This week I decided to review Star Trek: Seekers: All That’s Left by Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore.
The story opens on Cantrel V, a planet with a Federation colony that is studying the few remains from an ancient war that devastated the planet and apparently led to the extinction of one and possibly two sentient species. The Miranda class Starship USS Aephas is supporting their efforts, but an unknown starship soon arrives and begins bombarding the planet’s surface, and when the Aephas attempts to intervene it inflicts some damage but is forced to withdraw before summoning the Constitution class USS Endeavour to help.
After both ships engage the enemy vessel again, they attempt to slip a boarding party onto the ship. The vessel is running on automatic systems but soon the crew begin to awaken. The crew consists of Lrondi, a race of external symbiont creatures, and various hosts of Lrondi. But many of the Lrondi crew lack hosts and they have no problem taking unwilling hosts. Those of the boarding party who manage to escape collection by the Lrondi soon find themselves on the run from their converted comrades and engaged in a desperate effort to evade capture and both find a way to free their crewmates and warn their ships what has happened.
Meanwhile, some of the Starfleet personnel on the planet accidently stumble across an underground Lrondi-controlled city left over from the war between the Lrondi and the inhabitants of the planet they controlled and those natives who fought to the end and forced the Lrondi to flee or go underground.
Eventually, the situation on the surface turns to a Lrondi attack aimed at collecting the colonists and Starfleet members on the world while the starships struggle to find a way to prevent Lrondi reinforcements from joining the ground battle without killing the boarding party or destroying the Lrondi.
I give this book 9 out of 10. The Lrondi are an interesting antagonist to me. While in some ways they remind me of the Borg or especially the parasites from the TNG episode "Conspiracy," there are enough differences to make them interesting such as both Lrondi and host maintaining their personalities, each Lrondi being a distinct individual, and the Lrondi seeking to make their hosts desire to fufill their wishes rather than forcing them to obey. Also, I thought giving different species distinct reactions to the bonding process on both sides was a nice touch and I think the ending suits the tone of the overall franchise wonderfully. Still, there are a number of parts that dragged on and felt like they were being extended to make the story longer to me.