by Peter David
Amazon / Goodreads
Plot Summary:Years before they served together on board the "U.S.S. Enterprise." Commander William Riker and ship's counselor Deanna Troi had a tempestuous love affair on her home planet of Betazed. Now, their passions have cooled and they serve together as friends. Yet the memories of that time linger and Riker and Troi remain "Imzadi" -- a powerful Betazoid term that describes the enduring bond they still share.
During delicate negotiations with an aggressive race called the Sindareen. Deanna Troi mysteriously falls ill...and dies. But her death is only the beginning of the adventure for Commander Riker -- an adventure that will take him across time, pit him against one of his closest friends, and force him to choose between Starfleet's strictest rule and the one he calls "Imzadi."
Review:There is so much depth to this story. To the realization of the characters, the world of Betazed and what it's like being Betazoid, and to the relationship between Riker and Troi which is never really explored on the show. It also is a beautifully done romance which goes so well with a story that involves the Guardian of Forever (which is from the Original series episode "The City on the Edge of Forever.") And it's beautifully done because there are complications to the romance, and to Riker's actions, which made for some very interesting dilemmas that even Data wasn't able to see his way through clearly. The characterizations of the characters we are familiar with was spot on, although I was sometimes at some doubt to Data's decision-making in the story, since I think as a character he can be swayed from logic sometimes by loyalty.
The story combines action, adventure, time travel and romance to create a very moving tribute to the relationship of Riker and Troi, and I'm a little sad that the potential of exploring their romance and history more wasn't a real part of the show. But perhaps it was only through this novel that their complicated relationship could be explored and come off so believably. Because this book does fit in so well with the way the characters developed on the show.
This is a book that transcends the TV show and fully captures the world and the characters in an absorbing, suspenseful and touching read. It is apparent that this book came out before the end of the TV series as there are some changes from canon as it were, but this was ultimately such a satisfying and believable extension of the the characters' stories that I wish it was canon.