Spoilers TNG: Masks by John Vornholt Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Defcon, Feb 19, 2016.


Rate Masks

  1. Outstanding

    5 vote(s)
  2. Above Average

    5 vote(s)
  3. Average

    3 vote(s)
  4. Below Average

    0 vote(s)
  5. Poor

    1 vote(s)
  1. Defcon

    Defcon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    May 9, 2003

    The U.S.S. Enterprise journeys to Lorca, a beautiful world with a feudal culture where the inhabitants wear masks to show their rank and station. Captain Picard and an away team don masks of their own to begin a quest for the planet's ruler and the great Wisdom Mask that the leader traditionally wears. Their mission is to establish diplomatic relations.

    But shortly after transporting, Picard and his party lose contact with the ship, and Commander Riker leads a search party down to the planet to find them.

    Both men, are unaware that their searches, indeed, the ship's entire mission are part of the plan of a madman, a madman who is setting the stage for a trap that will ensnare both U.S.S. Enterprise landing parties, and leave him to seize control of the awesome Wisdom Mask as well as the planet Lorca itself.


    Definitely one of the strongest of the earliest TNG novels, and while I haven't read it in a couple of years it did hold up on previous rereads. Probably should give it another go sometime soon.
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    The first time or two that I read Masks, I liked the concept and the worldbuilding of Lorca and its mask-based society, but I felt it got Picard out of character, giving him too much action and adventure and romance compared to how he was portrayed on the show. But later on, once Patrick Stewart had convinced the producers to turn Picard into more of a man of action and adventure and romance, I went back to Masks and realized that, retroactively, it fit just fine. The one major continuity glitch remaining is that it seems to treat Alpha Centauri as a rugged frontier world rather than a founding member of the Federation. I just mentally revise it to "Theta Centauri," which seems a more reasonable candidate.
  3. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Dec 26, 2002
    I read this novel years ago I liked the book when I originally read it a long time ago.
  4. Kilana2

    Kilana2 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jan 31, 2015
    Erlangen, Germany
    I can hardly remember it although it is part of my huge collection. Except the fact that I found it above average.
  5. TheUsualSuspect

    TheUsualSuspect Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Oct 28, 2011
    Pueblo, CO
    Only time I ever read this one was when it first came out (I rarely reread anything, even Trek) and I remember liking it a lot. I do think I had a similar reaction to Christopher's concerning Picard's characterization.
    Jinn likes this.
  6. DGCatAniSiri

    DGCatAniSiri Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Aug 1, 2008
    It's always been one of my favorites. Like if you're doing an 'away mission of the week' style story, I want this kind of world-building to go into it, it really helps to make the planet unique and not just another 'random bumpy foreheaded alien' like we often see in Star Trek.

    It's been a few years since I read it, but it's one of the books I look forward to every time I reread them.
  7. Galekarens

    Galekarens Commander Red Shirt

    Apr 29, 2009
    Midwest, USA
    I do recall reading this book about when it first came out but all I really remember from it is that Picard had a rather romantic encounter with a female (planetary) leader lol, though am pretty sure I enjoyed the story.
  8. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 7, 2001
    When I was a kid and watched the episode "Masks" I was really confused why it had nothing to do with this book.
  9. rahullak

    rahullak Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 4, 2009
    Ha! This is one of the first Trek books I read, one of the few Trek books available in my local library about 15 years back. Although I don't remember the story all that well, I remember it was above average. Recall that the world-building was intriguing.
  10. vegaslover62

    vegaslover62 Commander Red Shirt

    The only part I remember(which is quite vivid), was when the two landing parties finally meet, and neither party knows who the other is, except for Troi sensing some familiarity, then they finally find out, they take off their masks to recognize each other, and the natives react like they're all stripping naked.
  11. Trek Survivor

    Trek Survivor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jan 12, 2009
    I thought this was an excellent one, and certainly one of my favourites. Great world-building and a pretty exciting, well-paced plot.