Klingons are known for holding grudges against almost anything and then over-doing the grudge by almost embedding into their society. That's exactly what this book is about. Well, kinda, sorta, and maybe. Peter David has created the Kreel as the underdogs to the Klingons. They aren't as technology or mentally advanced as the Federation. They really reminded me of small children who got their hands on a big toy that they aren't really sure what to do with but go after the big bully on the block; the Klingons.
The Kreel supposedly trespass onto a Klingon planet, although the Kreel declare it is theirs, and find a mass supply of advanced weaponry. You never really find out why the Kreel are poking around to begin with, but it starts all the trouble when several are killed before they turn the weaponry on the Klingon ship in pursuit of them. With their first victory against the Klingons, the Kreel become over-confident with their new toys and even try to take over the Enterprise-D under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. They however didn't expect the captain to beam the weapon off their ship and into the shuttlebay for Geordi LaForge and Data to study.
While 'Tiny', the massive weapon that Geordi has named, leaves the Enterprise Engineering crew in suspense, Starfleet calls for the Kreel and the Klingons to meet on the planet where the weapons were found. The Enterprise is the lucky ship to take them too. The Klingons come onboard with their racist thoughts of the Kreel as the Kreel are reminded once again of why they believe the Klingons hide behind the Prime Directive to not help them with technology. The air is heavy with tension, but with Guinan's help, Picard is able to keep things civil. Peter David tries and fails at some small humor in this part of the book.
Wesley Crusher is however in the eye of the storm with his own crusade to save his friend. Wesley finds out in the book that his friend, Jaan, is suffering a terminal disease that is only suffered by Jaan's species. A cure has never been found for the 'Rot' and the boy wonder plunges into work to find a cure. He doesn't listen to anyone telling him there is no cure and he won't be the one to find one if there does. Jaan has faith in Wesley and gives him permission to continue on his behalf, but that faith isn't enough. Jaan takes the matter into his own hands and makes the Kreel/Klingon situation even more tense than before as the two storylines combine.
This book reminded me more and more of the second season TNG episode "Where Silence Has Lease", which isn't a good thing. That was actually one of my least favorite episodes and this is actually one of the first TNG books in awhile that I couldn't get into. I did like the attempt at bridging the gap between Wesley and Picard, but it just didn't work the way it should have. Although this book seemed to have a good concept in whole, the whole book just didn't work. I can't give you just one thing I didn't like about this book. The little things and the big things just combined to take away from any enjoyment I could have found. If you want to read all the TNG books, then you'll probably have to force your way through this one, but I wouldn't suggest it for a good read on a cold, Saturday morning and a cup of hot cocoa.
Title: Strike Zone
Author: Peter David
Review by: CL6 Amanda Sielu Paris