Author: Dayton Ward
Series: Star Trek: The Next Generation; Star Trek: Typhon Pact

A casual reader or Trek fan should not take a Star Trek novel lightly these days, especially when the novel is set in the late 24th century. Novels released by Pocket Books starting in the early 2000s fall into some continuity that fans call the β€œNovelverse,” where events in one book might be referenced in another or a meta-story can drive the plotlines of multiple books. Some authors may or may not follow the novels’ continuity (you can spot continuity slip-ups and ret-cons here and there), but the story in the novels strives to be self-contained. Continuity may be good or bad for the books, but some (like me) appreciate this and want to follow where the new Star Trek-lit universe goes.

Paths of Disharmony is written by Dayton Ward and is part of the Star Trek: Typhon Pact miniseries featuring the characters from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Captain Picard was sent by Federation President Nanietta Bacco[1] on a diplomatic mission to Andor. The reproductive crisis of the Andorian people[2] was compounded by the devastation of the planet’s cities following the last Borg Invasion.[3] Leading Andorian scientists struggled to solve the crisis with one solution[4] that seemed promising but was later discarded when the number of failures became higher than the successful births. The Enterprise’s task is to bring leading scientists from the Federation and non-aligned worlds to a conference on Andor to help solve the crisis.

If your last Next Gen story was Star Trek Nemesis, here are some pointers on the current crew of the Enterprise. Will Riker left to command his own ship, the USS Titan.[5] Counselor Troi followed Riker on Titan. Data’s twin, B4, is not on board.[6] Worf stayed as Picard’s first officer. LaForge is still the chief engineer. Picard filled in the missing posts with new officers trying to find the perfect mix, but in almost every novel, there is a change in the line-up. In this novel, the following new faces are significant characters: Choudhurry, security chief; Taurik, a Vulcan assistant chief engineer; and T’Ryssa Chen a half-Vulcan contact specialist. By the way, Picard is already married, and a little Picard is crawling around.[7]

The plot revolves around Andorian politics and the reaction of the Andorian people following the Borg Invasion to the Federation. Some groups felt that the Andorians were forsaken by the Federation or outright against the Federation.[8] Some groups protesting that the new solution for the reproductive crisis is un-Andorian. When the Tholians, a member of the Typhon Pact, announced that the possible solution to the crisis was held secret by the Federation[9], the protests turned into violence; the Enterprise was caught in the middle but could quell both camps. In the end, the decision of Andor will rock the core of the Federation while the Typhon Pact watches.

The miniseries Star Trek: Typhon Pact was supposed to feature a member of the new coalition called Typhon Pact[10] that serves as the counterpart of the Federation. In this book, it is only revealed that the Tholians are doing something behind the scenes. Since the Tholians are already featured in the Star Trek: Vanguard series, I understand why they are not fully featured here.

This book also features the Andorian Thirishar ch’Thane back to the TrekLit[11], although not much of β€œairtime” as I liked it to be. I hope his character will be revisited soon and in a Deep Space Nine book.

I feel Pocket Books is slowly closing the gap between the novels and the prime universe segment of the Star Trek (2009) movie, especially the Star Trek: Countdown comic by IDW. There are hints on the future role of Picard. On that note, I want a Data/B-4 story!

The novel starts slowly but picks up the pace sometime after the midpoint up to the big decision near the end. I want to read the aftermath of this book soon.

Quick rating: 3 Borg Cubes (out of 5).

[1] first mentioned in A Time for War, A Time for Peace

[2] first discussed on the DS9 relaunch novels

[3] as seen in Star Trek: Destiny miniseries

[4] first presented in Mission Gamma miniseries

[5] follow his adventures on Star Trek: Titan series

[6] read what happened on Articles of the Federation

[7] more of that on Greater Than the Sum and Losing the Peace

[8] one of them was featured in the comic Alien Spotlight: Andorians by IDW

[9] this is the meta-story of the Star Trek: Vanguard series

[10] first mentioned in A Singular Destiny

[11] he was last seen on Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Volume One


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