Set in 2311, this second installment of the Lost Era-series (novels which can be read independently but which all cover the time between Generations and the start of TNG) deals with the background story to the Romulan absence from galactic affairs which lasts 40 years.
George spins an intriguing tale about politics, negotiations and secret operations, all aimed at preventing an alliance between the Klingon and Romulan Empires against the Federation. Of course, the worst-case scenario is prevented, but is deception and subterfuge really the base upon which to build a lasting peace? Granted, in this case, as TNG shows us, it was, but still it's incredibly risky to use such methods.
Captain Harriman of the Enterprise-B finally gets to shine in the spotlight, and a young Elias Vaughn is introduced as special ops officer. Perhaps George sometimes concentrates too much on advancing the plot, sacrificing characterization, but those instances are few and far inbetween. This is an exciting novel which will keep you at the edge of your seat right from the start to the finishing line.
review originally written in 2007