Genre Star Trek Publisher Simon & Schuster Year Published 2003 Review Posted on 5/2/2005 Reviewer Rating
6 out of 10
Signature Edition: Imzadi Forever, by Peter David
Reviewed by Jeff Edwards
If you've read this book, why not
Imzadi Forever is a special signature edition reprinting two Star Trek: The Next Generation novels - "Imzadi" (1992) and "Triangle: Imzadi II" (1998).
As "Imzadi" opens, Admiral Will Riker sits in his office on Starbase 86 and dwells on the past. He is seventy-three years old and bitter, still blaming himself for Deanna Troi's death forty years earlier. But when Riker learns that Deanna survived in an alternative time stream, he breaks Starfleet regulations and uses the Guardian of Forever in a desperate attempt to save the woman he loves.
In "Triangle: Imzadi II," Worf recalls his short-lived engagement to Deanna Troi. Soon after proposing to her, Worf takes Deanna to Betazed to share the news with her mother. Will Riker follows, hoping to win Deanna back before it's too late. But Will isn't the only Riker on Betazed: His duplicate, Tom, has also arrived - and he has brought along some renegade Romulans who want to use Worf as a tool in their vendetta against the Klingons.
Throughout Imzadi Forever, Peter David makes references to other stories as a way to enrich his own work. In "Imzadi," he draws heavily upon "The City on the Edge of Forever," an episode from the original Star Trek series about heart-wrenching decisions and the effect of past deaths on future events. And in "Triangle," he mentions Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities," a book with particular significance to Tom Riker ("One man...identical to another...sacrificing himself so that those who are important to him have a second chance at life and happiness").
Because "Triangle" was promoted as a sequel to "Imzadi," it's natural to want to compare the two, but doing so is futile: They are nothing alike. A flashback story, "Triangle" opens and closes with brief segments titled "Now," but the bulk of the novel takes place in the section called "Then." The author employs a more creative narrative structure in "Imzadi": He starts at "The End," then moves to "The End of the Beginning," "The Beginning," and so on - an effective way to present the dramatic time travel story.
Despite its complex structure, "Imzadi" features a straightforward plot: how Will's love for Deanna leads him to court her, and then rescue her - more than once. (Peter David's attempts to add action scenes to convince male readers that they've picked up a "space opera" rather than a "soap opera" won't win the author any feminist fans: Deanna doesn't give herself to Will until after he saves her life when she becomes a "damsel in distress," complete with a Sindareen raider's blaster shoved symbolically into her mouth.) In contrast to the laser-like focus of "Imzadi," "Triangle" boasts an abundance (perhaps overabundance) of plotlines. The story covers a lot of ground: Worf's and Deanna's failed romance, Worf's strained relationship with his son, Will finally deciding to act on his feelings for Deanna, and Tom trying to find redemption.
The biggest problem with "Triangle" is that the author doesn't believe in the romance between Worf and Deanna. After all, Star Trek canon tells us that the relationship ends. It's not hard to see why: In "Imzadi," Riker risks everything and travels through time to rescue Deanna; in "Triangle," Worf refuses to save Deanna when she is poisoned, because doing so would mean bowing to Romulan demands.
The publisher did Peter David a disservice by labeling "Triangle" as a sequel to "Imzadi." That mistake was compounded by reprinting the two novels together as Imzadi Forever. Like Deanna's relationships with Riker and Worf, the two stories couldn't be more different: The first is an emotional tale about love that survives across time streams; the second is a more traditional Trek adventure full of prison breaks, abductions and assassination plots. Within such a wide spectrum, Imzadi Forever offers something to satisfy all but the most hard-to-please Star Trek fans.