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Mass Market Paperback A Time to Heal Book

ISBN: 0743491785

ISBN13: 9780743491785

A Time to Heal

(Part of the Star Trek: The Next Generation Series)

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Book Overview

On the cusp of their epic battle with Shinzon, many of Captain Jean-Luc Picard's long-time crew were heading for new assignments and new challenges. Among the changes were William Riker's promotion to captain and his new command, Riker's marriage to Counselor Deanna Troi, and Dr. Beverly Crusher's new career at Starfleet Medical. But the story of what set them on a path away from the Starship Enterprise(tm) has never been told. UNTIL NOW. A cataclysmic...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Book Two of David Mack's triumpant dulogy

Last month, in my review of the seventh book of this mini-series, I noted that "A Time to Kill" was my favorite read this year. While "A Time to Kill" was a slightly stronger book in some ways than "A Time to Heal", I must recant my previous statement. "A Time to Heal" now stands out as my favorite Star Trek novel of the year. The story picks up on the planet Tezwa where Starfleet has taken on the role of peacekeeper and rebuilder, akin to America's role in Afghanistan after the first wave of the 'War on Terror' and equally similar to the current occupation of Iraq. Thousands of Starfleet security, engineering, and medical officers have converged upon Tezwa to render aid to the struggling government, led by Prime Minister Bilok, who has succeeded the fleeing ex-prime minister, Kinchawn - now an underground warlord with desires of returning to his former glory. The Federation is caught up in the middle of the mess, however, far beyond aid and assistance, and to detail what I mean would result in a spoil of both "Kill" and "Heal" as well as the forthcoming conclusion to the series. Intrigue, plotting, murder, sex, the Orion Syndicate - all these make effective contributions to the storyline and make the read a very enjoyable, if not downright frightening, journey to the center of the Federation. The book scores only marginally lower on a 'technical' standpoint than it's predecessor because it took several chapters to get into the slightly varied storytelling style that David Mack adopted for this book. Once one gets involved, it's as gripping as "Kill" and the ending will blow your socks off! One recommendation, when you get to the beginning of Chapter 28, stop, get a cold drink (or warm one if you are reading from the Southern Hemisphere) and then get cozy, and do NOT stop reading. The final chapters of this novel are best experienced as one complete unit, as if they were a single chapter. The discoveries you will find in these chapters are chilling, and I think that they loose some of their effect if not read quickly and in immediate succession. One of the difficult things about reviewing this novel is the level of intricate detail that David Mack put into this novel. It is almost impossible to properly review the book without spoiling half of the content, but please believe me, it's not for a lack of effort on the part of the author. The story is tight. VERY tight. There are very few 'trivial' details that don't directly impact the storyline. These books ("Kill" and "Heal") are intense. "A Time to Heal" has really set off a lot of alarms in my mind. Having lived through September 11th and the aftermath (Afghanistan, Iraq, ongoing threat of terrorisim) I have to admit that this book is troubling and challenging. The Federation we know... well, the Feds don't fare so well. After facing the Dominion, the Klingons, and so many other enemies that have sought to do harm to the Federation, suddenly we find that it is not the well organized, impo

One of the most violent books is Trek history

One of the common things about the books in Star Trek's A Time to... series is that the two books by the same author are just one continuing story. There's a cliffhanger at the end of the first book and then the second one goes on from there. While David Mack's A Time to Heal is the same in this respect, it is much different in tone and substance from it's predecessor, A Time to Kill. The first book had very short chapters and moved at a frenetic pace. The political intrigue was there, but it was mixed in with six separate special operations missions that filled the book with the tension of one thing going wrong making the whole thing fall to pieces. A Time to Heal, instead, is much more introspective. There is still a lot of violence (and the infamous David Mack body count), but the passages are much longer, the violence much more personal, and the deaths a lot more meaningful. This is another outstanding book. The planet Tezwa is under Federation occupation, as it was the only way to keep the secret that the Federation government had given advanced weapons to its despotic leader, Kinchawn, hidden. Kinchawn and his government escaped, however, and captured Commander Riker in the process. They head an insurgency of terror that kills many Starfleet officers as well as natives of the planet in bombings and other terror attacks. Captain Picard and the Enterprise head a fleet of Starfleet vessels to help the new Tezwan government maintain control, as well as to hunt Kinchawn down. Unbeknownst to them, many of their clean-up orders are designed to remove all evidence of the government's secrets. As things begin to spiral out of control on Tezwa, more and more Starfleet officers are killed, but Picard's crew also begin uncovering what really happened. If they are allowed to continue, a government could fall. Or is that exactly what Section 31, the infamous secret intelligence organization, wants? I'll get the obvious out of the way first. Yes, this book reads like a novel about the war in Iraq, and if you want to see it as a political novel, you're more than welcome to. Personally, I think there's enough ambiguity in the book that it's not clear that Mack is using it to make a political statement. Personally, I choose to read it as a novel set in a situation similar, but not exactly the same. Mack has obviously used current events as a springboard to an interesting story, and that's all I'm interested in. And the story *is* interesting. In many of my reviews of this series, I have stated how wonderful it is that we are getting to know various other crewmembers of the Enterprise in some detail. This comes to a head in A Time to Heal, as many of these people we have come to know die pretty tragically in this book. Some do survive, so you are still able to be surprised when a death finally happens. Mack's ability to make each death felt by the reader is unmatched. These are not just faceless characters, given a character trait or

