entire main crew of Picard, Riker, Akkar, and Doctor Crusher all working behind the scenes to examine the evidence of who the President Pro Tempore really is and what their end goal is. I personally was hoping for a little more epic nature to the book, and it’s climax made me go “oh, that’s it”?

The weakest part of the book is compared to its predecessors, it looks very light. The Crimson Shadow dealt with deep issues about Post-World War Two Europe and integrating former Nazi’s into society. A Ceremony of Losses dove into the issues of secrecy and security over transparency. The Poisoned Chalice dealt with how much you should follow orders that are wrong. This book doesn’t really have a deeper message, and it just works as an action flick that ties up the plotlines from the other books. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a fun book, and definitely a worthy read for any Trek reader, but I just can’t possibly give it as high a rating as it’s predecessors.

The strongest part of this book is it’s final chapter between Picard, Riker, and Akkar. A lot of Trek fans have a problem with the way that Starfleet is viewed in the recent television shows, and this book really shows what it should be like, and shows the characters acting like they were intended to act. Dayton Ward can really nail the character of Picard, much like James Swallow can really nail the character of Riker and David Mack can really nail the characters of Julian Bashir and Ezri Dax.

This book and really the entire series set up the future of the publishing well, and while I have read some of the future books, I haven’t read them all, and this does make me want to go and read the remaining books. That should always be the goal of media tie-in fiction, to make someone want to read more and to go back to the source material. This book and series did both, so it definitely earned it’s positive rating.

Surprisingly, the standout character in this book is Doctor Crusher. She is now a mom again after having Rene (I am NOT about to write out that character’s entire name) and has the stress of being a working mom, while also having to work with Picard to work covertly to uncover information about Ishan Anjar. It portrays a whole side to her character that the TV show really struggled to do so. 

As a whole, I think this is definitely a good book and I had a positive experience reading it. It just isn’t the best of the series (such as The Poisoned Chalice, A Ceremony of Losses, or The Poisoned Chalice), but it’s certainly better than the first book, Revelation and Dust. I’d give this book a solid 4 out of 5 stars. Good job Dayton Ward.

My next review will be of Takedown by John Jackson Miller, a standalone book set after The Fall. John is my favorite media tie-in author, and as memory stands, it’s my favorite Star Trek book. Let’s see if it’ll hold up.

Reviewed By: Jonathan Koan for Roqoo Depot.

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