Friday, July 17, 2015

James Review -- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Sacraments of Fire

This week I decided to review Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Sacraments of Fire by David R. George III. 

The story opens with Iliana Ghemor being transported from the Bajoran wormhole to the homeland of the Ascendants, a militant religious order dedicated to finding the Fortress of the True, whom they consider gods, and eradicating other religious groups, especially those that worship the True incorrectly. Iliana, who was surgically altered to have the appearance of Kira Nerys and was driven insane by over a decade of being Gul Dukat’s prisoner and slave, swiftly convinces the Archquestor, leader of the Ascendants, that she was sent by the True to guide them as part of her scheme to use them as the latest weapon in her quest for revenge on Kira. 

The scene then shifts to the new Deep Space Nine where it is a few days after the assassination of Federation President Bacco. A green orb-like object appears from the wormhole and deposits a man on the station. He is a doctor named Altek Dans, apparently displaced from an ancient forgotten period of Bajor’s history. Altek is held as the crew seeks some way to confirm his story but after Ro Laren's request to have Altek extradited to Bajor to be held there is refused because Bajor’s government feels there is no proof that Altek has committed a crime, Ro begins to feel ashamed of her attempts to keep him imprisoned. But when orders from the acting Federation president and Starfleet Command arrive, instructing Ro to find some cause to continue holding Altek, she must choose between following orders she dislikes and risking the end of her third Starfleet career. 

Meanwhile, the planned exploration mission of the USS Robinson, commanded by Captain Sisko, is delayed and Sisko struggles with being assigned to a border patrol where one misstep can lead to another war, while Odo departs to investigate what may be either another Changeling or the remains of one.  And a Bajoran religious minority plans an attack on a moon seeking proof of their belief, but but what they find may drive some insane. 

In the Gamma Quadrant, Kira Nerys finds herself deposited on the Even Odds, a ship which Jake Sisko traveled on during his sojourn in the Gamma Quadrant. She also discovers that Taran’atar, who vanished soon after being brainwashed by Ghemor into nearly killing Kira, has joined the crew. But after Kira talks the captain of the Even Odds into helping her get home, they discover Ghemor’s Ascendant fleet and the trip becomes a desperate race to warn Deep Space Nine and Bajor before it is too late.

I give this book a 7.0 out of 10. There are too many plots running for one story, in my opinion, with little apparent connection between some of them, and some of the effects of those plots make little sense to me. Also, there were some editing errors that I feel any decent professional editor should have caught; "waist" being used when the proper form was "waste" for example. Finally, I feel the twist near the end would have been more exciting if it had been saved for the opening of the impending sequel.

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