Well, here we are, the final book in the 2013 Star Trek event series, the Fall. Written by Dayton Ward, Peaceable Kingdoms attempts to close up the series. I say attempts because I didn’t find much in the book to be all that enjoyable. Peaceable Kingdoms isn’t bad, but that doesn’t make it good.
From a story perspective, it does exactly what it needs to do, resolving the major conflicts of the Fall surrounding the murder of President Nanietta Bacco. Doctor Crusher has been contacted by a former colleague who has proof that President Pro-Tem Ishan Anjar of Bajor is not who he says he is. Needless to say, along the way, Ishan attempts to stop the Enterprise, along with Riker and Crusher, from uncovering the truth. That means other black ops cells and more Starfleet officers fighting Starfleet officers.
The book relies a bit too much on flashbacks to reveal the villains motives. Turns out, he’s a Cardassian collaborator from the Occupation whose only real goal appears to be survival and eliminating anyone who stands in the way of that. That’s really all there is to him; Ishan wanted to survive and leaves a lot of bodies in his wake, including some people who saved him and serve him loyally.
Andor eventually returns to the Federation and Kellessar zh’Tarash, the head of the newly cured Andorians becomes the new President of the Federation. This means that Bashir’s asylum is short lived, and he’s brought back to the Federation to face the consequences of what he’s done. That story line goes unresolved, but apparently we’ll be getting a follow up in a new Section 31 book later this year.
The few bright spots in the story include the idea of Picard refusing a promotion, again. And, for his help in saving the Federation, forces the Admiralty’s hand to make him an explorer again. Riker’s still an Admiral but the book ends with him being a force for good in the ranks of Starfleet, as well as rumblings that he’ll return to being a captain. I certainly hope so. I didn’t wait all these years for Riker to get his own ship, then have Titan be a diverse and interesting crew, just to end up with Riker behind a desk. That’s a waste.
If it sounds like I don’t have much to say about this book, it’s because I don’t. The book is wholly unremarkable. A paint-by-the-numbers conclusion to a series that’s had it’s share of ups and downs. Listen, Peaceable Kingdoms isn’t bad, it’s just not good. It is what it is, the conclusion to a five book series that can’t stand on it’s own. If you’re already invested in the series, read to the finish, that’s fine. Just don’t expect any major surprises or plot twists.
Next week, I’ll post some thoughts on Star Trek: the Fall as a complete story, not just separate books.