One of the most daring TREK books in years

When I say a book is "daring," I don't mean it's perfect. This one isn't. Its biggest shortcoming is the utter implausibility of Starfleet's final answer the crimes of the Federation president. And you really have to have a strong stomach or an appreciation for descriptions of graphic injury and violence to get through this book's more brutal passages. David Mack's writing is sometimes shockingly vivid, enough to make one wince at times. There's also no escaping what this book and the one before it, A TIME TO KILL, are really about: the 2003 U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. The analogy seems plain -- but thinner and not as well-disguised with SF ideas as such episodes of the 1960s STAR TREK series as "A Private Little War" or "A Taste of Armageddon." But if those are the things that A TIME TO HEAL did wrong, what did it do right? For one thing, even though it used current events as a template, it didn't take sides. Even the so-called villains have reasonable motives, if self-serving or misguided. Mack's portrayal of the tragedies of war, the horrors of combat, and the senselessness of violence is stirring and provocative. He challenges his readers' conceptions of the NEXT GENERATION characters as "pure" or "morally spotless" by putting them in situations where they must make really hard choices between doing the ethical thing and paying a terrible price, or bending their rules little by little in order to stave off disasters, only to find themselves suddenly knee-deep in compromise and complicity. Another excellent element of this book is its use of supporting characters. The "little people" on the ship come to life in lots of well-dramatized incidents that give them personalities. We get to know them, in both their fragility and their heroism, making it truly poignant and upsetting when they meet gruesome fates. The plotting of this book is superb; like A TIME TO KILL, action transpires in multiple places at once and encompasses dozens of characters, yet Mack keeps them all clearly drawn. The story has elements of humor and pathos, military tactics and political scheming, strangely bittersweet relationship arcs and an unrelenting sense of impending disaster. In addition, Mack's use of language is remarkably agile. By turns he can be stark, blunt and hard-hitting, then suddenly lyrical and lushly descriptive. His characters also work on many levels. (Picard is the exception, as he seems to have faded into the background for most of this book. His few moments of pseudo-paternal concern from A TIME TO KILL have greater resonance than all his maudlin pining for Beverly Crusher in A TIME TO HEAL.) In particular, the one frequently underused character who finally got some real development was Deanna Troi. Finally, a STAR TREK main character is forced to confront a truly dark aspect of themselves and isn't able to brush it aside as something alien or "artificially induced" -- Troi must now grapple with the fact that she, like all people, carri

A Haunting, Powerful, Emotional Journey

"Heal," the eighth novel in the "A Time to..." series, continues the journey from The Next Generation's Star Trek: Inssurection adventure to the striking and noticable differences seen in the last feature film, Star Trek: Nemesis. The previous book, "Kill," was also written by David Mack and features the troubled worlf of Tezwa and the chaotic war-frenzy that seems to engulf it's people and the Federation. Caught in the middle is the Enterprise and Starfleet, left to clean up a political mess and save an entire world from tearing itself apart. Reading "A Time to Kill," I was taken in by the Klingon side of things. Basically, without spoiling too much, the Klingons have a bone to pick with the world of Tezwa and it leads to a September 11 situation. What I felt wasn't dealt with, from the get-go, was the result of Worf's actions and how the Klingons were recovering from such a defeat (you have to see the loss of thousands as a major defeat, even for the warrior-driven Klingons). "Heal" though is a story all within itself. Sure, there are early mentionings of a few consequences that came with Worf's decisions in the previous book but the Klingons, for the most part, are not involved in "Heal." It leaves this particular duology with a sense that it's incomplete. The Worf and the Klingons do seem to play a role in the last book of the series, but as a reader, I wanted to know how the Klingons dealt with the big events in "Kill." As for the rest of the book, it is, in my opinion, one of the top Next Generation tales. It is all about being challenged and accepting change, a theme that seems to run rampant in the "A Time to..." series. Each character is given their time in the spotlight. I was relieved to see that La Forge, Troi, Crusher and Riker, who are sometimes shoved to the margins as Picard and Data run the show, are given a lot to do. In Nemesis there seemed to be a more subued and mature La Forge; a tired character that seemed to "see" more than he was letting on. Finishing this book, I feel like Mack definately fleshed him out more and made him a character to really be respected and looked up towards. Crusher has been given a lot of attention in this series and "Kill" left her out of all the fun for the most part. In this tale, she has a budding romance and it looks as if it's exactly what is needed to get her to understand what she wants in a career and life. Riker and Troi are tested in this book as well. Riker is a prisoner of the bad guys, nothing new in novels. Yet, here he is truly pushed to the limits. There were moments when I found myself biting my lower lip or squinching at the description of what he was going through. Troi truly was given the role of a lifetime, finding her counseling and peaceful side broken, letting loose a darker Deanna Troi who finds herself on the counseling couch. This book, unlike "Kill," flowed together better and the pace was good. I found it hard to keep up in "Kill" because of the staccato fe

Fantasic books. Page turner to be sure.

I can't blieve these were David Mack's first Star Trek novelizations. They were absolutely electrifing. I couln't put these two books down. Befor A Time to Kill and a Time to Heal I didn't think there was going to be any books that I would enjoy as much as Imzadi. I really hope that David Mack decides to write some novels based around William Riker and Deanna Troi's adventures on the Titan. I thought he did a fantastic job of telling this story. He had me in tears is some parts of the book. I thought he was very true to character and how each of these characters would react if put in the situations he laid out for them in these books. Great job David Mack. I hope to read more of your books soon.
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