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Star Trek: The Next Generation #55: Double or Nothing: Double Helix #5 (Star Trek Next Generation: Double Helix

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Like a lethal bacillus coursing through the bloodstream of the galaxy, a fiendish master plan has spread death and terror across the 24th century -- until two heroic captains risk everything to stamp out the evil at its source!For more than a decade, since the very beginning of the Starship Enterprise's™ mission, unknown enemies have unleashed a string of deadly biological Like a lethal bacillus coursing through the bloodstream of the galaxy, a fiendish master plan has spread death and terror across the 24th century -- until two heroic captains risk everything to stamp out the evil at its source!For more than a decade, since the very beginning of the Starship Enterprise's™ mission, unknown enemies have unleashed a string of deadly biological weapons throughout the Alpha Quadrant, inflicting ghastly epidemics upon the Romulans, the Cardassians, the Bajorans, and even the Federation. Now, at long last, Captain Jean-Luc Picard joins forces with Captain Mackenzie Calhoun of the Starship Excalibur to track down and confront the hidden architects of the plagues -- and avenge the deaths of thousands!


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Like a lethal bacillus coursing through the bloodstream of the galaxy, a fiendish master plan has spread death and terror across the 24th century -- until two heroic captains risk everything to stamp out the evil at its source!For more than a decade, since the very beginning of the Starship Enterprise's™ mission, unknown enemies have unleashed a string of deadly biological Like a lethal bacillus coursing through the bloodstream of the galaxy, a fiendish master plan has spread death and terror across the 24th century -- until two heroic captains risk everything to stamp out the evil at its source!For more than a decade, since the very beginning of the Starship Enterprise's™ mission, unknown enemies have unleashed a string of deadly biological weapons throughout the Alpha Quadrant, inflicting ghastly epidemics upon the Romulans, the Cardassians, the Bajorans, and even the Federation. Now, at long last, Captain Jean-Luc Picard joins forces with Captain Mackenzie Calhoun of the Starship Excalibur to track down and confront the hidden architects of the plagues -- and avenge the deaths of thousands!

30 review for Star Trek: The Next Generation #55: Double or Nothing: Double Helix #5 (Star Trek Next Generation: Double Helix

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    Good story. Didn’t care about the James Bond-type stuff that much. The Riker part of the story kind of got cut short I thought. Great first half. Excluding audiobooks, this is the 200th book I’ve read since college.

  2. 4 out of 5

    David Palazzolo

    Overall, Double or Nothing (Double Helix 5, New Frontier 8) is not a bad entry but it did have more than its fair share of problems. Perhaps I am feeling a little too critical about this book because it was the reason I decided to read the other books in the Double Helix series and wasn't always too happy with most of them either. We'll see. The novel opens up with what seems to be a heavily padded flashback sequence from Capt Mackenzie Calhoun's undercover operative days. When we come back to th Overall, Double or Nothing (Double Helix 5, New Frontier 8) is not a bad entry but it did have more than its fair share of problems. Perhaps I am feeling a little too critical about this book because it was the reason I decided to read the other books in the Double Helix series and wasn't always too happy with most of them either. We'll see. The novel opens up with what seems to be a heavily padded flashback sequence from Capt Mackenzie Calhoun's undercover operative days. When we come back to the present, we get a novel that tries to unify many things but ultimately overreaches. We have a wonderful intro to the crew of the USS Excalibur for those unfamiliar with the previous novels, Cmdr Riker of the USS Enterprise being hounded by Sela--the half-Romulan daughter of an alternate universe Tasha Yar, the revelation of who has been behind the plagues of the past several years and why, all of which is merely the tip of the iceberg. What I liked best was the reunion between Riker and Cmdr Shelby, all of the 'tips of the hat' to the Star Trek universe at large such as Argelius II and Stonn of Vulcan, and the way that Peter David tied the previous novels together to give the series a strong feeling of cohesion. What I liked least was the fact that the big bad villain seemed to come from nowhere. I was disappointed that our maniacal mastermind, Gerrid Thul, did not have had some tie to the Trek TV shows or movies. And then the so-called "Thul sphere." For something so massive (which I had problems accepting the premise that Thul either built the thing or merely found it), it was destroyed waaaaaay too easily. While reading the novel the thought struck me that the Federation was leading a three-pronged assault against Gerrid Thul and that this seemed to echo the make-up of an early form of Thul's designer plague. I do not know whether this is intentional or accidental, but I wouldn't be surprised to find out it is the former. Double or Nothing effectively resolves the storyline started in book 1 (Infection). The next book, The First Virtue is a prequel that gives the full lowdown on what sparked Gerrid Thul's quest for vengeance.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Craig

