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Tooth and Claw (Star Trek: The Next Generation Book 60) [Kindle Edition]

Doranna Durgin
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $5.99
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Book Description

Ntignano was a populated world with a perfect sun -- until the right technology fell into the wrong hands. Now the sun is failing quickly, and the Starship Enterprise™ has just one chance to evacuate the þeeing refugees. Captain Jean-Luc Picard must succeed in delicate negotiations with the only people who can help them: a prickly neighboring species known as the Tsorans.
To assist in that effort, Commander Will Riker was assigned a very different diplomatic task. As a polite formality and show of good faith, he accompanied a young Tsoran prince to an exclusive hunting preserve. There, technology-damping Þelds and some of the galaxy's deadliest predators were supposed to test the untried noble's ability in the kaphoora -- the hunt. But the shuttlecraft didn't land on Fandre; it crashed.
Now, cut off from Tsora and the Enterprise, the survivors of the disaster face the ultimate struggle for survival. Without the aid of tricorders or phasers, Riker, his royal charge, and their would-be rescuers must Þght for their lives with the only weapons they can muster -- spears and bat'leth, tooth and claw.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Doranna Durgin is the author of seven fantasy novels the first of which, Dun Lady's Jess, received the 1995 Compton Crook/Stephen Tall Award for the best first novel in the fantasy, science fiction and horror genres.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

Deep in the tangle of night-blacked foliage, slick fur slid between thickly leafed branches, making no more than a whisper of sound beneath the clamor of myriad insects crying out for the company of their own kind.

A shriek ripped through the chorus, startling it to silence.

Bones crunched.

Night in the Fandrean jungle.

"Lions and tigers and bears," said Geordi La Forge, more or less under his breath.

Entirely without inflection and without missing a beat, Lieutenant Commander Data said, "Oh, my."

Silence fell over the conference room. Geordi, who had not intended that his comment garner quite so much attention, winced.

Data faced that attention without any apparent concern. "The Wizard of Oz, MGM 1939. I believe Geordi was making an analogy between the imagined threat of the beasts in the movie, and the very real beasts on the planet..." And finally he trailed off, taking in Captain Picard's thinly veiled impatience, Deanna Troi's quiet amusement, the spark of humor in Will Riker's eye. "But you knew that," he concluded.

"They knew that," Geordi confirmed. The movie was, after all, still popular enough to list in the holodeck programs.

"We did," Troi confirmed, as solemnly as possible.

"Ah," Data said. "My apologies for the unnecessary digression." But he hesitated, as though he might say something else. In the end he decided against it, but Geordi knew that expression. Data's insatiable curiosity -- about something -- had been triggered.

Worf stared intently at the creature on the view-screen -- an indistinct image, captured from beneath the creature as it swooped from one tree to another in the dense growth of the Fandrean jungle. Even blurred, the two barbed and prehensile tails were evident, along with the teeth gleaming in that long-snouted face, and the impression of size and strength. An arborata. Typical Fandrean jungle fare, according to the notations, right along with half a dozen other oversize flesh-eaters. "What does this have to do with the Ntignano evacuation?" he asked, with much interest.

"The Tsorans control this part of space," Troi said, "and we want to talk to them about the evacuation. They want to go hunting. Attending to their wants in this matter may well grease the wheels when it comes to our wants."

"Grease the wheels," Data repeated, as if he'd made some discovery.

Geordi glanced at him and decided now was not the time. He returned his attention to his padd, which held the details of the Ntignano evacuation -- not that he didn't know them by heart. One prematurely doomed star system -- thanks to a doomsday cult with inappropriate out-system technology on its hands -- and not quite enough time to evacuate the moderately populated planet within it. He'd known that the Federation had an ambassador on Tsora, trying to obtain the charts for the hard-to-navigate area -- but why the Enterprise had ended up here, he had yet to figure out. "We've got to concentrate on getting those people out of there, Captain, not on hunting with the Tsorans. And that means getting -- or making -- maps of that graviton-free corridor they've surveyed. It'll cut evacuation time in half."

"Some of the more sensitive Ntignano people are already showing signs of damage from exposure to the star's fluctuations." Beverly Crusher, her long-fingered hands loosely entwined and resting neatly on the table, reflected none of the challenge in her eyes as she looked directly at Picard. That do something about it challenge she always seemed to have the leeway to make.

This time, Picard just gave her a short shake of his head, nothing more. He paced to the end of the conference table and rested a hand on his empty seat. Not a good sign, Geordi decided. He'd be sitting if he were pleased with the course of things. "Counselor, perhaps you can summarize the situation for us."

"Ambassador Nadann Jesson has done an impressive job with the Tsorans," Troi said. "Theirs is a society based on physical prowess...survival of the fittest, one might say. They are not impressed with the Ntignano plight, and the Federation has little influence on them as nonmembers. Ambassador Jesson has been on the planet for a month now, learning their ways and trying to introduce these negotiations; she's done well to have held their attention for this long. When they learned that the Federation flagship was in the area...Well. They are a people who are impressed with titles. They have not been willing to discuss seriously the use of the graviton-free corridor with Nadann, but they've indicated an interest in a dialogue with the flagship's captain."

