Another Classic Review Thread. Titan: Taking Wing by Michael A. Martin & Andy Mangels Blurb: THE BEGINNING OF A NEW STAR TREK ® ODYSSEY After almost a decade of strife against foes such as the Borg, the Cardassians, the Klingons, and the Dominion, the United Federation of Planets is at the dawn of a new era. Starfleet is renewing its mission of peaceful exploration, diplomacy, and the expansion of knowledge. Among the starships spearheading that endeavor is the U.S.S. Titan, commanded by Captain William T. Riker and manned by the most biologically varied and culturally diverse crew in Starfleet history. But their mission does not begin according to plan. In the wake of Star Trek ® Nemesis, Praetor Shinzon, slayer of the Romulan Senate, is dead. The power vacuum created by his demise has put the Romulan Star Empire, longtime adversary of the Federation, at the brink of civil war. Competing factions now vie for control of their fragmenting civilization, and if the empire should fall, that entire area of the galaxy may destabilize. To restore order to the region, Titan 's long-anticipated mission of exploration is delayed as Starfleet assigns Riker to set up power-sharing talks among the Romulan factions. But even as the first tentative steps are taken toward building a new Romulus, the remnants of the Tal Shiar, the dreaded Romulan intelligence service, are regrouping behind the scenes for a power play of their own. With no other help available, Riker and the Titan crew become the last hope to prevent the quadrant from falling into chaos. Excerpt _____________________________________ My review from 2005: A still good start for the Titan series. But this novel has one big problem, the authors failed to interweave the plot part with the character introduction parts necessary in every “pilot” episode. Don’t understand me wrong, both part work for me, but they are to separated for my taste. There are only really 3 (or 4 if we can count Tuvok as a permanent one) crewmembers who play a big role in the main romulan plot, and all three of those are already known : Riker, Troi and Ranul Keru. All the others and especially the new ones play only minor roles or no role whatsoever in this part of the book. It’s a little bit like they said : O.K. we write the plot part and we write the character part and in the end we put them together, only that they have forgotten the put together part before turning in the manuscript. It’s nice to see some of the post-Nemesis romulan political landscape in this novel and the solution of the problem in the end could make for another good novel, which not necessarily has to be a Titan novel. Just a novel focusing on the romulan/reman society with the Klingons sitting directly in their backyard is something I would buy instantly. The characterizations are good for the most part. The character I liked the most was the Ferengi geologist Dr. Bralik, I see a hell of a lot potential in her. Most of the rest of the featured crew members are interesting, too. But something I can’t really understand so far is the big deal which was made of the CMO Dr. Ree, in my eyes he is one of the more uninteresting characters. After the initial “Oh, look we have dinosaur-like doctor and he eats raw meat” moments I don’t see much potential for him after what we have seen here. While I’m still no fan of Tuvok, here at least he has more to do than in the Voyager Relaunch and he should stay around. Spock’s involvement in this novel had it’s moments but overall he remains somewhat dull and rather uninteresting compared to other appearances in 24th Century series he has made in the past. Of the Romulan and Reman characters I found the Reman Mekrikuk to be the most interesting, but they are all well characterized in my opinion. Overall a decent novel, although it got the benefit of the doubt for being a pilot. If it hadn’t been the first novel of a new series the rating would have been a bit lower.