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The Long Night of Centauri Prime (Babylon 5: Legions of Fire, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – December 7, 1999

4.5 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A solid, stand-alone novel . . . A fascinating spotlight on the enigmatic, deadly telepaths."
--USA Today (recommended reading)

"Dark Genesis is the kind of rare tie-in book that equals, or even bests, the franchise whose world it borrows. If you've heard the ravings of Babylon 5 fans . . . then this book is for you. You'll get a glimpse into the world they enjoy so passionately."
--Cinescape Online

From the Inside Flap

The beginning of an exciting new adventure that continues the Babylon 5 legacy . . .

Bombed to the brink of oblivion, the planet Centauri Prime is starting the slow and painful process of rebuilding, under the watchful eye of Emperor Londo Mollari. But Londo is in turn being watched--and manipulated--by the conquest-hungry Drakh. The malevolent beings are reshaping the Centauri Republic into a secret seat of power from which to strike out at their enemies--especially the Interstellar Alliance.

All but helpless to resist, Londo watches as his beloved Homeworld is transformed into a ruthless police state. And the Drakh have willing allies, including one of Londo's own countrymen--Durla, a powerful official with his own sinister agenda.

As the abuses of the repressive new Republic escalate, the double-edged Drakh master plan begins to unfold. Their goal is to smash the Interstellar Alliance by assassinating its president, John Sheridan, and to obliterate Earth, using a fabled, monstrous Shadow weapon known as a Planet Killer . . .

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Product Details

  • Series: Babylon 5: Legions of Fire (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; 1st edition (December 7, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345427181
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345427182
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #405,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dmitrij Gawrisch on November 6, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Peter David. A lot of readers know this name from the cover of Star Trek novels. It was a surprise to see he writes Babylon 5 fiction as well. At first, I picked up "Thirdspace", a tie-in to the second B5 movie and was quite disappointed as I always are with tie-ins in which the author provides the reader with the story of the film without giving any additional information. A friend recommended to read "Legions of Fire" series and told me I wouldn't regret it. He was absolutely right!
The story of the first book is a continuation of the events shown in the last season of Babylon 5. Centauri Prime is virtually destroyed and must be rebuilt. Londo Mollari, the former Centauri Ambassador on Babylon 5, has become emperor. Nevertheless life isn't easy for him, and he even thinks to commit suicide. The reason for such moods is the presence of the Drakh, the servants of the Shadows, who try to conquer the galaxy. They threaten to destroy Centauri Prime if Londo doesn't agree to serve them. To control their new slave, they join the emperor with a creature known as a keeper.
Londo is supposed to be the most powerful Centauri, but in fact he is the weakest. He loses his free will. Everything he does is somehow ordered by his masters, the Drakh. And as if that was not enough, there are Centauri who try to undermine his authority. One of this bunch is Minister Durla, a personage seeking greatness for himself and his species. Gradually he transforms Centauri Prime into a police state comparable to Nazi Germany (there are a lot of metaphors and comparisons throughout the book which make it more valuable from the artistic point of view), and Londo can do nothing to stop him.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
OK, let's be blunt. This is not "Stranger in a Strange Land," but it's pretty darn good. It may be the best book of its type (novelized spinoff of a successful TV series, that is) that I've read.
The odd thing about this book (and the second book in this series as well) is that while I was reading it, I could almost see it play out as an episode in my imagination. The plotting, the characters, and the dialogue are very, very consistent with the series. In spite of the fact that the book is allegedly done by Peter David "from outlines by J. Michael Straczynski," some of the dialogue seems almost certainly taken from unpublished or unused B5 scripts. There are many instances where Vir or Londo says something that has the ring of Straczynski's writing to it. Not to short Peter David in any way; his writing is quite adept and vivid, and keeps the story moving.
I ripped through this book in a day; I couldn't stop reading it! I can't really say that about most books I read, but for me this one was a real page-turner. I thought the world of B5, although I'm not one of those fans who dress up as Minbari to go to science fiction conventions, and for me this book was an entirely satisfactory and very interesting expansion on one of the many unfinished storylines of Babylon 5. I would recommend this book unreservedly for any B5 fans, and even for those who are not familiar with the series (and shame on you if you aren't; it was the best science fiction series ever, and I've seen 'em all) it will prove a fascinating diversion.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
After being disappointed by the last Psi Corps book and left hanging over the fate of Crusade, I was feeling a waning of my Babylon 5 obsession. This book brought it back.
Anyone who has watched the show knows the final fate of Londo Mollari, the unfortunate emporer of Centauri Prime, but the questions of how and why were left in the air. This book starts with Londo being trapped into becoming the emperor by the Drakh and then watching as his homeworld becomes fascist. As the book progresses you see Londo discovering things and beginning to challenge the Drakh, both overtly and subtly. This book also shows the beginnings of Vir's transition from nervous ambassador to heir apparent.
I personally found the scenes with the secondary characters extremely compelling. Vir trying to make sense of the changes in his homeworld, Senna becoming a lady of the palace (to whom Londo tells the story of the Minbari-Earth war in another chapter of this saga) and Durla the fascist Internal Affairs officer playing into the hands of the Drakh without knowledge are all intriguing. This is a great book for all Babylon 5 and general science fiction fans.
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The year is 2262 and Londo has just become Emperor of Centauri Prime. But what might have been his best chance to help his people and make up for his past becomes an exercise in frustration for him, as he must submit to the will of the Drakh Entire. Watched over by his keeper, he is only fully able to do what they desire. Meanwhile, Vir suspects something might be wrong with his friend. But can he find out what is really happening in the palace?
Peter David has done a wonderful job with this book. Londo becomes a truly sympathetic character. The climax is almost painful it's so well written and leaves the reader anxious to pick up the next book. Mr. David has captured each character exactly as they appear in the series. It's very easy to "hear" the actors deliver the lines and picture the settings from the series. He also works in references to several pivotal and obscure moments in the show, making this seem to fit perfectly in the Babylon 5 universe. The new characters are fully developed and help advance the story. Interesting, two of Londo's wives, from an episode of the show that Mr. David wrote, also play important parts in the story.
There is one small detraction for fans of the series. The book plays a little loosely with the timeline of season 5. However, I find the timeline presented here to be a little more realistic and something only worth noting in passing.

Fans of Babylon 5 who haven't read this book are in for a real treat. People who haven't seen the show will enjoy this book as well, but might be confused by a few things mentioned in passing. Personally, I had trouble putting this book down and can't wait to read the next book in the trilogy. A truly top notch read.
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