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A novel by Diane Carey (1998, Pocket Books)
The Dominion War, Book 4

Sisko and his crew make hit and run attacks on the Dominion, and finally prepare to retake Deep Space Nine.



Read April 3rd to 6th, 2000  

Not as good as the previous DS9 book, but that could be because it had weaker stuff to work with.  I think Sisko's secret plans were overdone, but his frustrations at the end were better.

This presents the novelization of the episodes Behind the Lines, Favor the Bold, and Sacrifice of Angels, as well as the end of Sons and Daughters. 

One of the best episodes of the arc was Behind the Lines, which is reduced here to a couple of pages.  We don't get to see the intricacies of Odo's link with the Founder, only the results.  As with the episode, Kira forgives him way to quickly later.  So Rom gets caught trying to sabotage the station's deflector, because Odo didn't switch off the alarms.  Damar detains Kira, Jake and Leeta, because he believes they will try to do more sabotage as the minefield is about to come down.  As in the episodes, Quark and Ziyal break them out of jail in a very silly scene.  It was a little better here, simply because we could get into the minds of the characters, and the scene was played from Kira's point of view.

On the Federation front, the Defiant goes on a mission to destroy the Dominion sensor station that has been defeating fleets of Federation ships with its existence.  In the episode, we saw the beginning and the end of the mission, and were disappointed that we didn't get to see the mission unfold itself.  I think that's because it was really a magical mission.  There was no way to actually destroy the sensor relay, so the producers decided to show the simple victory parade, instead. 

In the book, the author tries to make up for that, but it means the whole mission is mired in technobabble.  O'Brien is the one who goes down to the array control center.  All he has to do is tell the computer, via an encrypted card, that the station has fallen into enemy hands, and the array will destroy itself.  Then he has to destroy the control center.  If the array decides it is under attack, it will stop centrally directing the sensors, and they will act on their own, requiring the Federation to destroy each of the hundreds of sensors individually.  Why the sensors aren't under automatic control all the time is a mystery.  If they can work separately, why don't they, and reduce the chances of a mission like O'Brien's from succeeding.

And succeed he does, though there are many tense moments.  It looks like he's going to be killed, when a native of the planet, from a lost Earth colony about which we never hear again, shows up with a chemical rifle, which blasts through the Jem Hadar energy shields, and isn't affected by the dampeners throughout the station. 

I was frustrated during this whole mission, because it was pretty stupid from the beginning.  The worst part was O'Brien not recognizing the projectile gun.  He's played spy with Bashir long enough that he should even have good aim.

Dax, meanwhile, is in command of the Defiant, because Sisko has made himself too valuable to Admiral Ross.  She buys O'Brien time, and when the odds are insurmountable, she blasts her way through to rescue him, even though her orders say to abandon him.  She never gets in trouble for that, probably because the mission was a success.

Sisko and Martok, meanwhile, target a Dominion storehouse, in order to draw off some of the ships defending the sensor array.  Sisko was able to get onto the decoy mission, which is almost as suicidal as the actual mission, because he was annoying to Ross?  I don't think so.  If that was the case, he could have easily have taken control of the Defiant.  His secret plans here have gone too far. 

But everything turns out fine, because all the ships return safely.  Just in time to hear that the Dominion is about to destroy the minefield protecting the wormhole. 

Sisko arranges the fleets, and takes control of the Defiant, and launches an assault on Deep Space Nine.  The battle is exciting, almost as much as in the actual episode.  The reactions by Dukat and Weyoun are great, especially as they realize Sisko is coming through alone. 

But Sisko ignores the station, as the wormhole opens up.  He charges suicidally into the wormhole, to meet the Dominion forces inside that tiny passage.  If he was really so desperate, I think he should have simply destroyed the wormhole.  Instead, he is picked up by the Prophets, and is frustrated as they won't let him die.  So he convinces them to remove the Dominion fleet, and they do this.  But as I recall from the episode, they also promise that Sisko will never find peace on Bajor because of it. 

Dukat and Weyoun's reactions to the Defiant leaving the wormhole alone, with no fleet following them, is amusing, and they have to evacuate the station, because Rom disabled the weapons systems. 

I didn't enjoy Dukat's "going crazy" scenes, from inside his mind.  It was raving, and not too well written.  The episode was much more powerful, I think. 

So the Federation gets the station and the wormhole back, and everything is back to normal. 

Too many contrivances in key places, Sisko's behind the scenes work, and the crazy Dukat at the end brought this novel down from its first part.  The rest of the novel was fairly well done, but it didn't have the energy the first one did. 

As for the series The Dominion War, I think it was below par in general.  The Next Generation parts were dull, and out of character, for the most part, and lacked the Enterprise, which made it worse.  The DS9 parts I was already familiar with, because of the season 6 opening arc, and it generally followed the trend of the episodes.  The exception was the reversal of Sons and Daughters (which was much better than the episode), and Behind the Lines (which was not as good).


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