Captain Jean-Luc Picard has never been a man to succumb to superstitions or fear, but the first book of "The Next Generation" series finds him wondering if he should. "Ghost Ship" starts really slow with an introduction chapter that was necessary for the future of the book, but I often find myself skipping over this chapter when I pick this book up again after the first read through.
This chapter is a must though if you are reading the book for the first time. Captain Arkady Reykov stretches the sails of the Soviet Union's Sergi G. Goshkov, a new and beyond up-to-date aircraft carrier. This ship was carrying an electromagnetic pulsor that's function deflected incoming rocketry and aircraft. It was a first of its' kind. However, something went terribly wrong on its' first run and the ship was destroyed of any living matter. In fear, the pilots whose planes were now without a carrier landed with the story of their ship's death to crew of the United States' U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt. The death of the mighty Goshkov remained a mystery from the day it disappeared, April 24, 1995.
Counselor Deanna Troi on the U.S.S. Enterprise-D has awoken from her slumber after reliving the destruction of the Goshkov. Crewmembers start seeing what they believe to be ghosts of the crew that was killed on that ship so long ago. Picard isn't quick to take this seriously. Needless to say, a long awaited murderer of Reykov and his crew is now ready to claim the souls of the Enterprise crew. And it turns out that these 'ghosts' are actually impressions of the souls of the Goshkov crew trapped for the past three hundred years and this 'killer' is a creation made by a civilization long ago. Data is in contact with the 'killer' and Troi seems to have contact with the 'ghosts' or at least Reykov.
The crew is, of course, just starting to work together and learning to work with each other. The author goes out of character for many of the characters, especially William Riker in my opinion, to stress this. She makes Will Riker rather harsh on some such as Data and too yielding to ones like Deanna Troi. (And I don't remember ever hearing Deanna call Riker 'Bill'.) I can't imagine the problem the author had of creating a book from a new TV series where the characters haven't really been established, so I try to forgive this. But as a Riker fan, it gets really annoying after awhile.
Perhaps I would be more forgiving to this book on the character level if I had read this when it came out and the characters weren't yet developed on TV, but I can't. To me, it takes away from the story. The struggle is real and the idea of the book is completely original as many Diane Carey books are. I've read many of her other books and she's gotten the characters down as the series went on, but this ruined the book for me. I give this book a rating of three pips. The ending of the book makes up for some of the personal 'struggle' of the new Enterprise crew and it's one that I never thought of when I first read it. I'm glad Carey didn't stop with this one!
Title: Ghost Ship
Author: Diane Carey
Review by: CL5 Amanda Sielu Paris