||It is with a heavy heart that I say that this is one of the worst Star Trek novels I have ever read. I was unpleasantly surprised by just how bad it was, since I really like most of Friedman's previous Trek books (particularly Crossover and Kahless). The book fails on almost all levels, most obviously regarding the characters: Too many of them feel either two-dimensional and/or completely different from how they're generally portrayed, and some of the characters never really get a chance to develop at all (which begs the question of why they were reintroduced in the first place). Also a couple of them suddenly (and bizarrely) pull hitherto unknown abilities out of their butts (since when is Dr. Crusher a martial arts expert??!). Even worse than that, though, is that the storyline meanders all over the place, and Friedman never does decide what he wants the focus of the book to be. Ostensibly, the main story is about Picard and Beverly's feelings for each other, but their relationship almost seems to take a backseat to other plot elements, particularly the civil unrest on Romulus and the events occurring on Kevratas. I've read the book a couple times now, and I *still* have no idea what it was really supposed to be about. In the end, Death in Winter was a major disappointment, and I would recommend staying away from it unless you're truly desperate for another Trek novel. At the very least, just check it out from your local library....because it's definitely not worth buying.