Like the ocean, space has those areas that are only crossed by the bravest of explorers or the strongest of the settlers. The Great Rift between Sagittarius and Orion is kind of like the Bermuda Triangle. Stories of ships with settlers disappearing have kept many people in their right minds away from the mysterious legends of lost civilizations and even monsters who prey upon anyone found out there alone. This is however not scientifically proven, so there are Starfleet ships that have ventured out this far. Even they are skeptical though. Captain Ileen Maisel has been in the area and her ship, the "Marignano", alone. Things have been happening that they aren't sure about. After much pleading and begging, Starfleet Command agrees to send her help.
That's when Captain Jean-Luc Picard with the U.S.S. Enterprise-D and Captain Gohod Clif with his U.S.S. Oraidhe come to the captain's aid. The three ships start patrolling the area together and basically make it known that they're in the region. During their patrol, they stumble onto evidence that a fight had taken place. The three ships combine their efforts and trace one of those involved in the attack. The Lalairu, rarely seen race to the human eye, say they were attacked by pirate ships and that was what the fight was about. They also communicate with a ship called the "Boreal" of an alien race that basically snaps at the Starfleet crews and sends them on their way. The Starfleet ships however follow the "Boreal", despite the objections of the ship's Team Leader.
Along the way though, they find the pirate ship. There is no response and nothing to suggest any life. The away teams find the first victims of this 'interstellar monster'. Their bodies operate, but no intelligent life can be found in their eyes. Crusher and the medical crews from the other ships take over the care of the pirates. Picard and his fellow captains quarantine the ship and hurry to meet the "Boreal". After a rather unpleasant meeting with that ship, they rush off to become the second victims of this monster. They are found the same way as the pirates, alive but at the same time lifeless.
That's when the predator is finally found. Data describes as like a carnivore, but it feeds on intelligence thus giving name the book. It's a 'Intellivore'. The loss of the Oraidhe adds extra pressure to the two ships remaining when Dr. Crusher stumbles onto something. Several animals and creatures had been left alone on the ship while the crew had been taken into the same state as the other victims before. They didn't have the intelligence that this Intellivore craved or they had been unconcious during the attack. The only person who can be conscious without becoming a victim is Data. So with the Marignano as bait, Data prepares to come face to face with the Intellivore. It becomes a struggle between andriod and a planet-carnivore.
The book had an interesting idea to it, but it reminds of the earlier book in the series named "Ghost Ship". A ship or planet that lived on souls of its' victims. The banter between the captains was interesting and I always like to see how the Enterprise crew works with other Starfleet crews. That part of it was interesting in how they brought together three different ships. It's a rarity in the Star Trek franchise, books or TV show. It held my attention long enough for me to finish it and it was an all right book. It wasn't the greatest and I probably won't pick it up for the sheer enjoyment, but it's a must for TNG fans.
Author: Diane Duane
Review by: CL6 Amanda Sielu Paris