RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

TrekToday title image

The Trek Nation - Mission Gamma: Cathedral and Lesser Evil

Mission Gamma: Cathedral and Lesser Evil

By Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at November 2, 2002 - 12:40 AM GMT

Title: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Mission Gamma Book Three: Cathedral
Authors: Michael A. Martin and Andy Mangels
Publication Date: October 2002
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0-7434-4564-3

Title: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Mission Gamma Book Four: Lesser Evil
Author: Robert Simpson
Publication Date: November 2002
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0-7434-1024-6


I know most people read reviews to find out as much as they can about a book before they decide to buy it -- to see if it sounds like it is worth shelling out your hard earned cash for. I am sorry disappoint you, but the plot information on Cathedral by Michael A. Martin and Andy Mangels and Lesser Evil by Robert Simpson, books three and four of the Deep Space Nine: Mission: Gamma series, will be minimal in this review. You’ll understand why when you read the novels. If you take nothing else I say in this review to heart, please avoid spoilers for these two books like the plague. You will be so glad you did.

In Cathedral, the Defiant is continuing its exploration of the Gamma Quadrant when the ship stumbles upon a dispute between two native species and they are forced to intervene when caught in the crossfire. One of the alien vessels is left crippled with injured crew and the Defiant stays to render aid. Meanwhile Dax, Nog and Bashir have taken a runabout to survey a nearby cometary cloud where they discover a baffling object that seems to be drifting between dimensions. When the three begin to regress to former versions of themselves, it soon becomes obvious that their encounter with the mysterious alien artifact has had unimagined consequences that only a return to the artifact can put right. But the ancient feud between the D’Naali and Nyazen complicates the crew’s efforts to save their shipmates, forcing a deadly confrontation.

Back in the Alpha Quadrant the ramifications of Kira’s release of the Ohalu text continues to reverberate through Bajoran society. Preparations continue for the signing ceremony formally admitting Bajor to the Federation. Vedek Yevir takes a bold step to force the issue of peace with Cardassia. Ro Lauren comes to an ominous decision regarding her future. And something happens that you never would have predicted that turns the whole story on its ear.

One theme recurs again and again in the various plot threads of Cathedral: the importance of faith in every individual’s life. Not necessarily religious faith, but just plain old confidence in ourselves, and the conviction that no matter how dismal or dark things may seem, somehow we can make it better faith. Cathedral utilizes compelling and emotive language and imagery to drive the point home and to lay the groundwork perfectly for the final chapter of this unsurpassed story.

Lesser Evil brings this long arc full circle and left me grinning like an idiot for hours after I finished it. Sure the ending leaves some things open, but it offers endless possibilities for future books. Not in a way that leaves your teeth on edge, cursing the fact that you’ve got x number of months to wait until you find out what happens next. But rather the ending leaves you both satisfied and anticipating where the overall adventure could be going.

It's just like a season of the television series used to make me feel. It’s as if Avatar was the premier of the season and Lesser Evil was the final episode of the story arc. I can’t wait for season two, but first I’d like to savor what I’ve already experienced for a bit and imagine where it‘s all going.

As I read these final two Mission Gamma books I often found myself closing them for a moment to take it all in and say -- Wow! Events in the first two books give you an inkling of where some of the plot threads are going, but you could never predict most of the clever developments in the character’s lives that you get to experience while reading Cathedral and Lesser Evil. You’ll smile, you’ll gasp, and you might even find yourself tearing up a bit.

The timing of the Alpha Quadrant story line and the Gamma Quadrant story line don’t always run concurrently as you read each novel of Mission Gamma. But they end at the same point. Through it all the characters continue to be become more richly detailed personalities, exhibiting growth in both large and small ways. And we get to be introduced to some fascinating new characters, some of whom we’ll love to hate. It’s a very large ‘cast’ and some characters get more emphasis than others at times, but overall everyone gets their share of the action.

I’ve been reading books for almost forty years, and to me the true measure of a really great story is that I can’t wait to read it again. From beginning to end, Mission Gamma is that kind of story. Make no mistake, there may be four novels, but there is only one story. And that is what makes Mission Gamma so extraordinary. What was begun in Twilight and continued through This Gray Spirit, Cathedral and Lesser Evil is, from beginning to end, one magnificent story.


Discuss this reviews at Trek BBS!
XML Add TrekToday RSS feed to your news reader or My Yahoo!
Also a Desperate Housewives fan? Then visit GetDesperate.com!

Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.


Jacqueline Bundy reviews Star Trek books for the Trek Nation, writes monthly columns for the TrekWeb newsletter and the Star Trek Galactic News, and hosts the Yahoo Star Trek Books Group weekly chat.