Survivors begins in the outskirts of Federation space, on a former Earth colony called New-Paris. Many years ago Earth was ravaged by war. A group of settlers left Earth in search of a new home, one where they could live their lives without the violence of their planet of origin. Light-years away from Earth they found a planet and started a colony. The new society on New-Paris soon gave in to violence themselves, and the violence soon takes them over. The civilized planet torn by the never-ending wars, transformed into a barbaric battleground ruled by drug lords and rape gangs.
We are given in live detail the story of Tasha Yar's youth on that planet, and how she was rescued from it. Her rescuers were the members of a Starfleet away mission who happened to transport near her location. Head of that away mission was Darryl Adin. Tasha was only a teenager when she was rescued, and several years later she joined Starfleet Academy. Now a young woman, it is during her training that she stumbles across her first crush, Darryl. It was only then that they fulfilled their attraction. Tasha graduated and served under him on her first assignment.
Tasha's first training cruise was aboard the Starbound, carrying dilithium from the cracking station on Tarba, to the Starfleet Shipyard on Mars. Enroute the ship is attacked by Orion pirates, who cripple the ship and take its precious cargo. Minutes before the attack the crew find out that someone aboard sabotaged the hand phasers, preventing them from putting up a fight. Framed for the sabotage, Darryl Adin is stripped from rank and sent to a rehabilitation facility. Before he gets carried away, his last words to Tasha are that he'll be back.
The years go by. Tasha is now the security officer aboard the Enterprise. The ship is sent on a diplomatic mission to assess the situation on Treva, upon its request for Federation aid against its local warlord. Picard decides to send a preliminary surveying team, and assigns Data and Tasha to it.
On the planet, Tasha and Data listen to president Nalavia as she claims to have trouble from the local warlords. When they get a chance to talk with one of them, he depicts an entirely different story of the latest events on his planet. Aiding the warlord is a mercenary called the Silver Paladin, who turns out to be none other than Darryl Adin himself.
Tasha and Data must choose sides in this conflict, as their lives are put on the line, and try to survive until the arrival of the Enterprise.
Chronologically, the story is set in the first TNG season, right before Tasha's death. It was, therefore, very interesting how the author animated the characters to life. In his favor, I must admit that he has portrayed the best Data I have yet to read. That is truly exceptional considering that the book was published during the first year the show aired, and there were very few sources of insight. Most authors give Data a different vocabulary and style than what he had, and sometimes forget his role on-board the ship, as second in command.
This book offers a unique glimpse to the brief period after Tasha and Data's intimate encounter and before her death. It is my conclusion, that if you're looking for a TNG novel to start your TNG reading with, this is the one for you. For those novel-veterans, the book offers an exquisite opportunity to relish on the first year of the TNG mission. I rank it the well earned 5 pips.
Reviewer's note: The description of the first years of Tasha's life might be unsettling.