Book Review: ‘A Time to Heal’ by David Mack

November 16, 2021 at 7:20 am | Posted in Books, Sci-Fi, Star Trek | Leave a comment
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Star Trek: A Time to Heal is the eighth novel in the A Time to series produced by Pocket Books at Simon and Schuster and was written by David Mack and was released in September 2004.

A Time to Heal picks up soon after the events of A Time to Kill, although the stakes are higher in this book than in any of the other books in the series. If something goes wrong here, there could be a galactic war on a scale never seen before in Star Trek. As a result, this book has an edge of tension that makes the reader feel like they just have to finish it. David Mack is very obviously a much better writer than his predecessors of this series, even this early in his career.

One unique thing about this book is that no single character takes the spotlight at all. No single character stands out, but all of the main cast have pivotal moments and chapters in the book. This therefore felt more balanced like a good episode of the television show might have felt. 

Part of what makes this book so good is the political storyline carried over from the previous book. David Mack writes political thriller and action really well, and so I was automatically invested into the story. Where this book suffers is that there isn’t much surprise here, whereas there were a ton of surprises in A Time to Kill

Mack threw a spotlight in this book on some of the minor characters who are original to the books: Jim Peart and Christine Vale. I think that Mack has done a good job establishing Vale as a main character and I can see why the authors wanted to carry her character forward into the Titan series. Likewise, Mack does an excellent job with Peart, and makes his journey emotional and interesting.

It took me until the very end to see that David Mack was trying to draw some parallels to the war in Iraq. This book was written in late 2003/early 2004, and therefore this would have been very much on his mind. I disagree with the worldview that Mack purports and disagree with the conclusions about warfare and espionage, but still thought it made for an engaging story that raises some fantastic questions. The best authors are those who can write something that you absolutely disagree with but still respect and make you question where you stand on something. 

Overall, this is a solid book. I don’t think that I can rate it as highly as A Time to Kill, but it is certainly better than all of its predecessors. 4.5 out of 5. Great job David Mack! I can’t wait to finish the series with A Time for War, a Time for Peace next!

Reviewed By: Jonathan Koan for Roqoo Depot.

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