Random stuff on Life, the Universe and Science Fiction

Books 1&5: ST DS9 – Mission Gamma Books 1&2

MAJOR SPOILERS FOR Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Series and minor ones for the DS9 relaunch books follow.

I know I’m well behind on this and I’m unlikley to make it to 50 books this year but I’ll do my best. I’m even further behind on blogging about it so here goes.

Book 1: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Mission Gamma: Book 1 – Twilight, David R. George III

The first book of my challenge was the next up in my reading of the DS9 relaunch novels. Twilight is the first book in a four-part set called Mission Gamma that in it’s main plot follows an exploration mission of the Gamma Quadrant by the crew of the USS Defiant from Deep Space Nine.

In the previous books in the series (Avatar two parter) we are introduced to the new crew of DS9 after the ascension of Captain Sisko in the series finale. Kira has been promoted to station commander and her new XO is a Starfleet Commander Elias Vaughan. Lieutenant Nog has taken over from Chief O’Brien as chief engineer and Lieutenant Ro Laren (newly commissioned into the Bajoran militia) has Odo’s old office as chief of station security. Other new crewmembers include Andorian Ensign Thirishar ch’Thane and Commander Vaughan’s estranged daughter, Ensign Prynn Tenmei.

The main plot of the first book concerns the Defiant‘s departure from Deep Space Nine commanded by Vaughan with Ezri Dax, Nog, Doctor Bashir and Ensigns ch’Thane and Tenemi on board. The first new planet they come across is occupied by the peaceful Vahni Vahltupani but the planet is in danger of destruction from mysterious energy pulses from space. Vaughan and his crew must race against the clock to save an entire people from annihilation.

In the meantime on the station a Federation diplomatic team arrives to negotiate Bajor’s entry to the Federation.

Book 5: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Mission Gamma: Book 2 – This Gray Spirit, Heather Jarman

In the second book, the Defiant is damaged by an enemy weapon but is rescued by a ship from the alien race known as the Yrythny. The crew quickly discovers that this is a society at breaking point. The planet is plagued by strict discrimination between the Houseborn deemed genetically superior and the enslaved lower class known as the Wanderers who are stripped of many rights including the right to breed and the eligibility to serve in the military. Wanderer terrorist attacks have brought the planet to the verge of civil war. A throwaway comment from Ezri Dax about the possibility of getting an independent mediator in, causes the defiant crew to be drawn in to the centre of the conflict.

Back on the station, a Cardassian delegation arrives in the hopes of patching up relations between them and Bajor before Bajor enters the Federation.

The books are both reasonable reads. In both cases the plot on the Defiant is more compelling than the one on the station and the plot of the first book is far more interesting than that of the second. Both books, thought the second more than the first, unfortunately suffer from far too much concentration on two minor plots, the first of which is the budding relationship between Ro Laren and Quark. The second is the arrival on the station of Ensign ch’Thane’s family. Great detail is given to the complicated Andorian family structure and while it’s all interesting, I just got bored of it after a while. From the reviews I’ve read, This Gray Spirit is the low point of the series so I’m looking forward to reading the remaining books.

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