    Well I always liked it best when Peter David was writing TNG and not focusing on the New Frontier. Here we have a mix of both with Riker taking command of the Excalibur and Calhoun and (spoiler alert - thought the reveal is ruined by the cover) Picard are off on a secret mission. It is interesting to see the culmination of all the previous books coming to this point and I found it odd that it was a New Frontier style of novel that did it. Calhoun, I find, is always more interesting when he is aw Well I always liked it best when Peter David was writing TNG and not focusing on the New Frontier. Here we have a mix of both with Riker taking command of the Excalibur and Calhoun and (spoiler alert - thought the reveal is ruined by the cover) Picard are off on a secret mission. It is interesting to see the culmination of all the previous books coming to this point and I found it odd that it was a New Frontier style of novel that did it. Calhoun, I find, is always more interesting when he is away from the crew of misfits as he gets to shine more. Riker witnesses just how ridiculous the crew of the Excalibur is and ultimately where the weaker parts of the novel are. Great read, fun moments and a some interesting new characters. I did enjoy it overall so you can take that away from it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    So the Star Trek franchise holders, Paramount, have some rules for all their Star Trek fan competition entries, two of which are: No "Mary Sue" characters; and must be centred on the main characters. It's interesting then that this official novel broke both those rules. Not only is this the least interesting of the novels so far, it also an uninteresting story in general with some annoying new characters. Bergeron, or whatever your name is, I'm talking about you. Too much was devoted to this unin So the Star Trek franchise holders, Paramount, have some rules for all their Star Trek fan competition entries, two of which are: No "Mary Sue" characters; and must be centred on the main characters. It's interesting then that this official novel broke both those rules. Not only is this the least interesting of the novels so far, it also an uninteresting story in general with some annoying new characters. Bergeron, or whatever your name is, I'm talking about you. Too much was devoted to this uninteresting B-team. Some other characters seemed out of character and major franchise characters were sidelined.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Palmatier

    Peter David generally delivers a good Star Trek book, and this is no exception. The back cover claims that it features Calhoun and Picard, but in actuality it's mostly Calhoun's book. Well written, lots of action, great humor--an enjoyable book overall. Surprisingly, it "ends" the action in the current time period, even though it's the fifth book in the series. Apparently, the sixth book jumps back to where it all began. I'm looking forward to it. Peter David generally delivers a good Star Trek book, and this is no exception. The back cover claims that it features Calhoun and Picard, but in actuality it's mostly Calhoun's book. Well written, lots of action, great humor--an enjoyable book overall. Surprisingly, it "ends" the action in the current time period, even though it's the fifth book in the series. Apparently, the sixth book jumps back to where it all began. I'm looking forward to it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Appelcline

    David's scripting generally shines, but is held back by the heavy weight of what appears to be a hackneyed crossover. I only read this book in the series, but I'm pretty sure that if I read the others, they'd get lower ratings. David's scripting generally shines, but is held back by the heavy weight of what appears to be a hackneyed crossover. I only read this book in the series, but I'm pretty sure that if I read the others, they'd get lower ratings.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Bensley

    A definite action movie vibe - one of my favourite Double Helix books although I can't see how the sixth book will go A definite action movie vibe - one of my favourite Double Helix books although I can't see how the sixth book will go