"They are," Picard said, tugging absently at his uniform jacket, "significantly invested in matters of prestige. They have a term for it -- daleura. And, as you would expect from a society that places so much pride on their hunting and achievements of aggression, they are also a bit prickly."

Worf shifted in his chair. After his alert stillness, the movement might as well have been a shout. Picard took quick note. "No offense meant, Mr. Worf."

"None taken. Unless the captain implies that Klingons are merely...prickly."

"In point of fact, I find most Klingons to be downright contentious."

"Thank you." Worf settled into satisfied silence.

"That explains why we changed course," Geordi said. They'd been headed for doomed Ntignano until only the previous watch; now they orbited Tsora, a planet with sporadic forestation showing like green jewels against the brown continents, surrounded by a system full of invisible graviton eddies that kept a pattern all their own. "But not -- "

"The hunting," Riker said. He'd been the one to present the information on Fandre's main preserve, the one who seemed to know the details.

"The hunting," Geordi agreed, hiding his impatience -- and more concerned with recent reports that the results of the probe-induced singularity at the core of the Ntignano sun were far less predictable than expected.

Fandre and its preserve seemed more than irrelevant.

He'd rather be introducing his plan to use a probe-web to make their own charts. Such webs were complex and needed constant monitoring and adjustment, but with a dozen probes relaying high-speed data to the coordinating probe, a preliminary star chart could be available in a fraction of the time required for standard charting procedures. True, the most complex probe-web used successfully to date employed only eight probes, but Geordi felt he'd solved the logistics issues involved in adding another tier. All he needed was a chance to try.

None of which Picard was aware of, nor likely to become aware of just yet, since he now looked at the image of the arborata and said, "Fill us in, Number One."

Riker leaned back in his chair, swiveling it slightly. "Fandre is a big-game hunter's delight, with several species of massive carnivores, all cohabiting a relatively small and tightly managed preserve called the Legacy. Since the Tsorans reestablished diplomatic and trade relations with Fandre fifty years ago, they've been traveling to the preserve for their ceremonial rite of passage, in which the participant tranquilizes his prey and harvests a token from it. The prime kaphoora, they call it."

"No doubt a ceremony of much...prestige," Worf said.

"Exactly," Riker said. "And when they heard we were in the area, they decided that the ReynTa -- what we might call a prince -- would benefit from a Federation escort to his kaphoora. Everything else aside, we're certainly faster, even in these rough waters."

"His name is ReynTa Akarr," Troi said. "But here's the crucial part -- while he's hunting, his father, the ReynKa Atann, will discuss terms on delivery of the corridor map, and permission to use the corridor itself."

