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Star Trek: New Frontier: Gods Above Mass Market Paperback – September 30, 2003


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About the Author

Peter David is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous Star Trek novels, including the incredibly popular New Frontier series. In addition, he has also written dozens of other books, including his acclaimed original novel, Sir Apropos of Nothing, and its sequel, The Woad to Wuin.

David is also well known for his comic book work, particularly his award-winning run on The Incredible Hulk. He recently authored the novelizations of both the Spider-Man and Hulk motion pictures.

He lives in New York.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1: DANTER

Never for an instant had Si Cwan thought he would find himself helpless before Lodec, the senate speaker of Danter. The powerfully built Thallonian stood a head taller than Lodec, and was younger, in far better shape, and one of the most fearsome and deadly fighters ever bred in the history of Thallonian royalty.

So it was that he had been astounded to discover himself in Lodec's palatial estate being held high up, up off his feet, dangling in the air, as the much shorter Lodec held him there. Unable to draw in air, Si Cwan could only gag. His hands clamped around Lodec's arm, trying to twist it free, but he felt corded muscle beneath Lodec's sleeve that had not been there only a few days earlier.

Kalinda let out an infuriated cry and tried to come to his aid, but the other senators intervened and held her back with no effort.

Lodec's smile was affixed upon his face, spreading wider as he drank in Si Cwan's helplessness. "In case you have not yet figured it out, Lord Cwan...we were willing to present ourselves as test cases for the ambrosia. And we are able to give firsthand testimony as to its effectiveness...as I'm sure you now can, as well. Oh...and here is our benefactor now."

A shadow fell upon Si Cwan as he saw a monstrous creature coming toward him. Kalinda had described the being to Cwan as eight feet tall, skin like ebony, face like some sort of vicious jackal's. Evocative of one of the Dogs of War, but far more terrifying. She had not exaggerated in her estimation; he was just as Kalinda had described him, and his eyes burned with fiery scorn as he gazed upon Si Cwan.

Si Cwan fought desperately to break loose, but the inability to breathe hampered him severely. He dangled there from Lodec's grip, helpless as a babe, and the world seemed to be growing dark around him.

"I know, I know," Lodec was saying. "This prospect of 'worship' and such...it seems absurd. But Anubis explained to us their specific desires, and we've discussed it, and we felt, truly: What is the harm? The problem was, we suspected that your pride would make it impossible for you to accept, which was why we had to keep you excluded from many of these meetings...and it turns out we were correct in our assumptions. But I say again: What is the harm of a bit of worship? We tell them what they want to hear. We have prayer meetings and such...and in the meantime they provide us and our allies with this remarkable substance."

Anubis moved closer in toward Si Cwan, an unobstructed path to Si Cwan's face, and his jaws opened wide, and the warm, fetid breath washed over him. And as blackness closed upon Si Cwan, the last thing he heard was Lodec's gently mocking voice inquiring, "Come now, Lord Cwan, honestly...would it harm us...to gather a few laurel leaves?"

And then Si Cwan was jolted back to awareness when he hit the floor. He had no idea what had caused it to happen. All he knew was that one moment he was firmly in Lodec's grasp, and the next he was on the ground, gasping, the world swimming before his blurred vision.

There was a roaring in his ears from the blood deep within, and then it started to fade, only to be replaced by screaming. It was Lodec's voice doing the screaming, which couldn't have suited Si Cwan more.

What Si Cwan could not comprehend, though, was why Lodec's hand was still squeezing his throat. Then his vision began to clear and he instantly understood. Lodec's hand was no longer attached to his arm.

The senate speaker of the Danteri was clutching the stub of his right arm, staring in horror at the blood which was fountaining from the end of it. His face was becoming a paler shade of bronze, and his eyes looked like they were glassing over. The fingers were still clutching spasmodically on Si Cwan's throat, and the Thallonian quickly pried the hand away and tossed it, still quivering, on the ground nearby.

The other senators had a collectively stunned expression on their faces, but Cwan was also struck by what they no longer had: specifically, Kalinda in their grasp. The Thallonian princess was standing several feet away, and she was holding a golden, shimmering, curved cutting tool. The cutting edge was dripping with a thick liquid that was the same color as the blood pouring out of Lodec's stump, and Si Cwan did not require a map to be drawn for him to figure out what had just happened.

