Friday, January 15, 2016

James Review -- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Ascendance

This week I decided to review Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Ascendance by David R George III.
The story is divided into two main parts with the first set in the late 2370s, while the second is set in the mid 2380s. The earlier part opens with Iliana Ghemor leading the full might of the Ascendants, a group of religious zealots--who had attacked a number of Bajoran colonies in the 23rd century and destroyed a number of civilizations in the Gamma Quadrant--against Bajor. The fleet consists of thousands of ships with highly advanced shielding and powerful conventional weaponry with both Deep Space Nine and the USS Defiant barely being able to slow the attack force down.
But even worse is the subspace weapon carried by the fleet’s flagship which might utterly eradicate Bajor if deployed against it. However, many of the Ascendants believe the subspace weapon is the key to delivering them to the final judgment of their gods and wish to attack with standard weaponry instead, and Taran'atar, a Jem’Hadar once brainwashed by Ghemor, launches a desperate gambit to shield Bajor from the subspace weapon.
In the 2380s, Odo’s attempt to link with what was believed to be a dormant shapeshifter has led to the unknown being attacking him, leaving the former constable in a comatose state. The being then escapes from the Starfleet research station, killing two staff members in the process, before setting a course for the Bajoran system. The Defiant is sent to intercept and attempt to communicate with the being, but when communications fail, the Defiant attempts to use force to stop the creature, but the being duplicates both the ship and its abilities and uses its new cloaking device to escape. When the being reaches the Bajoran system it mimics Deep Space Nine and sends a signal that Captain Ro Laran believes is an invitation for her to board it where she discovers the true nature of the being and its connection to both the battle against the Ascendant and other past events.
Meanwhile, the repercussions of the discovery that one of Bajor’s moons hides a giant device some believe was used to build the wormhole rock the station’s staff while Altek Dans, a time-displaced Bajoran from the distant past, continues to struggle to get permission to return home while adjusting to the new era. And Nog manages to restore Vic Fontaine’s holoprogram only to discover that inside the program things have gone downhill sharply.
I give this book 8 out of 10. The two core plotlines are great and tie into each other in ways I found very interesting. The big problem is the sideplots in the second part. Only the Altek Dans plot makes any real advancement. The suspected wormhole generator plot goes nowhere other than removing one character from the station and the Vic plot seems to have no connection to the other plots while doing little other than setting up a possible rehash of the plot from the episode "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang".

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