So that was it. "What if t

Product Details

  • File Size: 1243 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books/Star Trek (July 11, 2001)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC0VQG
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #332,702 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best March 1, 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is one of the best Star Trek books I've read in a long time. It was one of those "can't put down, read in one sitting" novels for me. I found the Federation characters to be right on the mark (Riker was as damned arrogant and annoying as I found him to be on the television show - but that's a good thing...he was written true to character!) and the alien characters were interesting, especially the parts about their culture and their daleura and kaphoora.
One of the things I loved about this book was the kaphoora. It reminded me of things I've read about ancient cultures such as the native Americans and the way warriors in those cultures achieved manhood. It's nice to read a Star Trek novel that takes the characters out of their normal element (off saving the galaxy) and puts them in something foreign to them.
Hopefully, this won't be the last Star Trek novel that Ms. Durgin writes!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A "beastly" fun read. December 2, 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I must immediately add Doranna Durgin to my short list of favorite Trek authors, and I hope she writes a few more in this universe. Her writing style is casual and humorous ("Worf Lite," for example. Read the book to learn what that's about.), and she sticks very close to canon with her characters, particularly with Worf and Riker. But...that doesn't mean she's afraid to step out of the box and have Picard do something surprising and refreshingly *un*-diplomatic to get the job done. I was impressed.
I had a very nice time visualizing all three kinds of aliens and the various flora and fauna encountered on the great hunt the Tsorans called the "kaphoora." Add to that plot twists involving sabotage on many levels, and to *that* add Geordi's struggle with alien technology and another one of Data's goofy "experiments" in humanity, and you have a swift and entertaining Next Gen tale.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best ST:TNG Books December 11, 2001
By Dirahl
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have about a trillion ST:TNG books on my shelf, but this one is easily one of the best. It it filled not only with excitement and humor, but also meaning. It shows the struggles of a young man coming of age, learning to think for himself. At the same time, it explores the nature of communication. As Durgin shows, communication is about far more than words--it is laden with cultural gestures and ways of thinking about the world.
And it does all of this without mangling our understanding of the TNG characters we've come to know. Durgin definitely has the gift for writing. I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys sci-fi, even if they've never seen an episode of Star Trek.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Stuff! May 23, 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'm not sure what fans of a TV show want in a book, but I have to say that if you want a good episode coupled with good writing, this is it. The author understands the characters, and replicates their habits effortlessly. I'd never read a media book if I didn't already like the show; T&C gives me the best of both worlds: a great TV episode along with imaginative writing. Highly recommended!
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is author Doranna Durgin's, an author who has established herself outside of Star Trek, one and only foray into the Star Trek universe so far and I would definitely have to say that it would be nice if she revisited Star Trek fiction again. Based on the premise stated on the back of the novel, my first impression of this novel, and prior to reading it was that it would be another bland numbered novel that would find difficulty in holding my interest.
Upon reading it though, that first impression couldn't have been further off. While I wouldn't class this novel as being among the tops in the numbered novel arena I would say that it was a very good novel with a very good story. The only reason I haven't given this novel five stars is that I truly would like to have given it four and a half stars as it is very good story that is just a cut above the rest of the numbered novels but not quite in the realm of exceptional numbered novels.
I found Doranna Durgin's writing to be very good. This story has very good pacing that doesn't drift off in unnecessary directions, the plot set up and execution is carried out very well and the characterizations are dead on perfect to include some humorous moments which are difficult to do in print but she does it well here.
The cover art for this novel is a cut above the older ones as at about this time it seems that the powers that be at Pocket Books decided to start giving a little more attention to this somewhat important aspect to the Star Trek line of novels.
The Premise:
Although it's not specifically stated, this story is placed on the Enterprise NCC-1701-D prior to the events of "Star Trek Generations.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars STNG - Tooth and Claw March 3, 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Tooth and Claw by Doranna Durgin is a book about the right of passage... boy to being a man set in the STNG genre. The author has an engaging writing style. She captures the cast and crew of the Enterprise and keeps them true to form.
William Riker has the "pleasure" of taking a rather arogant young prince on his first hunt in a game preserve called the
Legacy. The Legacy is protected by a technology of force fields and a technology dampening field so you are on your own to prove your worth. Riker pilots the shuttle Rahjah into the preserve and meets disaster as the dampening fields take their toll on the shuttle and it crash lands adding to the intrigue. Can the spoiled brat prince and his party work together with Riker to survive? Here lies the story... and the author takes us through the trials and tribulations of the adventure.
This is one of the better written STNG books and has good character follow through without the loss of true STNG character profile. Ms. Durgin has a gift for writing and has a book here about survival against the odds. Action adventure are found and the consequences for actions also abound. The development of the plot and the characters is well thought and played.
This is a good read and I found the story to be irrevocably tied to the natural world and its creatures.
I recommend reading and enjoying.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Meh
Better at the end than at the beginning. Took a while to start caring about the characters. Mostly forgettable, but ok.
Published 20 months ago by Ryan Rush
4.0 out of 5 stars Not at all bad.
If you enjoy Star Trek books, you'll probably enjoy this one. It did a better-than-fair job of portraying the established characters, puts them in a situation that is novel and... Read more
Published on November 24, 2010 by James Yanni
5.0 out of 5 stars Would have made a good 2 part episode
This book plays just like an episode from the standard plot. Diplomat crash lands with the Worf and Riker only to find they are stuck on a hostile world. Read more
Published on July 27, 2009 by Picardfan007
2.0 out of 5 stars Clawing for Plot, Scratching for Substance, Gnawing on Bone
Major Star Trek book readers may enjoy this book. What could be more adventurous than Riker stuck in an alien jungle with dinosaur-like creatures, no phaser, and a gaggle of... Read more
Published on May 19, 2005 by Christopher
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Good
This is well written and very entertaining. The descriptions are very clear and vivid. There is a lot of action. Read more
Published on January 16, 2004 by R. Spottiswood
3.0 out of 5 stars So-So
I have just gotten finished with Tooth and Claw. I (being a Trekkie from way back) almost always find Star Trek books entertaining and a quick read. Read more
Published on March 19, 2003 by Allen E. Stern
3.0 out of 5 stars An Entertaining adventure with a diplomatic twist
The Enterprise embarks on a mission to negotiate use of star charts of an area of space riddled with gravitational anomalies, which are held by some rather 'prickly' types who wish... Read more
Published on February 19, 2003 by Rachel E. Watkins
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More About the Author

Doranna responded to all early injunctions to "put down that book/notebook and go outside and play" by climbing trees to read & write.

Such quirkiness of spirit has created a wandering path through the publishing world, spanning genres and form to include nearly 40 novels and counting--mystery, SF/F, action-romance, and franchise, including the Compton Crook-winning Dun Lady's Jess--and a slew of essays and short stories. She also co-manages the Backlist eBooks collective of traditional authors presenting their backlist.

But after all that, mostly she still prefers to hang around outside with the animals. She doesn't believe so much in mastering the beast within, but in channeling its power. For good or bad has yet to be decided.


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