Monday, February 28, 2011

Triangle: Imzadi II Disappoints Even Loyal Peter David Fans!

The Good: Moments of humor
The Bad: Nothing deep in terms of character, Seems short, Lacks "spark"
The Basics: Triangle: Imzadi II weaves together a love story between Worf and Troi with a pointless Thomas Riker/Romulan Espionage story that falls flat.

Peter David is an author who pretty much lit the world on fire for Star Trek fans when he began writing Star Trek novels, especially the Star Trek: The Next Generation ones. The reason for this was that David has a knack for tying together the various elements of the Star Trek universe. He has been known to take the bottle-episodes from Star Trek and turn ideas and concepts created for their novelty and reintegrate them into a larger Star Trek universe as presented by Star Trek: The Next Generation and the subsequent spin-offs which were more detail-oriented.

As well, Peter David was often called upon to fill in the gaps in the Star Trek universe. One of the big gaps was how the relationship between Commander Worf and Deanna Troi, which was running strong full-steam ahead dissipated between the series finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Worf's appearance on Deep Space Nine in "The Way Of The Warrior." So, it seemed natural for the publishers of the Star Trek novels to turn to Peter David for that story. What is less obvious was that David would turn that story into a sequel to his amazing work Imzadi (reviewed here!).

In Triangle: Imzadi II, Worf and Troi's relationship is progressing in such a way that they are headed to the altar and both are excited about the prospect of sharing their lives together. Worf is ecstatic that Troi is tougher than she originally appeared to him and that she has a clear love of his son, Alexander. Troi is happy that Worf has a more soft side than he shows to anyone else. As their nuptials become imminent, Worf and Troi have to deal with Lwaxana Troi and Commander Riker's place in Deanna Troi's life, which complicate their relationship.

Also complicating their story is the reappearance of Thomas Riker. Riker, a prisoner on a Cardassian prison planet, is sprung by a Romulan spy. Affiliated with Sela, the insidious Romulan daughter of Tasha Yar, Tom begins an agenda which stands to harm William Riker, Troi and Worf!

Sadly, Triangle: Imzadi II lacks all of the brilliance of Peter David's Imzadi. First, because the narrative begins following the death of Worf's wife, Jadzia Dax, the reader knows from the outset that Triangle will simply be the story of how Worf and Troi fail to come together. Set with two time periods ("Then" and "Now"), "Triangle" presents Worf as a melancholy whiner who might be the greatest threat to himself and romance in the known galaxy.

Second, David's brilliance in Imzadi was that he took a relatively minor character, that of Deanna Troi, and made her into a pretty wonderful heroine. Yes, David's Deanna Troi had character and she had a spine and she was interesting to read. In other words, the reader clearly understood why Riker was infatuated with her. David made Troi a character who was more than just about cleavage, which sadly Marina Sirtis seldom had the opportunity to do on the actual television series.

In Triangle, Troi is a ragdoll, tossed between various forces and influences that demand her for their own agenda. She is not strong, she is not impressive, she is little more than a damsel in distress and that is disappointing for those who were fans of Imzadi, Troi or great literature. Triangle is far more formulaic than Imzadi was and it lacks the spark of brilliance that made the first novel truly click.

Moreover, the plots are largely incongruent with one another. The Thomas Riker plot feels largely like filler, like David needed an action story to pad out the romance plot of the primary narrative. Most readers will find this to be unnecessary, save that the a-plot lacks real substance as well. The truly disappointing aspect of the Tom Riker plot is that it comes from Peter David. David seems to have a great appreciation for the Star Trek universe and in the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, viewers are told that all of the Maquis were killed. Tom Riker ought not to have been kept alive by the Cardassians after the Dominion took over. There was no purpose. If there were ever an author to stand up and say "yeah, they wasted him," it should have been Peter David.

That said, David's trademark sense of humor is evident throughout Triangle, but it is nowhere near as fresh as it appeared in is early works. For those who love Star Trek: The Next Generation and/or Imzadi, stick with the originals: this book will just disappoint.

For other Star Trek books by, please check out:
I, Q By Peter David and John de Lancie
Star Trek: The Motion Picture By Gene Roddenberry
Star Trek Archives 1: The Best Of Peter David


For other book reviews, please visit my index page for an organized listing by clicking here!

© 2011, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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