Originally Posted on Trek.fm
“There is rot at the core of the Federation…and we are going to put it to an end.” — William Riker
The penultimate book in The Fall has been released and The Poisoned Chalice continues the story with distinction. James Swallow’s entry is filled with action and suspense as the crew of theTitan and some familiar faces try to unravel a seemingly endless tapestry of lies and misinformation. With the heart of the Federation at risk, the stakes have never been higher.
IN THE PALE MOONLIGHT
The Fall series has been rife with connections to our own world, and The Poisoned Chalicecontinues on this grand Trek tradition. As Riker digs deep into the mystery that is pro-tem President Ishan, the rabbit hole continues to grow. The Titan and her crew find themselves facing a Federation as topsy-turvy as Wonderland. With secret executive orders and the disappearance of political prisoner Julian Bashir, the heart of the Federation seems to be rotting from the inside out. Swallow uses the realities of Cold War Europe, as well as War on Terror tactics, to create a rich and compelling story.
The Federation has been beaten down, and because of it, has begun to push agendas “…based on fear instead of hope.” The wars have created a generation that has know only fear and terror on all sides. Self-protection has become the highest virtue for many, which has slowly eroded the very things the Federation has held most dear since its inception. Swallow crafts a mirror for the 21st century in the 24th century — one that may reflect the worst of what we’ve become.
The Poisoned Chalice will have you on the edge of your seat for the entire read. Swallow gives us just enough to satiate us in this political/action thriller until Dayton Ward’s Peaceable Kingdoms is released at the end of December. There are so many great character moments for Riker, Troi, Vale, Tuvok and the Andorians, giving growth to some of the best-loved Trek characters. This is a standout novel, using the best of Trek storytelling to challenge the reader as well as entertain. This book is rated 10 out of 10 Andorian Atlire-class escort cruisers, since the one in this book is named after me, the Mat-Rus. (Thanks, James. I am eternally in your debt.)