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Final Reckoning: The Fate of Bester (Babylon 5) Mass Market Paperback – October 5, 1999

3.9 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

For Alfred Bester, "the Corps was mother, the Corps was father."
But now, his Corps was doomed . . .

Under the ruthless command of Alfred Bester, Psi Corps's reign of terror reached unspeakable new heights--and touched off a civil war among the telepaths. Corps minions fought renegade defectors--a new resistance movement determined to overthrow Bester's monstrous regime. But the tide was destined to turn . . .

Interstellar Alliance President John Sheridan intervenes to stop the bloodshed as a new Psi Corps rises from the ashes. Its first mission: to hunt down and neutralize war criminals, individuals such as Bester himself. Once feared across the galaxy, the dreaded hunter becomes the fleeing prey--with Michael Garibaldi in hot pursuit.

Underground and on the run, Bester builds a new life on the ruins of his secret, sinister past. But as the forces of justice--and vengeance--close in, he must confront the hell he created, choose between surrender or survival at any cost, and prepare to make his final stand . . .

There is nothing as dangerous as a predator who has been cornered and has nothing left to lose.

The stunning finale to the new epic trilogy that uncovers the secret history of the Psi Corps.

About the Author

Born in Meridian, Mississippi, in 1963, J. Gregory Keyes spent his early years roaming the forests of his native state and the red rock cliffs of the Navajo Indian reservation in Arizona. He earned a B.A. in anthropology from Mississippi State University and a master's degree from the University of Georgia, where he did course work for a Ph.D. He and his wife, Nell, live in Seattle, where, in addition to full-time writing, he practices ethnic cooking--particularly Central American, Szechuan, Malaysian, and Turkish cuisines. Since moving to the Northwest, he can no longer participate in his favorite sport--Kapucha Toli, a Choctaw game involving heavy sticks and few rules--so he has taken up fencing. Greg is the author of The Waterborn, The Blackgod, Newton's Cannon, and A Calculus of Angels.

J. Michael Straczynski is one of the most prolific and highly regarded writers currently working in the television industry. In 1995, he was selected by Newsweek magazine as one of their Fifty for the Future, described as innovators who will shape our lives as we move into the twenty-first century. His work spans every conceivable genre--from historical dramas and adaptations of famous works of literature (The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) to mystery series (Murder, She Wrote), cop shows (Jake and the Fatman), anthology series (The Twilight Zone), and science fiction (Babylon 5). He writes ten hours a day, seven days a week, except for his birthday, New Year's, and Christmas.
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Product Details

  • Series: Babylon 5 (Paperback Ballantine) (Book 13)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (October 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345427173
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345427175
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #197,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mark Baker - Carstairs Considers HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 3, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The year is 2271. The telepath war is over, and many of the old Psi Corp leaders are on the run or in prison as war criminals. Bester has managed to evade his pursuers. But with Garibaldi using the Edgars' fortune to find him, can he stay hidden for much longer?
I will admit I didn't enjoy the other two books in this series as much as I had hoped I would. But, being a fan of the TV series, I kept reading. This book is much better then the others, partially because the author has a definite story to tell. The plot was engrossing, and I had a hard time putting it down. Keeping the tradition of the series alive, it doesn't give pat answers, but raises some interesting questions about telepaths and their treatment. The characterizations are top notch, and there are times I could "hear" Bester, Garibaldi, and Lise from the show.
This book may not break any new ground plot wise and probably won't appeal to anyone who hasn't watched the show, but for those who have, this is must reading that will hook them from start to finish.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book, based on an outline from Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski (so you know it's official), covers the period in B5's history detailing the final years in the life of Psi Cop Alfred Bester.
There are many parts of the Babylon 5 story that have only been hinted at throughout the series, the Telepath War being one of the biggest. Not many questions are answered about that in this book, being that it's set after the war and it's obvious Bester was on the losing side. Now hiding out as a literary critic in Paris, Bester actually makes an effort to put all that behind him, but Michael Garibaldi is soon on his trail, not forgetting what Bester did to him long ago and is out to settle the score.
One thing I liked is how grounded on Earth the Psi Corps Trilogy was. There were scenes on other worlds and brief appearances by aliens, the first book briefly touching on Earth's first contact with the Centauri, but for the most part it concentrated on humans, on Earth, and how all the various peoples and factions involved dealt with "the telepath problem." This book wraps up the life of the Babylon 5 villain you just love to hate, and it's a must-read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Spin-offs from television series usually leave a lot to be desired. But Babylon 5 was no ordinary series. And while the five year series was complete unto itself, questions were left unanswered and fascinating side trips were unexplored. This isn't a complaint, it's part of what made the series so unique and special.
The Psi Corp trilogy (made up of: 1) Dark Genesis: The Birth of the Psi Corp; 2) Deadly Relations: Bester Ascendant; and 3) Final Reckoning: The Fate of Bester) provides critical background B5 fans will relish and entertaining insight into what made Al Bester one of Babylon 5's most fascinating characters. The fact that they're based on an outline by J. Michael Straczynski makes all three books "authorized" B5 history.
The first book, Dark Genesis, is the weakest of the three. While the topic will be of interest to Babylon 5 fans (and of little interest to anyone else), it can't help but come off as anything more than a travelogue populated by cardboard characters. Too much needs to be explained to allow much focus on plot or character development. Instead, the book often comes off less like a novel and more like a "script bible" for the television series, painting the back story for episodes featuring the Psi Corp.
In the final two books of the trilogy, however, Keyes does a fine job of capturing Bester, one of the series most intriguing characters. He not only relates his life, but he even makes him likeable - at times. Deadly Relations takes place before most of the events covered by the television series; while the majority of Final Reckoning occurs subsequent to the series' timeline. And, as is a prerequisite in books of this genre, he weaves in events and characters from the series. But Keyes does it very well without the cameos seeming out of place at all.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Alfred Bester, played by Walter Koenig, was one of the best "bad guys" on the TV show. His flat sense of humor showed a darker side to him - a side that we became quite familiar with during his forays onto the station. Yet there was always a sense of tenderness underneath the character, a glimpse of someone whose heart wasn't blackened by the hatred he felt for those who aimed to hurt him. This book explores that side of Mr. Bester. The side that wanted to come out from the dark recesses of his soul, and smile at the simple beauty of life. Mr. Bester is eighty-two at this point in his life, on the run from his nemesis Mr. Garibaldi, and beginning to feel tired at the prospect or repeating his hiding cycles for too much longer. Yes, Mr. Garibaldi is still trying to catch up with Mr. Bester - to visit his endless thirst for vengeance for what Bester had done to him in order to have Sheridan betrayed. The story attacks the plot, initially, from the vantage point of both of these individuals. Towards the end, a police inspector is added to the mix of vantage points - to help play a good old-fashioned morale to the plot. An excellent read and the best of the Babylon 5 novels that I have read to this point.
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