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rocky Sunico

    I really haven't gotten into the New Frontier books as of yes, so it's harder for me to appreciate these titles when they're part of a big crossover event like Double Helix. But I'll concede this book did give me a lot more to work with that helped ease the transition somewhat. This book turned out to be the true climax of the series as we finally reveal who was behind the mysterious designer viruses that had been the focus of the previous novels. But instead of a high stakes medical drama, we go I really haven't gotten into the New Frontier books as of yes, so it's harder for me to appreciate these titles when they're part of a big crossover event like Double Helix. But I'll concede this book did give me a lot more to work with that helped ease the transition somewhat. This book turned out to be the true climax of the series as we finally reveal who was behind the mysterious designer viruses that had been the focus of the previous novels. But instead of a high stakes medical drama, we got a weird pseudo spy story that tapped on Mal Calhoun's past as an intelligence asset as he was once again activated by Starfleet Intelligence. This pushed the medical aspect to the far back burner unlike all the other Double Helix stories to the point that it felt like a last-minute McGuffin and not the true focus of the story. I suspect that this story will only make full sense when I finish reading Double Helix 6, which is a prequel to all this, as this book just jumps to the end without helping us as readers appreciate how we got to this point. There's little to no foreshadowing of who was going to be the mastermind and so many other side characters brought into the mix of things that didn't really add all that much to the discussion. There's some good adventure and odd spotlight moments that bring in the likes of Riker (William, and not Thomas this time) and even the Romulans but it doesn't feel like a masterful story arc as a whole.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Frank Trek Davis

    This one was hit and miss for me. It had lost me in the first few pages and didn't really get me back until Riker arrived. Then I was back and forth through the various scenes. It was occasionally funny, sometimes tense, regularly crude and from time to time even brilliant. I don't really know the New Frontier crew (having read only one other short story so far). I really enjoyed the new crew and thought Captain Calhoun was great.... until he was drinking. Even the appeal of ruffling Jellico's f This one was hit and miss for me. It had lost me in the first few pages and didn't really get me back until Riker arrived. Then I was back and forth through the various scenes. It was occasionally funny, sometimes tense, regularly crude and from time to time even brilliant. I don't really know the New Frontier crew (having read only one other short story so far). I really enjoyed the new crew and thought Captain Calhoun was great.... until he was drinking. Even the appeal of ruffling Jellico's feathers didn't quite offset the disappointment of that scene. There was a whole lot of stuff going on in the middle that will probably matter a lot more once I've read the New Frontier books but for this series it seemed out of place or at least irrelevant. I liked the plot. The set up is cool. I didn't like the amount of sex stuff used as filler but enjoyed the rest of the intrigue and action.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    I didn't like the part about Riker and Shelby and all this "is Riker worth something for himself or just because he was on the Enterprise with Picard"-stuff really annoyed me, especially because the characters didn't reflect on themselves. In the end they all got along but it felt more like because you could not have a happy end and querreling Star Felt members... But the rest of the story was entertaining. A lot action but I had fun reading. I didn't like the part about Riker and Shelby and all this "is Riker worth something for himself or just because he was on the Enterprise with Picard"-stuff really annoyed me, especially because the characters didn't reflect on themselves. In the end they all got along but it felt more like because you could not have a happy end and querreling Star Felt members... But the rest of the story was entertaining. A lot action but I had fun reading.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Leila P

    It was entertaining enough, Peter David is one of the better Star Trek authors. While I was reading the book, I kept wondering why there's Picard on the cover and why does the back say "Captain Jean-Luc Picard joins forces with Captain Mackenzie Calhoun" - because Picard was nowhere. Finally he did appear: page 217 (in a book of 277 pages). A little bit confusing, I would say. It was entertaining enough, Peter David is one of the better Star Trek authors. While I was reading the book, I kept wondering why there's Picard on the cover and why does the back say "Captain Jean-Luc Picard joins forces with Captain Mackenzie Calhoun" - because Picard was nowhere. Finally he did appear: page 217 (in a book of 277 pages). A little bit confusing, I would say.

