"The Best Of Both Worlds I & II" was one of TNG's biggest accomplishments in its' seven year run. But before "First Contact" brought back the Federation's biggest foe, Peter David brought back the Borg in "Vendetta". Lt. Commander Shelby returns as Commander Shelby, Pulaski shares notes with Crusher, and Guinan makes an appearance with her ever-lasting knowledge of how truly horrible the Borg are. Some of the story line is shallow, some of it is out of character, and some is just pure genius.
This book starts out real slow with Jean-Luc Picard as a cadet in the Academy. His mind is focused on his school assignments, his hair is still in place on his head, and he is taking the ribbing from fellow cadet, Morgan Korsmo. That night when he goes to sleep he has a disturbing dream of a beautiful woman warning him of the 'soulless ones'. This dream continues to haunt Picard through his career and all the way up to when he's in command of the Enterprise-D. The Borg make their appearance at Penzatti. Only this time, they are destroyed and leave behind destruction. A Ferengi vessel is cruising the outer parts of charted space when their Daimon is taken as the Borg's new spokesman in place of Locutus.
Then the Enterprise-D arrives at Penzatti after an amusing look at Data and Geordi on the holodeck. They find few survivors and a Borg that is still living despite the fact its' ship was destroyed. The Enterprise takes the survivors and the Borg as they race to meet the U.S.S. Repulse. The ship has discovered the ship that destroyed the Borg cube that attacked Penzatti. Surprise, Picard's dream woman from the Academy that has haunted him all this time commands the ship and that same woman just happens to be sisters with Guinan. The pieces are in place for this round with the Borg to be interesting.
Geordi LaForge takes it upon himself to bring back the single Borg like they brought back Picard from being Locutus. With minor help from Dr. Beverly Crusher, Data, and Counselor Troi, Geordi makes some headway with the Borg. He even introduces herself to a hologram of the way she use to be before the Borg came along. Geordi realizes that she's more intrigued by Data being android and by Geordi's visor being mechanical. It's like she realizes how horrible her life was as a Borg, but she also wants to go back to when she wasn't confused at all as a Borg. She almost needs Geordi to baby-sit her, but the Borg takes things in her own hands when Geordi's distracted by the final battle against Picard's dream woman and the Borg. Only Picard's not only battling those two, but the jealously of an old friend from the Academy that seems intent on trying to outshine the famous career of the Enterprise captain. Logic has no place in the raw emotions about to be unleashed.
The book was well-written in a lot of parts where the crew interacted and I liked how Peter David had the characters remember past missions together. With the return of Shelby, Pulaski, and guest appearance by Guinan, you can bet that there is room for some humor. I found it hard to chew on when Picard kept claiming he was in love with this mysterious woman. Picard was never one really for romance and I didn't exactly understand what happened to this woman in the end. But overall, it was a well-written book. It drags on in some parts, but they all come together later and you understand why you read fifteen pages on the Ferengi. It all has to do with a vendetta that the Borg have brought upon themselves and this time they're getting attacked from different directions. Borg are irrelevant. Assimilation won't work this time.
Author: Peter David
Review by: CL6 Amanda Sielu Paris