Star Trek: Titan: Fallen Gods
Michael A. Martin
Though the United Federation of Planets still reels from Andor’s political decision that will forever affect the coalition, Captain William T. Riker and the crew of the U.S.S. Titan are carrying out Starfleet’s renewed commitment to deep space exploration. While continuing to search the Beta Quadrant’s unknown expanses for an ancient civilization’s long-lost quick-terraforming technology— a potential boon to many Borg-ravaged worlds across the Federation and beyond—Titan’s science specialists encounter the planet Ta’ith, home to the remnant of a once-great society that may hold the very secrets they seek. But this quest also takes Titan perilously close to the deadly Vela Pulsar, the galaxy’s most prolific source of lethal radiation, potentially jeopardizing both the ship and what remains of the Ta’ithan civilization. Meanwhile, Will Riker finds himself on a collision course with the Federation Council and the Andorian government, both of which intend to deprive Titan of its Andorian crew members. And one of those Andorians—Lieutenant Pava Ek’Noor sh’Aqaba—has just uncovered a terrible danger, which has been hiding in plain sight for more than two centuries. . . .
This Titan novel is both a continuation of the Titan series, as well as a continuation of the Typhon Pact storyline. I have to say that I found this novel to be more enjoyable than I had expected it to be. On the whole, I have not been too thrilled with the Titan series, nor with the Typhon Pact series. I sometimes think they both lack the punch that a series like Voyager or Deep Space Nine has.
However, Martin pens an interesting tale here. Titan needs to get closer to the planet, but their presence near the planet could actually destroy the planet. And as they consider just leaving, an alien presence interferes and makes it impossible to leave unless they actually visit the planet. Meanwhile, an Andorian ship tries to abscond with Titan’s Andorian officers, none of whom want to return to Andor.
Martin has a style that I would describe as… scientific. He uses a lot of precise words that may not have the greatest literary flow or power to them, but they describe the setting and characters precisely. I also found this to be a much quicker read, and much easier to get into, than a lot of Martin’s previous books. I always think of his books as dense, difficult to immerse myself into, but I found I could easily do that with Fallen Gods.
The bit with the Andorian ship is where things got a little weird. And as this is part of a larger multi-author story arc, I don’t know if the weirder Andorian bits were Martin’s ideas or if he had to implement them to continue the grander storyline. I don’t want to say too much about that, as it could spoil certain plot points for a reader. I almost feel as if the Typhon Pact storyline has been losing its way — not just because of this Andorian weirdness, but because of a general lack of cohesion (in my opinion anyway) of what’s happening in the wider universe. All that being said, I believe there’s a six-book mini-series coming later this year that covers some explosive event in the Typhon Pact storyline, so maybe the threads will be pulled together then.
But, back to this book. Fallen Gods was one of Martin’s better works. I read two-thirds of it in one sitting (since I was on a plane), and found I could have easily read the rest of the book without stopping as I wasn’t tiring of reading. The Ta’ith plot was enjoyable, as well as Titan’s response to the Ta’ith plot. The Andorian thing was a bit weird, but I recognize it fits into the larger universe’s stories. Martin does a good job of tying it all together.