  12. 5 out of 5

    David

    One of the best of Peter David's New Frontier series. Nearly impossible to put down. Picard and Calhoun! One of the best of Peter David's New Frontier series. Nearly impossible to put down. Picard and Calhoun!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    This was a pretty good conclusion to the series, even if the bad guy's reason for doing all of this was totally petty. This was a pretty good conclusion to the series, even if the bad guy's reason for doing all of this was totally petty.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    This was the best of the series so far, but Peter David REALLY likes his characters. All the action and humor I've come to expect from one of my favorite authors. This was the best of the series so far, but Peter David REALLY likes his characters. All the action and humor I've come to expect from one of my favorite authors.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Hanson

    Was pretty good.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Chuck

    Unconvincing story and world construction. It's rare in the extreme that I dislike a book by this author, but this one is barely recognizable as his work. I'd forgotten who the author was until the very end. The many callbacks to Trek canon are initially welcome but feel forced all too often. Some attempts at character development but they end up unsatisfying and in at least one case, feeling arbitrary. It's a tolerable work but not one I'll reread. Unconvincing story and world construction. It's rare in the extreme that I dislike a book by this author, but this one is barely recognizable as his work. I'd forgotten who the author was until the very end. The many callbacks to Trek canon are initially welcome but feel forced all too often. Some attempts at character development but they end up unsatisfying and in at least one case, feeling arbitrary. It's a tolerable work but not one I'll reread.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sean Randall

    In this fifth instalment of the series, Peter David takes the helm and guides us to a thrilling, climactic battle as The General's plans for destroying all sentient life in the federation come to a head. The Double helix virus, so patiently tested, perfected and proliferated through four previous titles is finally ready to be used on something of a larger scale... But, in typical fashion, Captain Mackenzie Calhoun is alive and kicking - and as luck (or at least a covert branch of Starfleet Intell In this fifth instalment of the series, Peter David takes the helm and guides us to a thrilling, climactic battle as The General's plans for destroying all sentient life in the federation come to a head. The Double helix virus, so patiently tested, perfected and proliferated through four previous titles is finally ready to be used on something of a larger scale... But, in typical fashion, Captain Mackenzie Calhoun is alive and kicking - and as luck (or at least a covert branch of Starfleet Intelligence) would have it he is sent into the boiling pot with the authority to do what he must to secure the future of the federation. of course it would be a little unfair to let mac have all the fun, so Picard is also undercover, trying to unravel the mystery of the virus from within. Things go horribly wrong for all concerned, as they inevitably must, and David's clearly not done with supporting characters as Sela's "Fire At Will!" does not show Commander Riker's future at its best. Clearly it's a worthwhile effort though, you can see how it works - bring in the Romulan's, bring in Sela. it's naturally unfair to expect the crew of the Excalibur to be left out, so although Calhoun is off saving the universe, that proud vessel (with riker in command) also has its fair share of things to deal with. We finally learn just how daring the scope of the virus is, of course - and what bigger target than the federation in its entirety? the question this book finally answers is simply this: can the virus be stopped? Or will the sixth and final entry in this most fascinating of series show a mop-up effort with the federation struggling to pull itself back from the brink of utter annihilation?

  18. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    PLOT OR PREMISE: This is the fifth in the series about a vengeful attack on the universe by an "unknown" assailant who uses biological weapons to wipe out races in the Federation. This book puts Riker on the Excalibur, dealing with Shelby et al; Mackenzie on a secret undercover mission to infiltrate the assailant's lair; and, Picard undercover to do the same thing, eventually linking up with Mackenzie. . WHAT I LIKED: There are a series of one-liners with Shelby and Riker that are occasionally funny PLOT OR PREMISE: This is the fifth in the series about a vengeful attack on the universe by an "unknown" assailant who uses biological weapons to wipe out races in the Federation. This book puts Riker on the Excalibur, dealing with Shelby et al; Mackenzie on a secret undercover mission to infiltrate the assailant's lair; and, Picard undercover to do the same thing, eventually linking up with Mackenzie. . WHAT I LIKED: There are a series of one-liners with Shelby and Riker that are occasionally funny, Mackenzie's infiltration is really interesting at the start and his character is great, and there is an interesting interplay between Admirals at one point. . WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: The Riker and Shelby section is not very well-written, Mackenzie's infiltration becomes repetitive at the end, and when Picard and he link up, it makes little to no sense for most of it. However, my real problem with this story is the sequencing...up until now in the series, you haven't known why the assailant is doing what he is doing, or even who it is. This one reveals all, and the motives are kind of a cliché. The New Frontier portion stays true to form while the rest of the interactions with The Next Generation universe is more of a caricature than reality. . BOTTOM-LINE: Readable . DISCLOSURE: I received no compensation, not even a free copy, in exchange for this review. I am not personal friends with the author, but I do follow him on social media.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Villain E

