Unlike other books based on movies, or vice versa, Star Trek books on the movies pretty much stay true to the film. Thank goodness for the fans who scrutinize the differences between the movie and the book. They do, however, have a history of building on what didn't get on the screen. "Generations" went into more detail on Kirk's end of the story and "First Contact" pushed Picard's memories of his time with the Borg more. With the release of "Nemesis", every fan who even knows the name of their favorite and least favorite episode knows that there were scenes cut that are going to be in this book.
If you haven't seen the movie or have been living under a rock, "Star Trek: Nemesis" was written by the same man who wrote "Gladiator" and is supposed to be the last movie for the TNG crew. John Logan, the "Gladiator" guy for people who don't watch much outside of Star Trek like I, was thankfully an avid Star Trek fan when he basically begged to be the next one to write a TNG movie. With the help of Brent Spiner (Data / Lore / B-4) and Rick Berman, a fan stepped up and basically made fan fiction into a movie.
The book starts out in the same place that the movie did and we watch the killing of the whole Romulan senate after they decide to not help a Reman named Shinzon take over the Federation. This Reman however isn't a Reman. In fact, Captain Picard is even more shocked to find out that the new Romulan praetor is actually a clone of himself. John Logan is so good that even this Star Trek fan has to admit it. He makes you want to trust Shinzon. You begin to see Picard in Shinzon and you actually feel your heart start to trust him when your mind is screaming not to.
The Remans aren't after all Romulan. The race served as slaves under Romulan rule for centuries to work in the mine pits of Remas and that accounts for their comfort in the darkness. Native Remans have bone-structured faces and are what children's nightmares are made up of, but one Reman took Shinzon under his arm when the Romulans cast the Picard clone to Remas to die. He survived and rose to rule the Remans through winning many battles. Now he wants Romulus and then the Federation. But his curiosity of Picard leads him astray and ends up costing him what he wanted, or did it?
Many sub-pilots are going on while the main is focused on Picard of course. We find out that Wesley Crusher has somehow returned to Starfleet as a lieutenant now and that Beverly is leaving the Enterprise for Starfleet Medical again. Worf has been reliving some of his memories of his parents being killed by the Romulans, but learns to trust them as individuals for survival. And, of course, Data finds B-4 while Commander William Thomas Riker takes Counselor Deanna Troi as his wife. Every storyline that a regular TNG lover could want starts to tie up loose ends as a family moves on. This book fills in where the movie leaves out.
In no way shape or form will this book will not ruin the movie for you. If you were a fan of the movie, then the book is for you. If you were like me, you were curious about Shinzon and couldn't hate him despite his faults in the end of wanting to destroy the Federation. You can listen to his thoughts more and get inside the head of a clone for the first time in Star Trek history. In a way, this book enhances what John Logan's movie gave us. The only complaint I have is with Dillard's way of presenting it. He wrote everything out by the movie and didn't really fill it in with explanation. I'm not sure if he was trying to keep strictly to the movie, but it causes the book to have a lot of short scenes that seemed right on the screen. No matter, "Nemesis" as a book or movie has won the heart of this TNG fan as she is trying to let go of some people that she has basically grown up with. It's a fitting ending to a generation's final journey.
Author: J.M. Dillard
Review by: CL6 Amanda Sielu Paris