Long before Data got his emotion chip in the last of the TV series of The Next Generation, this book explores the possibility of what could have happened if Data had realized his wish to become human, with real emotions, and how he would deal with it.
This story takes place in the second season of TNG immediately after the episode "Measure of a Man" and opens with Data still questioning if he has a soul and can be classed a sentient being. This issue is still on his mind as the Enterprise starts a new mission to the planet Elysia. During an away mission, he is stranded on the planet helping a young woman with her quest.
Thelia is searching for her Gods (really powerful aliens) to request help in finding food for her starving people. The journey turns out tobe a perilous one in which Data finds himself tested again and again to help Thelia fulfill her quest. But by the end, it is Data who gets the chance to have the God's grant him his desire, and they make him human.
Returning to the Enterprise, Data starts adapting to his new life and has many difficulties along the way. He discovers that being human and having emotions is no easy task, especially when functioning as a member of the crew.
The moral of the story is basically getting what your heart desires doesn't always mean its best for you. The author deals very well with Data's newly found emotions, much better than any of the films did with the emotion-chip storyline. Here, the story goes into much more depth - Data's experiences described as only books can do. A very good story, especially for those Data fans like myself.
Unfortunately, this book is out of print, but those nice folks at Amazon might be able to find a copy for you - just click on the book cover and they'll take it from there.
Author: Jean Lorran
Review by: CL4 Leeta