The Lost Era: The Art of the Impossible, by Keith R.A. DeCandido

The Lost Era The Art of the Impossible, by Keith R.A. DeCandido book coverGenre: Star Trek
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Published: 2003
Reviewer Rating: three and a half stars
Book Review by Lynn Nicole Louis

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Star Trek: The Lost Era books are stories about events hinted at in the series as background to the Star Trek Universe, but are never covered in any sort of detail. The Art of the Impossible concerns the 18-year Betreka Nebula ‘incident’ between the Cardassians and the Klingons over the fate of planet Raknal V.

The Cardassians discovered it and want to exploit it’s resources, but in their initial survey, they uncover the wreckage of an ancient Klingon spaceship, part of the long lost and historically significant Ch’gran; a ship among the fleet of first spaceships the Klingons launched.

Once the Klingons get word of this, they stake their own claim to the world of Raknal V. Battles between the Cardassians and the Klingons ensue, and the Federation steps in to broker an agreement. Since neither the Cardassians nor the Klingons are in a position to enter a protracted war, they agree to the Federations plans: basically a sharing of the world between the two races until one has clearly exerted their dominance over the world, at which time the world will be ceded to whomever that is.

Naturally, things don’t go as planned, including Romulan interference and a secret a certain Klingon house would do anything to keep under wraps. Mix in cloak and dagger from the Obsidian Order, the Cardassian equivalent to the CIA/FBI, and Imperial Intelligence, the Klingon equivalent, and you’ve got intrigue to go along with action.

This is the fourth book I’ve read by DeCandido and I continue to be impressed with his skills. Once again he presents a book that, although based in the Star Trek world, would pretty much appeal to any fan of science fiction. It would be easy for him to fall back on created knowledge and skimp, but instead he takes what’s already there an adds to it.

Star Trek fans will recognize familiar characters and appreciate the convincing original ones he creates as well. Of special interest was the introduction of Worf’s parents and a telling of the Romulan attack on Khitomer, an attack that left Worf an orphan and ultimately resulted in him becoming a Star Fleet officer. For hard core Trek fans, this is a must read. Casual fans will still find it very interesting. And science fiction fans in general will enjoy it as well, since it’s not a novel about Star Trek, but rather a novel about political intrigue between warring factions of alien races set in a universe far, far away…

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