Whereas earlier Kalinda had been tentative and even daunted by the prospect of facing down the difficult Danteri senators in Lodec's home grounds, there was now no trace of fear in her at all. The contemplation of difficulty, it seemed, had been far more problematic for her than being faced with the actual difficulty itself. Now that the danger was thrust upon them, she was completely focused on finding a way out of it, and whatever concerns for herself she might have had been shunted aside.

Si Cwan felt a swell of pride in his sister, even as he wondered where in the world she had gotten the cutting implement from.

The answer was not long in coming as the feral-faced creature called Anubis took a step forward. Kalinda swiveled in place, keeping a distance between the two of them, holding the blade level so that any attempt to come in at her quickly would result in the same sort of dismemberment that Lodec had experienced. Lodec, for his part, had sunk to his knees, his screams reduced to faint whimpers. The other senators made a motion toward her, but a quick flick of the instrument in their direction froze them where they stood. "I'd stay where I was if I were you, Senators," Kalinda said in frozen tones, "lest you lose other, more valuable parts."

Anubis likewise ceased any forward motion, but unlike the others, he did not seem particularly intimidated. Indeed, his red eyes burned again, but this time with what seemed a sort of vague amusement. He spoke, his voice low and gravelly, and his long, pointed teeth clicking together slightly. "That is my scythe," he informed her.

"I know," Kalinda said matter-of-factly. Si Cwan truly admired her icy demeanor, for when she had spoken earlier of merely seeing Anubis in passing, she had had such dread in her voice as Cwan had never known. He suspected it was taking all the self-control she possessed to keep herself together in the face of this...this whatever it was. "It was hanging from just behind your hip."

A weapon. He'd had a weapon on him, and Cwan hadn't seen it, else he might have tried to grab it himself. Then again, considering he was being choked at the time, it was probably understandable that he'd missed it considering it was dangling out of immediate sight behind him. But not, obviously, out of Kalinda's sight.

"So you shook free from your captors and grabbed it from me. Very resourceful," said Anubis. He was studying her with such intensity that it seemed as if his gaze were dissecting her. "There is more to you than meets the eye, I suspect."

"And less to you, I'd say," shot back Kalinda. Si Cwan had detected some slight trembling in her hands earlier as she held the scythe, but now it was rock steady.

She abruptly took a step toward Anubis, thrusting the scythe forward. The jackal-headed god did not flinch, but his eyes narrowed in what now seemed annoyance. It appeared that Kalinda's amusement value to him was wearing thin.

"You have potential, child. But not as much as you think." Then Lodec's whimpering from nearby distracted him, and Anubis turned his attention to the injured Danteri with poorly disguised annoyance. "Cease your carrying-on. Pick up the hand. Hold it against your wrist."

Lodec did as he was instructed. He did so very tentatively, however, apparently appalled by the notion of touching his own severed hand. Anubis, seeming for all the world as if he'd forgotten that Kalinda was standing there -- or perhaps he simply no longer cared -- strode over toward the fallen Lodec and produced a small vial from the belt of his kilt. A thick, viscous green liquid was within, and he upended it so that it poured down upon the separation between hand and arm. Lodec let out another scream then, and this one made the earlier seem a mild squeak in comparison. There was a loud sizzling, like meat being cooked up, and the aroma almost triggered Cwan's gag reflex. He was relieved he was able to squelch it in time; vomiting before one's enemies was never a good idea.

"Stop your yowling," commanded Anubis, and Lodec did the best he could. He sank his teeth into his lower lip and once again confined his pain to whimpering noises. As he did so, however, he was staring fixedl...

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Product Details

  • Series: Star Trek: New Frontier (Book 13)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books/Star Trek; paperback / softback edition (September 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743418581
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743418584
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #896,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

There are scenes in this book that take us back to adventures of Kirk and crew and the original Enterprise-1701.
Joe Zika
David has done a masterful job with the New Frontier series, and with this entry he proves that he is still one of the best writers in the Star Trek pantheon.
Jason C. Garza
And as always, just when you think things are wrapped up, in classic Peter David style, he leaves the reader with a jaw dropping cliff hanger.
Jayson Olson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Joe Zika TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 9, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Star Trek-New Frontier: Gods Above written by Peter David is an adventure that takes you on a ride of a lifetime. This book continues where "Being Human" has left off and takes us through an interesting story about The Beings.

