Book ReviewsStar Trek: I, Q

Star Trek: I, Q

I haven’t been writing much about Star Trek novels on this site lately.  That’s because I haven’t been reading many!  I seem to have gotten somewhat soured on the whole enterprise (see what I did there?) after Paramount and Simon & Schuster put the kibbosh on the past two decades of the Star Trek “lit-verse” — the vast continuity of stories from the novels.  This was done because the novels were out of continuity with the recent Picard series.  I think it’s a shame, and my drive to buy and read new Trek novels is currently at a low ebb.  But a few months ago I found my way to I, Q, a novel written by Peter David that I’d missed from back in 2000!  It was fun to read.

Peter David is one of my all-time favorite Star Trek authors. He’s always seemed to have an affinity for the character of Q, played by John de Lancie.  One of Mr. David’s best early Star Trek novels was the inspired Q in Law, which paired up TNG’s two best recurring guest stars: Q and Lwaxana Troi (played by Majel Barrett).  Mr. David followed that book up with Q-Squared, a wild, multiple-timeline-juggling adventure that postulated that Trelane (from the iconic TOS episode “The Squire of Gothos”), was actually a member of the Q Continuum!  These are both spectacular books that still hold up as two of my all-time favorite Star Trek novels.

I don’t know how I missed I, Q, from 2000!  (I suspect what happened is that the book was originally published as a hardcover, and i couldn’t afford it at the time… and then I guess I missed it when it was eventually published in softcover.)

The book was co-written by Peter David and John de Lancie, the actor who played Q.  The novel is written from Q’s perspective, in the first person.  This is a rarity for a Star Trek novel.

The book is set after Q’s three appearances on Star Trek Voyager.  (Aside: ugh, I did not like how Q was used on Voyager.  I didn’t love the whole idea of Q’s having a girlfriend and a son.  Also, the whole thing rang false to me because after Q and Janeway became buddies, there was no believable reason why Q wouldn’t have snapped his fingers and returned the Voyager crew to the Alpha Quadrant.)  But, be that as it may, this story picks up the idea that Q is raising a son, q, with his partner the Lady Q (played on Voyager by the great Susie Plackson — she also played K’Ehleyr and Dr. Selar on TNG).

As this story begins, some sort of disruption of reality puts q and Lady Q in jeopardy, and Q must seek out his old friends/foils Picard and Data for help.

The best part of the book is Q’s funny and arrogant running monologue.  Mr. De Lancie and Mr. David have done a terrific job in capturing the voice of this character, and allowing the audience to get inside his omnipotent head.

As is always the case with Mr. David’s novels, the book is very funny.  It is irreverent and silly, and packed with all sorts of humorous digressions and asides.  (The style is quite pleasantly reminiscent of that of Douglas Adams.)  This is a super-fun read, and quite a page-turner.

The book’s weakness, for me, is that they did not satisfactorily explain, for me, what was going on with the anti-Q group (the M continuum), why the universe was ending, and what exactly stopped everything at the end.   This was all left a little to vague, a little too loose, to suit my tastes.  I wish we’d gotten more development about Melody and the M Continuum, and more answers as to how this was all connected.

Still, this was a fun read and I’m happy to have finally caught up with it!  It was nice to be reading a Star Trek novel again.

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