Worlds of Deep Space Nine, Volumes II and IIIBy Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at January 23, 2005 - 9:27 PM GMT
Title: Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Volume Two
Authors: Andy Mangels, Michael A. Martin and J. Noah Kym
Release Date: February 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Title: Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Volume Three
Authors: Keith R.A. DeCandido and David R. George III
Release Date: February 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
For those anxiously awaiting the next installment of the post-finale Deep Space Nine storyline the wait is finally over, and it was well worth it. Following in the footsteps of Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Volume One (June 2004), readers can enjoy a double dose as both Volume Two and Three hit bookstores in February.
The Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine volumes are intended to immerse the reader in the cultures of the planets most closely associated with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and allow the reader to experience those societies from a familiar character's point of view. At the same time, these volumes advance the post-finale storylines. In Volume Two, the worlds explored are Trill in "Unjoined" by Michael A. Martin and Andy Mangels and Bajor in "Fragments and Omens" by newcomer J. Noah Kym.
At the end of Unity, Trill society stands on the edge of an abyss. The parasites have been destroyed but the ramifications of the cover-up by the Trill government reverberate throughout the planet and Trill society. "Unjoined" begins with Dr. Julian Bashir in the middle of bedlam and then proceeds to explain how he got there, how the chaos he and Ezri Dax find themselves caught up in came to be.
"Unjoined" is a beautifully constructed story that explores Trill's previously hidden history by carefully taking into account everything previously established about the planet and it's culture and expanding upon it in a very creative and interesting way. With the very fabric of their civilization being torn apart, the inhabitants of Trill find themselves in a desperate fight for the future of their society, a fight they may be unable to win.
"Fragments and Omens" has a much more hopeful tone. Set shortly after Bajor's admission to the Federation there is still much work to be done helping Bajor become a fully integrated member of the Federation. J. Noah Kym successfully employs several different storylines and characters to weave together a descriptive and evocative story that provides the reader with a much broader picture of Bajor and its people than we have sometimes been given in the past.
You are likely to feel a bit lost if you attempt to read any of the volumes of Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine without having read the previously published novel Unity. The six stories contained in these three volumes are in many respects an interlude. They carry the story forward from Unity, wrapping up some of the ongoing storylines not fully concluded in that novel while introducing new story threads. At the conclusion of both "Unjoined" and "Fragments and Omens", the characters have been brought to the point where they are ready to move forward with their lives leaving the reader eagerly anticipating whatever the future may hold.
As enjoyable and satisfying as the four previous stories told in Volumes One and Two of Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine are, Volume Three saves the best for last and packs quite a punch. Volume three brings together the Ferenginar story, "Satisfaction is Not Guaranteed" by Keith R.A. DeCandido, with the final tale "Olympus Descending", a story of the Dominion by David R. George III.
In "Satisfaction is Not Guaranteed", it comes as no surprise to learn that Quark is not the only Ferengi who is not pleased with direction that the recent reforms is taking their society. When Grand Nagus Rom finds himself in the middle of a no holes barred fight for his political future, Rom and Ro Lauren accompany Quark home to Ferenginar in an attempt to get to the bottom of serious accusations leveled against Rom.
With "Satisfaction is No Guaranteed" Keith DeCandido demonstrates that he knows his Ferengi every bit as well as the Klingons with a serious story that still manages to be rousing good fun. The predicament Rom finds himself in is uniquely Ferengi as is the solution.
"Olympus Descending" is a different kettle of fish entirely, an introspective tale that explores the nature of the changelings existence. While Odo and his search for answers about his people and their history may be the focus of the story, the author also manages to clarify a lot about the Jem'Hadar and the Vorta along the way, adding a good deal to our understanding of both species.
The story starts slowly, evolving into a tale that is entirely engrossing and at times shocking. The author pulls off more than one very neat little writing trick with great expertise. David George's writing style strives to allow the reader to wholly immerse themselves not only in the events and surroundings that the characters are experiencing, but also to illuminate how they feel about it, and what the ramifications for them may be. Your mind tends to linger over the prose, savoring the words and the images those words provoke.
Each of these volumes has the "acknowledgements" and standard "about the author" sections run before each story, instead of at the end of the book as they usually do and there is a very good reason for that. Many readers read those sections before they begin a book and in the case of these stories, most particularly this final volume, turning to the back might mean you inadvertently see the final sentences. Whatever you do, don't turn to the back of the book, not even to peruse the included chronology of events. Save it for last and savor the bombshell.
You can't really characterize Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Volume Three as a conclusion; these books are after all, not a trilogy. Rather they are three books that feature six separate stories that are part of one larger whole. However, you can easily characterize Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Volume Three, indeed all three volumes, as an outstanding addition to this bestselling series.
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.