    Note: I didn't read the rest of the double-helix event. I read this because I'm reading the New Frontier series. And, while this says it's TNG, it's really a New Frontier book. The book opens with a James-Bond-ish scene of Mackenzie Calhoun in his secret agent days, stopping a bad guy and rescuing a girl. Then in the present, the same bad guy is still alive and up to no good. Commander Riker is on a ship which gets into a fight with some rogue Romulans, and then gets rescued by the Excalibur. The Note: I didn't read the rest of the double-helix event. I read this because I'm reading the New Frontier series. And, while this says it's TNG, it's really a New Frontier book. The book opens with a James-Bond-ish scene of Mackenzie Calhoun in his secret agent days, stopping a bad guy and rescuing a girl. Then in the present, the same bad guy is still alive and up to no good. Commander Riker is on a ship which gets into a fight with some rogue Romulans, and then gets rescued by the Excalibur. Then everything splits into three stories: Calhoun trying to infiltrate the bad guys, Riker and the Excalibur going after the Romulans, and the bad guy bonding with a random guy in a bar. This was fine as an adventure story, but there were some editorial decisions I question. Like, did you notice that Picard is on the cover but not in any of my summaries? Is that a mistake? No, it's a spoiler. Also, the double-helix virus isn't mentioned for 200 pages. Everyone's trying to figure out what the baddies are up to, but we already have a good idea of what they're up to.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jimyanni

    The "Double Helix" series, that is. Far from the best in the "Next Generation" series. This seems to wrap up the "Double Helix" series; I think book 6 of 6 is a prequel, showing the beginnings of the story (which couldn't be shown before, since to do so would have been to give away the identity of the mysterious "Mr. Big" creating the Double Helix virus, which wasn't revealed in the series until this book. This book had better action than any of the previous "Double Helix" books, although the wr The "Double Helix" series, that is. Far from the best in the "Next Generation" series. This seems to wrap up the "Double Helix" series; I think book 6 of 6 is a prequel, showing the beginnings of the story (which couldn't be shown before, since to do so would have been to give away the identity of the mysterious "Mr. Big" creating the Double Helix virus, which wasn't revealed in the series until this book. This book had better action than any of the previous "Double Helix" books, although the writing was somewhat sloppy in terms of typos and such; Peter David is occasionally a bit careless, and he is here. Definitely a fun read, and if there are some unanswered questions (just how DID Sela get training in telepathic defenses?) as well as the previously mentioned sloppiness, that may be enough to drop the rating to four stars from five, but not enough to keep the book from being enjoyable.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    A fast paced book that brings to conclusion the very long 'Double Helix' series. It's a straight forward tale that involves Enterprise crew and those from the book series in finding out the final planfor the virus. A good read. A fast paced book that brings to conclusion the very long 'Double Helix' series. It's a straight forward tale that involves Enterprise crew and those from the book series in finding out the final planfor the virus. A good read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Plume

    Double Helix was great, but the New Frontier crew made it better.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Heather Mac

    My notes: http://www.ordinarydream.net/startrek... My notes: http://www.ordinarydream.net/startrek...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jerry

    This is where the series "jumped the shark". For more, see my review of the entire series: http://rwlreviews.blogspot.com/2013/1... This is where the series "jumped the shark". For more, see my review of the entire series: http://rwlreviews.blogspot.com/2013/1...

  25. 5 out of 5

    K

  26. 4 out of 5

    Katie Meyer

  27. 4 out of 5

    Stuart

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mike

  29. 5 out of 5

    Marla

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ethan

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