The Beings are made of energy and can take the shape of Earthlike pseudo-Egyptian-Greco-Roman-Norse-Mesopotamian-Gods i.e. Apollo, Artemis, Thoth, Anubis, Woden, and Hermes just to name a few. The Beings need worship to derive their energy and to get the people to worship them they hand out ambrosia to guarantee continued compliance.

This book continues the storyline of Mackenzie Calhoun the captain of the U.S.S. Excalibur along with Captain Elizabeth Shelby for the U.S.S. Trident as they face these god-like beings in a show down. Freedom of thought vs. total compliance and worship of a pseudo-god are what's at stake. This book takes us from the Excalibur to the Trident to the planet Danter as we read on. There are twists and turns as McHenry is in a self-imposed state of stasis and is experiencing out of body experiences. The Danteri run off SiCwan and Kalinda as the Thallonians tried to pose a government with them as the head, only to be rescued by an icon in the Trek universe.

This is a well-crafted story with plenty of action-adventure to go around. The beginning of the book is a little slow going as David sets-up the story, but there is plenty of character interaction and interplay to make the story interesting as it begins to take stride. There is a good space battle scene and as space begins to open up and things happen. There are scenes in this book that take us back to adventures of Kirk and crew and the original Enterprise-1701.

All in all, this was a good, fast and interestingly enjoyable read. I gave it a solid 5 stars and it is worth the purchase price. A point of fact, I have NOT read anything by Peter David that was a dud, he is a very intertaining author that writes a well-told story.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Burgoine on October 4, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The latest installment in Peter David's "New Frontier" series got a little out of hand in its plot, but was ultimately enjoyable.

When we last saw the crew (or, I should say, 'crews,' since Shelby's crew on the Trident is now just as much a part of the plot as Calhoun's on the Excalibur), they were getting beaten to a pulp by the ancient gods of historical earth, and we'd learned that Mark McHenry had, in his ancestry, one of those gods - Apollo. In the episode of the original series with Apollo, he took a lady lieutenant aside, and apparently, they conceived, which ultimately led to Mark and his odd abilities.

Since Mark told Calhoun not to trust the gods (including Artemis, his childhood friend and adolescent lover), the gods smacked the Excalibur to heck and back, killing eight crewmembers, including Robin Lefler's apparently not-so-immortal mother, and leaving McHenry in a strange dead-but-not-decaying state.

And that's just the set up at the start of this novel. Si Cwan is back on Danter, trying to rekindle the Thallonian empire (but one of the gods is also on Danter, handing out ambrosia, and things get awkward, fast). The role of the gods, ambrosia, and the effect it is having on the quadrant is the main plot of the story, and done interestingly, if a tad over the top, and of course, the McHenry story (like he'd really be totally dead). Ditto Robin's mother.

The 'B' plot is the continuing story arc on the Trident of Lieutenant M'Ress, Lieutenant Commander Gleau, and Lieutenant Commander Arex - a twisted little love and hate and potential murder triangle that leaves one a little confused at best.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 20, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was a pretty good follow up in the series, and the continuation of the events in Being Human, in which Mark McHenry was found to be a member of The Beings (like Apollo in the TOS episode "Who Mourns for Adonis?") and tells Captain Mackenzie Calhoun that Artemis is not to be trusted, resulting in the attack upon the Excalibur by the Beings. In this one, Mark McHenry is thought to be dead, and Morgan Primus is now integrated into the Excalibur's computer system because of an energy surge during the attack. Calhoun must work with Ambassador Spock and Ambassador Si Cwan to convince the Danteri people that The Beings, who have now ushered the Danteri people into hero worship, that The Beings are not gods and should be worshipped. Eventually Calhoun angers them and forces their hand, but he soon discovers who to destroy them. All the while, McHenry is stuck in a dimension between reality and death, while Zeus helps him `survive' a little longer. Also, we discover the true origin of Moke, Calhoun's adopted son.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. McCain on September 27, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Peter David scores a home run with God's Above. This latest installment has major changes in store for many of our characters and plenty of action. The last book left us with McHenry and Morgan Primus appearing to dead. We have a unique resolution to these to characters that will leave some pleased and some and leave some a bit sad. S'Cwan finally finds out how Lefler feels about him. New information is learned about Moke and we see a major change for the better with Zak Kebron and find out the reason for his behavior in the past that will surprise many. If you disliked Zak in the past you will probably find him more to your liking at the end of the book. I for one cant wait to see where New Frontier will lead. I would love to see them tie up with Captain Riker for a story.
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