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on May 18, 2004
I did not enjoy reading this book, or the first one in this series. Poor characterizations, disjointed action, plodding plotlines, and a lack of flow in the writing style made me feel like I had to work hard just to get through these books.
While I was glad to see Wesley get some play time, I couldn't figure out the Colleen Cabot character at all. Not only did she feel fake, not a genuine person, but she also did some odd things for an intelligent female - the way she started her relationship with Wesley, for example, just rang false. Dr. Crusher's reactions to the return of Wesley also didn't ring true. The author has some difficulty writing female characters.
After getting through the first book in the "A Time To..." series, I read the second only so that I could read on in the series, simply as background. I did not enjoy Vornholt's style of writing. I've heard the other books are better, so I plodded through this one. The characterizations were just, well, not very good.
Two stars because I've read worse Star Trek (See "A Hard Rain" to know what I mean!)
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on April 6, 2004
After A Time to Be Born I had rather low expectations for this book, and thankfully they were exceeded. The descriptions are good if not as spectacular as Vornholt can do. The characterisations are good, if slightly shallow. Kell Perim and Christina Vale not only get "face time", in this book they actually have personalities. Wesley Crusher is the major character of this book, and his sections are well done. Vornholt did a very good job integrating his abilities with the rest of the crew. They change the dynamic of how the crew operates, but they don't push the rest of the crew into the background. With that said, Colleen Cabot was overused and it was too much of a shift from her character in the first book. Also, she and Wesley basically meet, then jump in the sack. Their 'relationship' has no emotional depth to interest the reader. Finally, the beginning of the book, dealing with politics and Starfleet Command, really disturbed me. An Admiral basically orders Cabot to prepare to program Picard, and her only objection is that she likes him. Also, at the end, I was left with the impression that Command wants Picard destroyed, and their efforts will be a major subplot of the series. I wish they would drop that. Too late now, I guess.
Overall, I did enjoy this book. It is a good mystery and adventure story. It could certainly have been better, but unlike A Time to Be Born, this was actually worth reading.
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on September 11, 2010
This book is well-written, has a good mix of action, drama, and characterization, and does a good job of finishing the plot started in "A Time To Be Born", without seeming TOO incomplete on its own. For anybody who actually LIKES the character of Wesley Crusher, consider this a five-star review; the main reason that I docked it a star is because Wes is the main character, and I've never liked that particular character. He WAS handled well, though, and if I didn't have an established antipathy for the character, I wouldn't have developed one from this book.
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on September 15, 2013
Well written. I am looking forward to reading the entire series of books, "A Time To..."I am now reading Book #3.
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on August 16, 2014
Great series
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on May 26, 2004
a time to die starts out with wesley the traveler trying to convince several people in the higher ranks of starfleet to at least believe captain picard's story. after some negotiations the enterprise crew is allowed to return to rashannar to try and discover the mystery behind the graveyard. they encounter all types of adventures that prove very enlightening and answer a lot of questions. for all of you fans that sort of went to sleep in the first book, this one is much better written and does not jump all over the place.
it is my believe that the books will each get better because if they did not what would make us come back and read all 9?
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on March 9, 2004
Wesley decides that he must help Captain Picard from being charged with the destruction of the federation starship. In the last book a phantom ship was destroyed by Picard. It had the ability to change it's shape into any space craft imaginable. In this novel the Enterprise goes back to that region of altered space to see if they can capture or disable this other worldly space craft. Wesley was instumental in helping the mission.
In this finely crafted tale by John Vornholt, Wesley has to decide to stay as a traveler or return to his human roots....the ending will surprise you.
All I can say is if it were made into a movie it would have been better than "Nemesis"...because it touches on humanity and the need for all of us to be wanted and part of a family.
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on May 2, 2008
I must admit, that for some reason I have always been a Wesley Crusher hater. Wil Wheaton is fine, but I hate Wesley. I never liked the character. OK. I'm OK now, just had to get that off my chest.

Anyway, it turned out that A Time To Die, the conclusion to A Time To Be Born is a pretty good story, probably better than the first part.

The major plot lines involve the situation in a `haunted' space graveyard that causes Picard to destroy a ship of an ally which lands him in hot water back at Star Fleet Command and under the control of a counselor who seems to be a control freak. The second plotline is of Wesley's initiation into the Travelers, a group of beings who, through mental powers can move through time and space at will. During a vision, Crusher notices the plight of Picard and the destruction of the Enterprise and at the risk of losing his place with the Travelers and the special powers they have granted him, decides to help out.

Somehow he and Riker and the crew must clear Picard's name and solve the riddle of the spaceship graveyard. Meanwhile, the councilor takes Picard onto the Enterprise and together, they all return to the site of the disaster.

Wesley assists in solving the mystery and eliminating the problem, but then he must face his fellow Travelers. Will they revoke his powers? Read on and see.

