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The Eyes of the Beholders (Star Trek: The Next Generation, No. 13) Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 1990

3.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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From the Publisher

After several Federation and Klingon ships disappear while traveling a newly opened trade route, the U.S.S. EnterpriseTM is sent to investigate. Their quest leads Captain Picard and his crew to an eerie space graveyard full of ships of every size and description, all of them, dead in space.

At the center of the graveyard lies a huge, incredibly powerful artifact, constructed by an ancient alien race. And as the crew struggles to solve the mystery of the artifact, they unwittingly trigger its awesome power, a power that threatens insanity and death to all aboard the Starship Enterprise.

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Product Details

  • Series: Star Trek Next Generation (Numbered) (Book 13)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 243 pages
  • Publisher: Star Trek; First Printing edition (September 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671700103
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671700102
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,307,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By James Yanni on September 18, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've read and enjoyed both of A.C. Crispin's previous Star Trek novels, "Yesterday's Son" and "Time For Yesterday", and given that the second of those was significantly better than the first (although the first was good) I expected that she was growing as an author, and expected great things from this one.
I got some good things, but far from great, and some very BAD things as well. I expected much better.
There are basically three parts to this book; there is the main plot and two subplots of note.
The main plot is a variation on a common concept, one that was done in one of the original series animated episodes: a spacegoing "Devil's Triangle", an area of space that is a "roach motel" for spaceships. The concept is hackneyed, but it is handled well enough and originally enough that I found myself at least partially willing to overlook the unoriginality of the basic idea. Still, it is a bad sign when the basic idea behind the primary plot needs overcoming.
One of the two subplots involved the relationship between an orphaned Andorian girl and a Vulcan physician on the Enterprise; this subplot was handled quite well, and was quite moving.
The other subplot, unfortunately, involved Data approaching various members of the bridge crew for their opinions on an (appallingly bad) adventure/romance novel he was writing. In spite of the fact that this particular plotline ended with a serious message, and was tied up rather nicely all things considered, still it is apparent that it was supposed to provide the comic relief for the story; as such, it was not unlike many similar concepts used during various episodes of the series, so at least I have to give Crispin credit for being true to the characters as established for the show.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Eyes of the Beholders is not even close to being a four- or five-star book, although it had the potential to be. It is, rather, a typically enjoyable Trek read, interesting and amusing at times but not terribly moving or powerful.
Crispin is certainly capable of better. Yesterday's Son is a well-deserved classic, and her Han Solo trilogy was very well done. Here, however, she lowered her sights too far. We get an alien artifact that traps the Enterprise and will eventually drive the crew mad (yet none of the major characters except Troi are affected without actually going on board the artifact. Apparently, senior officers are exempt from the effects). And there is a twee sub-plot involving a blind Andorian orphan girl, which is interesting only because it involves the Vulcan Dr. Selar.
Where the novel could have excelled is with Geordi LaForge. Crispin makes token references to LaForge's blindness, and early on it seems there will be a tie-in between Geordi and the Andorian girl, Thala. When Geordi ends up being the only one on board who can handle the visual impact of the artifact, one thinks there will be still more insight offered. I don't mean a "blind people are people too" kind of revelation as that would be both cheesy and condescending. Rather, there could have been a situation where Geordi is truly forced to deal with wearing his VISOR or (as he ultimately did) receiving some kind of neural implant to allow him to "see," and Thala's own handling of a similar choice would have provided a perfect foil. Alas, Crispin presents the dilemma in the first dozen pages then largely ignores it. In the end, it is Data, not Geordi who has the revelation.
On a side note, I first read this one over a decade ago and, for some reason, it had left a sour taste. It ended up being much, much better than I remembered.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I bought this novel recently at a library's sale of discarded books, and frankly I am impressed by this diamond in the rough. It isn't the *best* thing I've ever read, but it is impressive all the same. In fact, it's the best one out of the several Star Trek books I bought at that sale.

I think part of the reason I love it so much is that the style is exactly like a Star Trek episode. Obviously, we get to see inside the character's minds and through their eyes in ways that the TV series couldn't do, but the "look-and-feel" of the book is like watching a new episode on a TV sitting inside your head.

Just like in the TV show, they have three different plots: the main plot and two subplots. One of them, concerning Data, is kind of hard to read but doesn't differ in that respect from many of the other "Data trying to be human" subplots on the TV episodes. Just like on the TV episodes, it makes me cringe a little. Not so much from the awfulness of his writing, but from the poor way the characters deal with it. Data craves genuine criticism, and all they can do is try to spare feelings he doesn't have. If they're afraid of squashing his muse, they needn't be. I've already thought of all kinds of things I could say to him to help him improve.

All told, aside from the cringe factor of that particular subplot, it is an excellent book. Very true to the series, and that's just how I love it. So many Star Trek novels are like movies in book form that it's about time I found one that was a TV episode in book form. I always liked the series better than the movies.
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