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WHAT YOU LEAVE BEHIND

A novel by Diane Carey (1999, Pocket Books)
Star Trek Deep Space Nine Series Finale Novelization

The final battle in the Dominion War is fought, and Sisko's plays his decisive role as the Bajoran Emissary.

 

 

1 star

Read June 1st to 5th, 2000  
   

I could tell immediately that I wasn't going to like the style of the book.  If it was going to be this way, the story would have to be the thing to save it.  Unfortunately, while it had a great battle sequence and intrigue with the Dominion War arc, the Pah-Wraith section was so poorly done that it just brought the book farther down.

I guess this is my chance to critique the last episode of the series, as well.  As I said above, the Dominion War part of the book was enjoyable, as long as it told itself.  The style of writing was pedestrian, however.  The text was mostly in a dialogue form -not between the characters, but within their minds.  This is the sort of writing I would expect from an immature author. 

There were a few moments when I found myself going from page to page in anticipation, but that, I believe, is because the episode was so strong on this part. 

The Defiant has amassed a fleet of Federation, Klingon and Romulan warships around DS9.  They go for an invasion of Cardassian space, to put an end to the war, once and for all.  The good-byes are soothing, but body language did more in the episode than any of the simple thoughts put in their heads here. 

The battle was spectacular, but is here necessarily brought down in scope by putting us in Sisko's mind.  His flurry of thoughts makes for an incoherent story, especially after having read a terrific flying/ battle scene in Knights of the Black Earth earlier this month. 

The plot on Cardassia, between Kira, Garak and Damar doesn't fare any better.  It was spectacular in its execution in the episode, but is just plain difficult to read in most spots.  Kira's hallucinations were particularly bad. 

At the most critical point, the Cardassians turn on the Dominion.  This is in response to Weyoun destroying a Cardassian city due to uprisings.  That was the Vorta's fatal mistake. 

The Dominion fleet withdraws to Cardassia, where the Founder has ordered that the Cardassians be exterminated.  The Allied fleet makes its way there, and fights in a second wave.  Odo beams down, cures the Founder of her disease, and convinces her to surrender.  The war is over. 

And if I knew how they were going to end the Emissary part of the story, I would have said this is where the episode should have ended. 

I thought at one point that the author was mocking Vic Fontaine.  I couldn't believe they wasted time on another song when they had such important things to do.  It seems like the author couldn't, either!  Or maybe I'm misinterpreting.  It's hard to tell, with this writing style. 

But the Emmissary arc continues.  Kai Win and Dukat have gone down to the Fire Caves on Bajor to release the enemies of the Prophets, the Pah-Wraiths.  There isn't much to tell.  Win betrays Dukat, using him as a sacrifice.  But the Wraiths resurrect him, and he tosses her aside, laughing mockingly, in comic book style.  It was poorly acted, and it is written even worse. 

Sisko, in the middle of the party at Vic's, suddenly leaves, and manages to get to the Fire Caves in a small fraction of the time it took Win and Dukat to get there.  He confronts Dukat, and destroys the key to the Pah-Wraiths, diving into the fire below. 

The Prophets take him, however, since he is half of them.  He gets to say goodbye to Kassidy, however, but not Jake, for some reason. 

We get to see life on the station without Sisko, as everybody begins to go their separate ways.

The last chapters seemed to go on forever.  I couldn't wait for it to end.  I shouldn't have disgraced the memory of this episode by reading the novelization.  I thought I would get some more insight, but apparently the author couldn't figure out the episode, either.  At least the direction in the episode was terrific, which made it a very, very watchable two hours, worthy of a reasonably high rating.  Not so here.

 
   

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