"By telling the stories from the 'guest' characters' points of view, DeCandido is able to offer fresh perspectives -- and fill in backstory relevant to the regular characters. ... DeCandido has only done the Trek readership a great favor in bringing all the love and care to the guest characters that would ordinarily be reserved solely for the familiar old gang."
---Killian Melloy, wigglefish.com
The Brave & the Bold
"DeCandido’s style is comfortable, like putting on an old sweater (or a nice new one you got for Christmas). He has a solid grasp of the Star Trek lore and established continuity while presenting a twist on a familiar theme. In this two-book series, he combines everything together to good effect."The Brave & the Bold is my attempt to rectify that. Sort of. The format of this duology is one prelude and four novellas over two books. The story opens with one chapter featuring Jonathan Archer and the gang from Enterprise, then each of the novellas features the crew of one of the remaining four TV shows teaming up with another ship, captained by a past guest star from a TV show. The point-of-view characters are the crews of the other ships as well, so we'll get to see how other folks in Starfleet view the heroes we've come to know and love over the years. The plot involves the four crews finding the four parts of an ancient and deadly artifact from the long-defunct Zalkat Union.
---Bill Williams, TrekWeb, 30 December 2002
"Keith R A DeCandido offers the best Trek novel in recent memory."The books are divided as follows:
---Chris Wyatt on Book 1, Cinescape Online, 13 December 2002
Prelude: the Enterprise (NX-01). This prelude sets the story up with the 22nd-century discovery of the existence of the Zalkatian artifact. Thanks to the appearance of Archer et al, this is the first single story to encompass all five Trek TV incarnations.
Part 1: the Enterprise (NCC-1701) and the Constellation. "The Doomsday Machine" was, in many ways, the inspiration for this idea. William Windom did such a superlative job portraying Commodore Matt Decker in this episode that I was very curious to know more about him -- I particularly wanted to see him before he lost his crew to the planet-killer. So we have this story, which takes place just prior to "Balance of Terror" (and a year prior to Decker's death in "Doomsday"), thus serving the dual purpose of showing Decker in better times and giving a perspective on Jim Kirk from before he became the legend he would grow into.
Part 2: Deep Space 9 and the Odyssey. In "The Jem'Hadar," we met the acerbic Captain Keogh of the Galaxy-class ship the Odyssey. We didn't know much about him, except that he and Jadzia Dax did not get along. So this story gets to show the origin of that animosity, with the added bonus of bringing back a character I always liked: Orta, the disfigured Bajoran freedom fighter from "Ensign Ro." I was surprised that they never brought him back on DS9, so I took advantage of this opportunity to do so and see what made him tick.
"The Brave and the Bold is really four novellas that together almost seamlessly tell one grand and epic story. Book One is particulary poignant to read because as you are getting to know some of the crew members of the Odyssey and Constellation, you know in the back of your mind that ultimately they will meet a tragic end. The assurance and ease with the characters that the author demonstrates leaps off the pages of both books in a way that allows the reader to just relax and enjoy the ride."Part 3: the Voyager and the Hood; Chakotay's Maquis cell and Cal Hudson's Maquis cell. Voyager was a bit more of a challenge, since they're separated from the rest of Starfleet (aside from the Equinox, and that ground was pretty well covered by the TV show), so I decided to cover something the TV show never dealt with in any depth: the pre-"Caretaker" period. Voyager is on its shakedown cruise and Chakotay's Maquis cell is fighting for its cause. In this story, we learn precisely how and why Tuvok infiltrated the Maquis, a tale also involving the Hood (Riker's post prior to the Enterprise, seen in "Encounter at Farpoint" and "Tin Man") and the first Maquis we ever met, Benjamin Sisko's old friend Cal Hudson ("The Maquis").
---Jacqueline Bundy, "The Book Padd," Trek Nation
Part 4: the Enterprise (NCC-1701-E) and the I.K.S. Gorkon. The entire story comes together in Part 4, as not only is the fourth part of the artifact found, but the other parts are brought together -- as are elements from each of the three previous stories. Both the artifacts and several important people in both the Klingon Empire and the Federation have gone missing -- including Federation Ambassadors Worf and Spock. Captains Picard and Klag must work together to find them. Klag -- who was Riker's second officer when he briefly served on the Klingon ship the Pagh in "A Matter of Honor" -- is a fascinating character whom I had a great time developing in Diplomatic Implausibility. Look for more Gorkon adventures later this year...
"I found these books to be fun reads; the first one primarily because of the chance to see famous crews seen through the eyes of others; the second one primarily because of plot situations (Tuvok and Captain Klag's crew). ... So go ahead and pick up The Brave and The Bold. It's like reading extra episodes of Star Trek in all its incarnations."Both these books are available at your local bookstore and from the good folks at Amazon.com, so pick up your copies now!
---Gregory J. Dolnack, The Storyteller's Annex
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