With Plagues of Night and Raise the Dawn, David R. George, III returned not only to the world of Star Trek, but to the ongoing storyline involving the Typhon Pact. David previously contributed to the Pact saga with Rough Beasts of Empire, a tale of Romulan politics and deception that also introduced the theretofore unseen Tzenkethi. Additionally, David has written more than a dozen articles for Star Trek Magazine. His work has appeared on both the New York Times and USA TODAY bestseller lists, and his television episode was nominated for a Sci-Fi Universe award. You can chat with David about his writing at Facebook.com/DRGIII.
Captain Ro Laren waited uneasily atop a bluff that overlooked the rolling parkland below. She glanced down at the lush vista, at the walking paths that rose and fell throughout, at the stands of trees and arrays of colorful flowers. A gentle breeze wisped past, carrying with it fresh scents, including the crisp hint of water.
Ro peered down briefly at the small lake off to her right, then cast her gaze in the opposite direction. Atop the highest point in sight, Prynn Tenmei stepped toward the edge of a promontory. The lieutenant wore not her Starfleet uniform, but a formfitting lavender flight suit that contrasted dramatically with her porcelain complexion. Her jet hair—which, though not long, typically rose in wild kinks from her scalp—had been pulled back and gathered into a small bun.
Anxiety mounted in Ro as she watched Tenmei. The lieutenant stood ramrod straight, her arms tucked behind her back. With a quick motion, Tenmei suddenly took one more pace forward, to the brink of the stony outcropping, and then flung herself headlong into the open air.
Tenmei fell in a graceful arc, but at a rate noticeably slower than normal. Even so, she descended fast enough to injure herself—seriously, even fatally—if she struck the ground. Ro knew that couldn’t happen, that local sensors would detect an impending accident and trigger an automatic transport to safety, but she still tensed watching Tenmei plunge toward the park.
Seconds seemed to elongate, and the captain consciously stopped herself from clenching her hands into fists as Tenmei drew uncomfortably close to the ground. When the lieutenant reached a height of perhaps ten meters—surely close to the sensors’ safety limit—Ro expected her to vanish in a blur of white transporter light. At that instant, though, Tenmei thrust her arms out to her sides and waved them downward. The gossamer wings she wore swelled as they caught the air. Her descent slowed, and when she flapped her arms once, twice, her course curved upward. She banked to one side and described a fluid turn, fluttering her wings to gain altitude.
The susurrus of distant applause reached Ro. Satisfied that Tenmei controlled her flight, the captain looked away from Defiant’s primary conn officer and about the park. Around the tree-lined base of the half-dome–shaped enclosure, and interspersed along the footpaths and up and down the knolls, hundreds of her crew had congregated. Although still five days away from the station’s formal dedication and its transition to full operational status, Ro had made the decision to conduct a small celebration ahead of time, exclusively for the complement of the new Deep Space 9.
A grand amalgam of engineering and nature, of technology and beauty, the park occupied an arc of the station’s primary section, a central sphere. In addition to its use as a place for the crew’s recreation, it served as a functioning part of DS9’s life-support systems. Soil and stone and flora had been imported from Bajor to create the undulating, grass-covered hills, with rocky elevations rising up along about a quarter of the perimeter. Above, a simulated blue sky crowned the locale, although as the internal environment of the station progressed into the nighttime portion of its virtual twenty-six-hour day, the holographic morning and subsequent afternoon would fade, and the stars would become visible through the transparent hull overhead. The park had been intentionally positioned away from the three perpendicularly intersecting rings that encircled DS9’s main sphere, thereby affording evening visitors to the picturesque setting an unimpeded view of the nocturnal sky.
Ro wondered what that view would look like if the wormhole ever sprung back to life. The station had been oriented in such a way that the spectacle would be visible from the park. It had been nearly two years, though, since the events that had collapsed the wormhole, and although the official Bajoran position maintained that the Celestial Temple endured and would one day reappear, Federation scientists had so far been unable to detect any indication of its continued existence. The captain also knew that the design and construction of DS9 allowed for the capability to move the station safely from the Denorios Belt to the orbit of Bajor, should that become politically acceptable to the first minister and her people.
Lieutenant Tenmei completed three circuits above the park, occasionally flapping her wings as she glided easily through the elevated, low-gravity envelope that facilitated her flight. Finally, she alit opposite the location from where she’d begun, setting down in one of four designated landing zones, where the field of reduced gravity situated above the park reached all the way to the ground. Once more, a round of applause went up.
