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AVATAR, PART 2

A novel by S.D. Perry (2001, Pocket Books)
Star Trek Deep Space Nine Relaunch Book 2

The station and Colonel Kira deal with crises involving the Jem'Hadar and the faith of Bajorans.

 

 

3+ stars+

Read November 25th to 28th, 2002  
   

Very well written, but although the ending was neat, the author took the safe route, and the plot was more by-the-numbers than in the first part.

I am still amazed at how well these books are written. DS9 has always been different from other Trek series, mostly because of how it dealt with religion, and as a result, it was more contemplative and the action was very different, for the most part. While this book still has the religious element, the characters do not grow as much as they did in the previous book. Mostly, Part 2 wraps up the major storylines set up in Part 1. Fortunately, it also leaves many events unfinished, so that, as with the TV series, other episodes can pick up on those threads.

One of the plots that is finished is the Jem'Hadar threat to the station. The Dominion soldier they had been holding, unsure of what to do with him because he claims to be sent by Odo, escapes, nearly killing Bashir in the process, and almost blowing the station up. Fortunately, there actually was a Jem'Hadar sent to the station by Odo, and he finally makes an appearance to kill his adversary. Kira and Vaughn, not able to hold their own against the bad Jem'Hadar, are able to eject the core before it explodes. I could have done without the countdown to destruction, since we are led to believe that the station might be destroyed twice in two books, now! Give that angle a rest in the future, please.

This new Jem'Hadar, with proof that he came at Odo's request, is allowed to stay on the station; an interesting side note is that he is not addicted to Ketracel White, and he is very old, so that he is more adaptable, and perhaps can learn peace. I liked the way we saw the hesitation from his point of view, wondering what he is supposed to do.

Ezri finally makes a decision about her life, after nearly losing Bashir. In the last book, she realized that she was part of a long memory of Dax, and wasn't sure if she wanted to have any attachments. In this book, she realizes that she has to be both Dax and Ezri, so decides to commit to Bashir. She has gone through a roller-coaster ride in these two books, and ends up making a transfer to command instead of being a councilor. I think everything done to Dax here speaks wonders about her role in Season 7 of the show. She is completely changed, and in almost every way, for the better. I even wondered if this author would separate Dax and Bashir, something I would have welcomed -but maybe that would have been too much backtracking!

I liked the way the Enterprise crew interacted with the DS9 staff. Crusher helps out in sick bay, especially when Bashir is attacked. Laforge presumably helped out with emergency repairs, which would have been more important than the problems Enterprise was having. Picard gets to tell Ro that she should not let her past dictate her future, which nearly pulls her apart. I guess the events in Behind Enemy Lines didn't happen, since it is mentioned that she had not seen him since she betrayed him in The Next Generation season 7. She didn't even know that wanted his forgiveness so badly!

Vaughn gets his transfer to DS9, as I expected. He seems to know Dax and at least one other member of the crew. I hope he doesn't end up being a Section 31 operative, but since he knows so much about everything, with such high clearance, I suspect he is. Sigh...

Another sigh goes to the appearance of Vic Fontaine once again... Nog visits him because he doesn't trust the Jem'Hadar in captivity, and gets some advice. Shan, the Andorian, has his big secret revealed -that his mother is on the Federation council, but he doesn't really get to do more in this book.

The other plotline that gets wrapped up concerns the book of prophecies that the vedek was killed for in Part 1. After a major disagreement with the person next in line for Kai, vedek Yevir, which tests Kira's faith to the utmost (discovering this fanatic had sanctioned the murder), she uploads the book to the Bajoran internet. I really wondered if the prophecy would be self-fulfilling, as 10000 people would die in religious rioting, or they would offer themselves to be killed for the safety of the Emissary's child. The offers did appear, but it appears that Bajorans are more reasonable than humans when it comes to differences of faith.

Through the orb of memory, which Picard returns to Kira, she finds out that the 10000 people have already died, over the years, keeping the book safe -the followers of this book had almost all died before B'hala was buried. This is an interesting twist to the prophecy, but it makes me wonder why it was a prophecy at all -it seems so minor, though I suppose it simply indicates that Kasidy will have a child in the near future. Although I am glad we didn't have to witness so many deaths, especially in the emotionless way that the Aldebaran was destroyed in Part 1, I was hoping for a riskier path. Still, it was surprising.

More surprising is the result of the crisis: although the government is able to explain the prophecy, I didn't expect Kira to be punished. That was an interesting choice, and I wonder how it will affect her. It looks like the whole idea for the prophecy plot was to get Kira thrown out of her religion. It made me think about her idea that Vedek Yevir could be more dangerous than Kai Winn was, because he is such a fanatic, and could justify everything in the cause of faith, where Winn was known to push things toward her personal gain.

The major plot that leaves us hanging is Jake's prophecy. He enters the wormhole and waits... and waits for the rest of the book. At the end, he gives up, but his shuttle spins out of control and is possibly destroyed. His last vision is of his father, and though it is left unclear what is happening, we are led to believe that he is pulled into the space occupied by the Prophets and Sisko. The End! That was a nasty cliff-hanger! But the prophecy itself makes me wonder if Sisko will return before the baby is born, and if the series must end there, because I cannot fathom how the writers could possibly communicate all of his newfound knowledge.

This book dovetails nicely with its predecessor. The emotional story was built up in Part 1, but takes up much less time here. This book focused on plot, which was simply a background for the first book. Complementary, these two books make up a complete story. It leaves me wanting more, and with great hopes for the continuation of this book series.

 
   

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