New Frontier: House of Cards by Peter David Blurb: Sector 221-G: For the whole of Federation history, this large area of space has been controlled by the Thallonians, a cruel, militaristic race of which little is known except that they rule the other races in their sector with a vicious iron hand. Now the Thallonian Empire has collapsed and the systems it once ruled are in chaos. Old hatreds are surfacing. Petty tyrants control deadly weapons. World after world is descending into disorder and self-destruction. The Federation must send a starship to help where it can and report what it finds. That ship is the USS Excalibur, a newly refit Ambassador-class starship commanded by Captain Mackenzie Calhoun and manned by Starfleet's best and brightest, including some old friends from Star Trek: The Next Generation and some of the most dynamic new characters ever to crew a Federation starship. Join Captain Calhoun and the crew of the USS Excalibur as they explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and new civilizations, and boldly go where no one has gone before! ___________________________________________________ My (short) review from over a decade ago: House of Cards is a good start into the New Fronter series. Even when, like with most new series, the introduction of the characters is at the forefront of the novel, this short novel is able to work and satisfy on its own, while whetting your appetite for more. Overall one of the best "pilots" for a new series I've experienced, be it TV or books.