Star Trek Deep Space Nine: Avatar, Books One and Two
Written by SD Perry
A Book Review
Rating: 4 Stars (out of Five)
Stephani Danelle Perry, in case you were wondering what the SD stood for, has written in various sf Universes, from Alien to Resident Evil, and even delved into the novelization, supplying the companion novels to the films Timecop and Virus. I admit to neverr having read any of these and never having heard of her at all until she moved into the realm of Star Trek. She wrote the books we are talking about here, helming, as it were, the DS9 relaunch. Set after the series finale, What You Leave Behind, these two novels set the stage for the continuing story of Deep Space Nine after Odo and The Sisko departed.
Think of these stories as a kind of “Star Trek, RFD”, giving us new characters mixing with familiar ones in the comfortable setting of May… er, Space Station Deep Space Nine. And some of the new characters aren’t really new (to extend the Mayberry RFD comparison) with past TNGer and member of the terrorist group The Maquis Ro Laren joining the station complement as Chief of Security, along with Elias Vaughn and Tiris Jast, who had both apparently been depiocted in other literary STU sources.
This set of books follows Colonel Kira Nerys, elevated to command of the station with the “disappearance” of Benjamin Sisko, and the recovery of the station and crew in the aftermath of the Dominion War. Nerys misses Odo, who is back on the Founder homeworld spreading knowledge of his experiences with “the solids” among the Great Link, not least because of her near-intolerable lack of connection with the new Bajoran Security Chief, Ro Laren. Laren refuses to pretend any connection with the Prophets, nearly unheard-of behavior for a Bajoran, and seems to Kira to go out of her way to cause troiuble. Meanwhile, of course, Ro believes that Kira has no respect for her, no trust in her abilities, and is ticked because Laren won’t worship the Wormhole Aliens the way all the other Bajorans seem to. Add to this mix the mysterious murder of an old friend of Kira’s, Prylar Istani Reyla, on the station just outside of Quark’s bar, and the discovery of an ancient scroll that appears to predict a horrifc event in the near-future. This event, by the way, is also apparently connected with the coming birth of Kasidy Yates and The Sisko’s child. To complicate matters, Jake Sisko has read the prophecy, too, and believes it to have a special significance for him, and a cloaked Jem’Hadar is found on the station after an attack from the Gamma Quadrant that further cripples the station and causes the deaths of hundreds. The Jem’Hadar says he was sent to learn the ways of peace by Odo.
There are also, of course, the usual subplots and character development stuff that made DS9 such a compelling show. Dr. Julian Bashir and Ezri Dax are lovers and having the typical relationship problems one would expect from two military folk with duties to perform and danger ever at hand, but they also have Ezri’s struggle to maintain her own identity in the face of all her other “former lives” and personalities running through her head. Nog has his own doubts about his abilities to contend with, although he really has grown since we first met him, and even since he lost his leg in the Dominion War. Still hasn’t gotten over his hatred of Jem’Hadar, though. We even get to see a little of what Odo is going through. But the funniest thing here is Quark falling for Ro Laren. Quark in love is always great comic relief but here he is completely smitten and it becomes completely obvious to everyone who knows him.
This two novel set reads like a novelization of the opening ep of Season Eight of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The characters we know are spot-on and the new ones are interesting and “feel” like we’re seeing them do what they do to help the story move along. The voices of Kira, Quark, Ezri, Julian, and even the holographic crooner Vic Fontaine come through clear as a bell here and make us want to come back “next week” to see what happens next.
(This review originally appeared at http://www.axiomsedge-scifi.com under the name Sam Christopher)