The captain saw several crew members approach Tenmei, while others disbursed throughout the park. The lieutenant’s flight—the first on the station, outside of testing—concluded the brief ceremony, which Ro had begun with a few words via her communicator to those assembled. She’d congratulated and thanked them for all their efforts during the previous twenty-three months. After the destruction of the original Deep Space 9, most of the surviving crew had stayed on, some on Bajor, some on the various starships that had patrolled the system, and some alternating between the two. Starfleet had quickly renovated an abandoned planetside transportation center, converting it into a place dubbed Bajoran Space Central, which helped substitute for some of DS9’s lost services while awaiting completion of the new station. Other services had required the use of orbital tenders, while still others had been undertaken by the crews of several Starfleet vessels.
In Ro’s remarks, she had chosen not to mention those who had perished with the first Deep Space 9. When rogue elements of the Typhon Pact—along with an Andorian Starfleet officer dispirited both by his people’s ongoing reproductive crisis and by their secession from the United Federation of Planets—had attacked and demolished the station, eleven hundred UFP citizens had died, a majority of them Starfleet personnel, and all of them Ro’s responsibility. The captain had not forgotten any of that, nor did she think she ever could, but in addressing her crew that morning, she’d wanted to focus on the positive as the Corps of Engineers released the final section of the new DS9—its park—for use. She intended to repeat her comments thirteen hours later, at the other end of the day, to ensure that, no matter the shift on which they served, every member of her crew—nearly twenty-five hundred strong on the massive station—would have the opportunity to attend. Ro also planned to host a memorial for her crew on the day before the dedication. Moreover, she would honor the fallen at the dedication ceremony, and felt sure that she would not be the only one of the speakers to do so.
“Impressive,” said one of the two people standing beside Ro. The captain turned toward Rakena Garan, castellan of the Cardassian Union. The woman owned a delicate figure, not much taller than a meter and a half, but she bore her status as the elected leader of her people with power and intensity.
Although noteworthy for Ro to be in the presence of an important political leader, it pleased the captain that it no longer discomfited her to stand beside a Cardassian. It had been more than a decade and a half since the end of the Occupation, and nearly three years since the Union had joined the Federation, the Klingon Empire, and the Ferengi Alliance in the Khitomer Accords, and it seemed as though the old hatreds had begun to fade, perhaps even replaced with a ration of forgiveness. It also helped that for the previous two years, a member of the Cardassian Guard, Zivan Slaine, had served as a member of Ro’s crew, and that she had done so admirably well. Holding the Guard’s rank of dalin, roughly equivalent to a lieutenant commander in Starfleet, Slaine served DS9 as a tactical officer.
“That was indeed impressive,” agreed Asarem Wadeen, the first minister of Bajor. “I’ve always wanted to fly.” Although only a dozen or so centimeters taller than the castellan, Asarem had a toned, almost muscular physique, and so seemed even more imposing than her Cardassian counterpart. Like Garan, the first minister exuded charisma, a quality that, if not a definite prerequisite for elective office, Ro figured must certainly prove useful for politicians pursuing leadership posts. Though the captain stood taller than both women and had earned her own position of authority, she held no illusions about their relative bearings; Ro commanded the loyalty and respect of her crew, but that hardly equated to having hundreds of millions of people willfully select her as their head of state.
“If you’d like,” Ro told Asarem, “it wouldn’t take long for the replicator to fit you for a pair of wings.”
Asarem lifted her eyebrows in an expression of interest, but then glanced over her shoulder. Ro followed her gaze. Past Asarem’s chief of staff, a woman named Enkar Sirsy, and Garan’s aide, a man named Onar Throk, two sets of attentive, stone-faced men and women—one pair Cardassian, the other Bajoran—stood like coiled springs, tensed and ready to leap forward. If there’s one thing that all sentient species have in common, Ro thought, it’s the steely look of their security personnel.
“I don’t think my protective detail would appreciate me leaping from hi...
Revelation and Dust is a slow moving book laying down the groundwork for future events. There is very little action, lots of reminiscing, two surprises, and a lot of confusion. This in itself did not frustrate me, as many Star Trek books are quite uninspiring, as I'm sure many Star Trek fans will agree. What disappointed me was the fact it was written by David R George because I thought his previous work with the Typhon Pact last year was excellent.
Basically what happens is Kira seems to undergo some Prophet version of Inception (about a quarter of the book is devoted to this), the new DS9 has an opening ceremony, during which President Bacco is assassinated, an investigation is conducted which seems all too neat, until the final five pages, where there are several surprises, two probably guessable, the others quite out of the blue. I'll won't give it away, in case you want to find out yourself.
