Star Trek TNG: Takedown
© 2015 John Jackson Miller
369 pages

“Captain, permission to speak freely? You’re a good egg.”
“…I’m not sure how to respond to that.”

I spotted this title at a surplus-goods store a few years back, and couldn’t help be flabbergasted by the premise. Admiral Riker, leading a flotilla of ships against Federation outposts —   against Captains Ezri Dax and Jean Luc Picard? Where on earth did that come from? What huge twists and turns in previous novels had I missed?  ….turns out,  Takedown is largely self-contained, almost an episodic throwback to the old numbered novels.  It’s a definite page turner with an out of left field premise, one that starts when members of the Khitomer Accords (Feds, Cardies, Ferengi, Klingons) and the Typhon Pact (Romulans, Gorn, and  a few other villains) receive invitations to a space station in the middle of nowhere. When the meeting is over, each of the delegates — including Admiral Riker — are acting….a little odd, and within a few hours they’re all zipping across the Alpha and Beta Quadrants, destroying communications arrays — including those of their allies, and seemingly working in concert —  while the six powers grope in darkness and wonder: what the hell?

That question was on my mind for most of the story,  which I would have devoured in one sitting  were it not for the fact that  my body mutinied and insisted I go to sleep.  The mystery of what happened to the diplomats, and why they’re suddenly obsessed with destroying  arrays that have no conceivable military purpose (some of them are deep space telescopes, probing the cosmos beyond any known powers), drives  the story, particularly abroad the Aventine. Captain Dax is a little confused when Admiral Riker transfers his flag to her ship, moreso when he isolates himself in the holodeck, and finally has to push back when Riker declares that the greatest threat to the Federation which now exists ….is a Ferengi relay station.   Once Picard and the Enterprise enter the picture,   we learn more — but ultimately, it proves to be one of those “Now that you’ve foiled me I’ll reveal my entire plan” resolutions,   which I don’t particularly care for.

Takedown is a fun story, but not one to take seriously: there’s no character growth, and I’ve never seen the events here referenced in other novels.     Its author, John Jackson Miller, is a new name for me in Treklit — and as bizarre as this story is, I enjoyed his use of humor. It helps, of course, that we get to visit both the Aventine and the Enterprise:   I’m particularly fond of the Aventine crew, having grown fond of novels including them over the years. It was nice to see the real Picard in Treklit, not that tired imitation from Kurzman’s rubbish pile.

No spoilers, but if you’re a student of TNG episodes. this may ring a bell…



About smellincoffee

Citizen, librarian, reader with a boundless wonder for the world and a curiosity about all the beings inside it.
This entry was posted in Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Takedown

  1. Jillian says:

    So you read American Civil War books and Star Trek TNG books? HIGH FIVES YOU. 🙂

    (This sounds awesome except for the villain reveals all thing, lol.)

    • 😀 There’s little I don’t read here, in a given year — except for genre romance, I suppose, and I came close to that with Twilight one year. 😉

    • Jillian says:

      Yes, you have run across me in the past. I just didn’t expect you to remember. 🙂 I am the person who first founded The Classics Club. I have had a few book blogs since then & have been wandering around since mid-2018 blogless, which for me basically feels like headless, ha! I can only imagine eventually I’ll be back.

      • Ooooh! I’m working on wrapping up my first CC venture and have been planning the second. It’s quite the community you helped inspire!

      • Jillian says:

        Oh, congratulations!! I’m excited to see your new list!! 😀

      • I’ll be excited to see it once it’s finished! So far I only have 11 titles, I think. I need to devote an hour or so (and a full pot of coffee) to going through the big list of classics and getting some ideas!

      • Jillian says:

        Selecting titles is my favorite part!!! THERE IS SO MUCH to choose from. So many eras, voices, places, centuries, genres, remembered & forgotten titles. It’s lovely to see where people choose to settle. My problem with the list is I can’t stick to t. I find a new exciting title I’d rather have on my list everywhere I turn. I finally decided to call my first list done after I read 150 classics, most of which weren’t from my original list. It seems to be how I do things, ha.

  2. This sounds like a book of alternative history, or perhaps magical fiction.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s