Spoilers TNG: Headlong Flight by Dayton Ward Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Defcon, Jan 14, 2017.


Rate Headlong Flight

  1. Outstanding

    13 vote(s)
  2. Above Average

    25 vote(s)
  3. Average

    9 vote(s)
  4. Below Average

    3 vote(s)
  5. Poor

    1 vote(s)
  1. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Jul 22, 2004
    Arizona, USA
    Finished reading this last night, and I really enjoyed it.
    It definitely was a more character driven book, without a ton of action, but it had some really good character work, so that was OK.
    I've always enjoyed parallel universe stories, and I really like those elements of this. I especially like the stuff with the alternate Enterprise-D. Throwing in a 23rd Century Romulan Bird of Prey was interesting complication.
    I'm really starting to like the relationship that has been developing between Elfiki and Chen, it's turning in a new Data/Geordi, O'Brien/Bashir friendship.
    Nelidar and Sidrac were pretty interesting, and likeable.
    I'm going with an Above Average, it good, but not mindblowingly awesome.
  2. Jinn

    Jinn Mistress of the Chaotic Energies Rear Admiral

    Dec 22, 2015
    Well, six months, three years, who's counting...

    Anyway, I read this book! I voted above average. From what I gather, this was something of an anniversary book, with it being the thirtieth anniversary of TNG and all that, and you can definitely tell from the story.

    I generally love alternate universe stories, and learning about the histories of such alternate universes, so the Enterprise-D aspects of this worked great for me. Especially, since there didn't seem to be one specific point of divergence that I could find. First we think it's Picard dying in Season 3, then we think it's Tasha not dying, then we learn that Wesley realised Starfleet wasn't for him much earlier and works as a civilian adviser now and then we learn that the Klingon Empire is at odds with the Federation, so who knows when the cut-off point is, or if there is any.

    The "framing story" (not really, but for lack of a better word), is about a planet accidentally jumping through dimensions, collecting the alternate Enterprise-D, a few Romulans from a timeline where the Enterprise got destroyed in "Balance of Terror", and our Enterprise-E, and then stuff happens. The few meetings that are allowed between E and D crew are great and the best part of this book. Ward also showed remarkable restraint, in having the characters, rationally, try to limit contact for fear of breaching the Temporal Prime Directive. If I had written this book, it would have been pure fan service, with all the characters talking about their alternate lives for 300 pages. Thank god I'm a chemistry student and not a writer.

    My only real point of criticism I have is some of the Enterprise crew relationship stuff. Especially the talk between Chen and Elfiki just seemed very weird and not natural to me at all. Maybe something got lost in translation (I read the German translation), but it just felt awkward.

    Not really a criticism and more of an observation, but the alien culture barely appeared, and I found it somewhat refereshing that they didn't have some evil secret agenda. Especially after the Prey trilogy and The Fall I liked this a more straight up science fiction concept/character story, and less of a interstellar politics type thing.

    ETA: One thing I forgot; I heard a multiple people complain about Ward‘s TNG novels containing too much recapping, but found that to be not true at all for this novel, with the exception of a page-long recap of „The Pegasus“ in the alternate universe (which to me seemed the same as the prime one, although I haven‘t seen that episode in forever), in the middle of the book, that didn‘t impact the story at all.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2021