If you've read any Star Trek series regularly, then you at least recognize one of the authors as the best that the series has to offer. This book came as an idea at a Pocket Books social hour for the Star Trek authors in 1988. The young Star Trek: The Next Generation series was still finding its' footing after the first season of the TV hit. That's when Pocket Books' editor, David Stern, liked the idea of some of his best to combine for one project. After several different versions and ideas swapped, "Doomsday World" was born after several meetings between these four authors.
The place that this book takes place sets it up to be an interesting story already. The planet Kirlos is an artificial world built by a believed long-gone race named the Ariantu. The planet is the home of the Sullurh that work in the K'Vin Hegemony and Federation embassies. The main purpose of the planet is for profitable trade, but some uncovered archaeological discoveries brings up more interest in the planet. The Enterprise-D is dispatched to help with the digs that the K'Vin are only allowing to take a week. They make sure the situation is complicated with an amusing additive of lots of red tape that keeps our beloved Picard from helping with the dig.
Instead, the Enterprise gets called away by a distress signal on a planet called Tehuan. Leaving behind the away team not by his choice, Picard takes his ship to the farming planet. They recover many survivors, but an even bigger mystery of who would attack a purely farming community? Things on Kirlos start coming unraveled the second that the Enterprise leaves orbit though. Terrorists' attacks on both the K'Vin and Federation sides arise panic to the traders on the planet. Ambassador Stephaleh of the Federation and Ambassador Gregach of the K'Vin watch their friendship fall apart as they are only able to blame the damage on each other.
The away team from the Enterprise does their own investigation and starts to suspect the ever dedicated Sullurh that have served as aides for both sides for years. After being shot at, arrested, and having to escape; the away team discovers something that archeaologists never did. Stories from the long ago Ariantu tells of a weapon that will destroy whatever it hits, but it would also destroy the planet. Data, Geordi LaForge, and one of the Sullurh find the controls for this planet. When the Federation are called back to the embassy, the Sullurh are caught not only by their own lie to the people they've served for years but also the truth of where they came from. In pure desperation, the once peaceful Sullurh turn on Kirlos to its' only real reason for being built; they turn on the deadliest weapon known to both K'Vin and the Federation. It could be the end of both and peace that the lives on Kirlos provided. The Enterprise is called back, but its' doubtful they'll make it in time. It's up to Data, Worf, and Geordi LaForge to stop a weapon from doing the only thing it was designed to do; destroy.
I was a little put down by my excitement from when I first read Author's Notes. A lot went into this book and a lot came from these four great imaginations to go into just this one book. It wasn't a total loss and it wasn't a horrible book, but it didn't really live up to what I had expected the first combination novel would be like. It was interesting that as a reader, I was screaming the Sullurh were up to something long before even the Enterprise away team would admit to themselves. No one really could get it through their head that the Sullurh were even capable of doing anything but service. This was a good book, but not the excellent story I expected. At least it wasn't the same old story that every Star Trek book starts out as. I'll give that to Carter, David, Friedman, and Greenberger.
Title: Doomsday World
Author: Carmen Carter, Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman, Robert Greenberger
Review by: CL6 Amanda Sielu Paris