Hollow MenBy Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at May 26, 2005 - 4:49 PM GMT
Title: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Hollow Men
Author: Una McCormack
Release Date: May 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Watching Captain Benjamin Sisko struggle with his principles as he described the events that led to the Romulan's entering the Dominion War as allies of the Federation and Klingon Empire in the sixth season episode "In a Pale Moonlight" was in my mind one of Star Trek's finest hours. In the first full length Deep Space Nine novel to be set during the timeframe of the series in quite some time, Hollow Men, author Una McCormack offers readers an introspective story that explores the immediate aftereffects of that episode.
In Hollow Men we learn that it isn't as easy for Sisko to quiet his conscience as that episode would imply. Accompanied by Garak to Earth to take part in the first Allied talks to include the Romulans, Sisko's internal struggle weighs heavily on him even as the tide of the war slowly turns to the Allies favor. For Garak, his first trip to Earth turns into a real eye opener in a number of ways as he allows himself to become a pawn in a much larger game when it becomes apparent that there is more going on than meets the eye within some elements of Starfleet. Meanwhile, back on the station a freighter in need of repairs is causing no end of security headaches for Odo.
It certainly was a pleasure to revisit the characters of Deep Space Nine once again in Hollow Men. Unfortunately the story itself is very bland. It's not that Hollow Men isn't well written; it is. The prose in Hollow Men is richly detailed and descriptive but the plot bogs down occasionally with scenes that are either too protracted or unnecessary. The characterizations are very strong and in the end the story ties up several loose ends from the series quite nicely but the getting there is at times laborious.
Where the story really shines is in McCormack's ability to portray the characters, particularly Garak. She captures him perfectly in all of his compelling and crafty glory. The author's choice to also tie in the events of the episode that immediately preceded "In a Pale Moonlight", "Inquisition" also added greatly to the overall story.
Despite its flaws I am glad that I read Hollow Men. Fans of the series will relish the care that McCormack has taken to capture the tone of the series at just that time and absolutely delight in her depiction of the characters.
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.