Overall I thought the two volumes were pretty good.
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on March 24, 2004
"A Time to Die" picks up immediately where "Born" leaves off; Picard is railroaded by the tribunal, and Nechayev bargains for his career. Riker is made acting captain, Data has his emotion chip removed--voluntarily--and everyone else is left to deal with the reprecussions of Rashanar. It is key to remember that there will be a grand total of nine books in the "A Time to..." cycle, and not all answers can be--nor are they expected to be--revealed in the first two novels.
Vornholt has given the reader a taste of the changes--such as Data's loss of his emotion chip--and set the stage for what will surely be a poignant, bittersweet exit for the crew and family of the "Enterprise" prior to Nemesis; these characters are not archtypes, and by making them simply do the expected would not be conducive to good storytelling. For example, the admiralty; Ross has always been a good guy, but his dealings with Section 31 as seen in "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges" and his firm desire to keep the Ontailians as allies in the time of rebuilding merely add to his character.
Nechayev has always been somewhat standoffish, but she is one of Vornholt's favorite guest characters, and again, this is character building; I believe Peter David gave a throwaway line about how she had newfound respect for Picard because of his familiarity with Spock.
Onto the plot; yes, it is fairly obvious what will happen. The "Enterprise" travels back to Rashanar; Wesley reveals himself to the skeleton crew of the ship, worried about interfering with the outcome of the fate of Rashanar and being kicked out of Traveler society; and, of course, Colleen Cabot, new supporting character and Crusher's love interest and the one thing that helps return his humanity, is killed. Again, obvious, but with the inclusion of the seedy denizens of the Jem'Hadar battle cruiser (Orions, Kreel, and Androssi--oh my) Vornhold keeps the reader's interest.
Vale and Perim are further developed as well, and considering this is a Picard/Crusher story, they are handled expertly and the reader truly empathizes with Wesley's plight; losing Cabot and fearing exile from Traveler society is quite a load on the former ensign. Yes, the Rashanar plot is concluded, but there is still more story to tell--seven books left, and it is only then will we have a complete piece of the puzzle that lead to the breaking of the "Enterpise" family. Keep this in mind as you read each novel in the cycle; no one book will have all the answers, and if "Born" and "Die" are any indication, each novel will be amongst the finest "Next Generation" stories ever told.
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on March 3, 2005
Let me preface this review by saying first and foremost I am a serious Star Trek fan and have been for a very long time. I've had a hard time watching each new TV series fall further and further in quality and have turned to books for my "Trek-Fix".

So without further ado......

(Also please note, some of my comments may spoil things for you if you haven't read the books. I'll attempt to note before hand what is a spoiler)

These first two books written by Mr.Vornholt are mediocre at best. This easily could have been a single book. Nevertheless the books have other faults as well (Note: I'm writing one review for both Vornholt books Time to be Born and Time to Die). Let's start from the beginning of this book.

It takes place pretty much right as the last book ended. I suppose my first real problem with it comes here. Seeing Picard in a nuthouse seems.... well.... silly. The books explains this away as a device to keep him from getting court-martialed for the incident that happened in the previous novel. His "keeper" is named Colleen Cabot. She has little or no personality and seems to take a strange glee in needling Jean-Luc. The first 1/4 of this book is completely disposable except for a couple little plot driving points stuck in haphazardly here and there. Then we move back to Rashanar. The scene of the most horrible battle ever in the Dominion Wars (How many times I've heard that I can't count). The idea behind Rashanar is interesting for the first book and about halfway into this book. Then it becomes the typical "Get the alien" fair, with a little conspiracy thrown in.

--SPOILER AHEAD--

My major gripe with this particular book is the sudden turning of Colleen Cabot into a vibrant, annoying, opinionated brat and that somehow Wesley and her fall in love in the space of a paragraph and all it right with the universe. Colleen questioning herself as to whether she loves Wesley as Wesley or Wesley the Traveler is just sad. Clearly it is in my mind, filler. The author seems to desperately be trying to make you like her as a character and quickly develop her character.

--SPOILER OVER--

The book (including Time to be Born) moves at jerky rates. Giving the reader reading whiplash from the lack of any kind of coherant flow or pacing. The entire middle of the book, with crew members dorking around inside Rashanar was so drawn out I actually started skimming paragraphs. I just took to long with little or no point... more filler material obviously.

The dialogue is sometimes archaic in Trek references (Food SLOT?!) and Data's Dialogue is very forced. In fact I found most characters dialogue forced as if the author had never seen a Next Generation episode in his life.

I do look forward to other authors taking over the helm (pun intended) and doing something interesting with this series of Trek books.

I am not sure what else Mr.Vornholt has written or even if he has written other Trek books. I'm sure he's a fine writer but he just didn't do it this time around.
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