My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I really wanted to like this. I love Star Trek:The Next Generation and Q and it's obvious the author does too. Unfortunately it didn't translate well onto the page. I think another reviewer put his finger on it saying Q is missing his usual humor. That is definitely part of it.
I think the other part of it is DeCandido tries to weave ALL of Q's appearances into one long tapestry culminating in the events of this novel and it only partially works. Mostly what we have are alternating points of view, bouncing over the timeline back and forth over the course of ST:TNG, DS9 & Voyager to cover Q's involvement and nothing 'new' until nearly mid-way in. The rest is either the crew of the Enterprise or various other characters that serve to show planets and star systems are winking out but with no emotional investment in them it's hard to care.
Also DeCandido is hampered by that horrible Star Trek:Nemesis movie and the destruction of Data; that and a need to pair off everyone, Deanna and Riker married and moved off ship, Crusher and Picard (which yes, both are canon) but it seems almost their end all be all, while it falls to Geordi and Worf to deal with the new characters, the second in command and new mom to twins (left behind with dad) Miranda Kadohata and new head of security, Leybenzon and oh, angst about Data's loss, a lot.
The end result is it's slow, vaguely repetitive as we march toward the end of the universe. The latter half of the book is better. The ideas DeCandido has gel here and they do work. However, the story feels overly long. Even though it's only 290 pages it could have lost about 90 of those and felt like a better paced, more interesting story.
In spite of the author's obvious love for his medium and for Q, it just doesn't pop. That's a shame. But I will allow, it might just be me since this is rather well reviewed by many. If I hadn't needed a Q for the read the alphabet challenge, I wouldn't have finished this.
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