I'm not quite sure how to rate this book. If I had the chance to read all five books in this series at once, I might have found it was a reasonable introductory volume 1. But as it is, I found it quite uninspiring work. It started out so promising too, with Kira being disappointed with her demise because she'd only had a handful of years to find her inner peace and calling, after the first thirty five years of life fighting the Occupation and the Dominion War. After that, it just never upped the pace.
Still, it's nice to see the old DS9 gang mostly back together, and it's especially nice to see Sisko and Kasidy back together. One thing I am looking forward to is seeing the new capabilities of the new DS(, so I'll probably keep up with the series.
To finish off, I have to agree with the previous reviewer- why is the kindle version $7.48 while the paperback is $4.58? Not only is the physical book cheaper, but it is a very low price too. Does this mean most Star Trek books are being sold as ebook now?
I'd been looking forward to this book all summer: the launch of a new DS9-centered multivolume story is about as exciting as it gets for this longtime fan. Unfortunately, this book got tossed on the return pile 100 pages in.
Nothing happens. Literally the entire first 100pp amounts to, the Cardassian head of state is called home to deal with an uprising in advance of a summit meeting, and the Federation President wants to speak to Odo for reasons unknown.
The rest is an exercise in needless backstory, with appalling repetition. One chapter is basically "Sisko was thinking about the old days during dinner with Kassidy. Sisko: "Hey, Kassidy, I was thinking about the old days. Kassidy: Oh, the old days! You were thinking of them!" Another is the entire Prophets sequence from the DS9 pilot, retold with color commentary from Kira.
It's ghastly. I may try the next volume, from a different author, when it comes out: I imagine a competent writer could sum up the 400pp or so of this book in a page, maybe two. And I'll have several hours of my life back to watch paint dry or clean the bathroom, both less tedious than this huge disappointment.
I have always enjoyed what George wrote for the star trek universe Star Trek. I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt I have, hoping that this book is simply laying the groundwork for a lot of great stories down the road. By itself, and if it was written by someone else, it would receive 2 or 3 stars.
What I didn't like
-The characters didn't develop much,if it all, over the course of the story. Everyone is more sad, but no one has grown. The growth and changes of the characters is something that made me love both the TV DS9 and the first relaunch in the novels. Instead of depth (with the exception of Sisko and Ro), we are treated to a, "so how have you been over the last two years." for most the characters. The novels that are published need to stand by themselves as stories to remember and cherish with deep characterization.
-The current DS9 crew does not shine. (other than Ro) The security chief can't keep the biggest crime of the decade from happening. He is also hampered by not following the evidence, but assuming things Odo never would. If you set up his professional talent by showing how awesomely DS9's security is running, then have a crime of this magnitude happen, a bit of a damper is put on his supposed abilities. Bashir's girlfriend is good for Bashir,(despite what you say Ezri) but apparently not for security. I have no idea who Stinson and Candlewood are, besides knowing they are part of the DS9 crew. I want to like them because I like all DS9 characters, but at this point, I want them replaced by Bajorans at least. Not being human would give me something to draw my attention to them. Obrien and Nog built the station. I knew they would do that when the last novel came out. Give me something new about their development.Read more ›
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I gave the book three stars , as I like pretty much any new Star Trek fiction, and the whole new space station concept was interesting. The novel overall works if you are a fan of the Deep Space Nine show, it has a homecoming appeal.
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Having said that—it could have been a lot better. There were a number of hurdles standing in the way of a completely enjoyable reading experience:
1. Several interesting and simultaneous new subplots are birthed in this novel. The issue, as others have noted, is that there isn’t much of a stand-alone story, a large number of plot threads are begun, and none of them reach a satisfying conclusion. Fans will get it that there are a number of story arcs that will take a couple of books to clean up, but it would have been possible to have a self-contained novel about a more credible “disaster” afflicting the station.
The mini-plots: Sisko’s daughter has supernatural abilities now. Kinda in a creepy way, maybe because of her father’s interaction/history with the prophets. Interesting, but not enough time to flesh out this plotline, just to get the ball rolling. Starfleet might have found another changeling in the Alpha quadrant, Odo is getting ready to investigate, and that’s all we know. I’m not against these mini-starts to these sub-plots, but they are just so insignificant, perhaps even distracting in how they are introduced, and you feel that future authors, who expand upon these sub-plots, kinda had them inserted in this novel. Would have been OK . . . only these plots are more interesting than the assassination of Baco and the inept investigation, makes me wish I was reading the novel about Odo and Sisko’s daughter instead.