Thursday, July 5, 2012

Raise the Dawn

Typhon Pact: Raise the Dawn by David R. George III
Published July 2012
Read July 1st, 2012

Previous book (Typhon Pact): Plagues of Night
Next book (Typhon Pact): Brinkmanship



WARNING: MAJOR spoilers ahead for Raise the Dawn, Plagues of Night, and the post-Nemesis TrekLit continuity!  You have been warned!


From the back cover:
The second novel in a two-part Star Trek: Typhon Pact adventure set in the universe of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
After the disastrous events in the Bajoran system, Captain Benjamin Sisko must confront the consequences of the recent choices he has made in his life.  At the same time, the United Federation of Planets and its Khitomer Accords allies have come to the brink of war with the Typhon Pact.
While factions within the Pact unsuccessfully used the recent gestures of goodwill--the opening of borders and a joint Federation-Romulan exploratory mission--to develop quantum slipstream drive, they have not given up their goals.  Employing a broad range of assets, from Romulus to Cardassia, from Ab-Tzenketh to Bajor, they embark on a dangerous new plan to acquire the technology they need to take control of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants.  While UFP President Bacco and Romulan Praetor Kamemor work feverishly to reestablish peace, Captains Sisko, Jean-Luc Picard, and Ro Laren stand on the front lines of the conflict ... even as a new danger threatens the Bajoran wormhole as it once again becomes a flashpoint of galactic history.

About this book:

Raise the Dawn continues the story begun in last month's Plagues of Night.  As the wreckage of Deep Space Nine tumbles through the void, the battle rages on between the rogue Typhon Pact vessels and the Starfleet vessels assigned to protect Bajoran space.  Although there were many casualties, much of the population of DS9 was evacuated, and Captain Ro and her command staff are rescued by the Rio Grande moments before the station is destroyed.  Survivors are also found in large sections of the station, protected when the emergency bulkheads closed.


President Bacco of the United Federation of Planets is furious when she learns that one of the attacking vessels was a Romulan warbird.  Believing Praetor Kamemor to be responsible, Bacco feels betrayed because of the Praetor's earlier claims to advance the cause of peace.  Meanwhile, the crew of the Enterprise capture Tomalak as he flees the scene of the battle.  From him, they learn that the Romulans, while in the Gamma Quadrant, were in contact with the Dominion, a fact that opens an entire world of possibilities, none of them good.  As Captain Sisko investigates the involvement of the Founders in recent events, the crew of Deep Space Nine deals with the aftermath of the destruction of the station.  One of the crew may be complicit in the attack.  Can he or she be found out before they have an opportunity to strike again?


My Thoughts:
In many ways, Raise the Dawn is a "re-relaunch" of the Deep Space Nine series. The cover may say Typhon Pact, but make no mistake; Raise the Dawn is DS9 through and through. Many fans, myself included, felt that Deep Space Nine had been given short shrift of late, especially after a wonderful relaunch following the ending of the television series. With the changing of the guard behind the scenes at Pocket Books, storylines from the DS9 relaunch were abandoned in favour of having the series "catch up" chronologically with the rest of the post-Nemesis continuity. This meant that we didn't get a resolution to many of the on-going threads we had been introduced to, leaving the Deep Space Nine universe in a state of disarray. There are allusions to the events during the years-long "gap" between the last novel and the Typhon Pact era, but nothing concrete story-wise. However, with the latest events that take place in this duology, you might just place me in the camp of not caring all that much. Plagues of Night and Raise the Dawn continue the story of Deep Space Nine in an incredible way, making Bajor and the wormhole relevant to the wider Trek-verse once again.

I find it difficult to write this review without gushing. Raise the Dawn was the perfect novel, at least for me. It had real heart, intrigue, political machinations, and a powerful and far-reaching plot. There is plenty here for every character, from the remaining screen-Trek characters to the wonderful novel-only characters who have been introduced to the Star Trek universe over the years.  Several characters see the end of their own plot-arcs, at least in the short term.  Several on-going stories are resolved as well, providing the kind of closure that has been missing from Deep Space Nine for awhile.  The DS9 universe has introduced many changes to a number of the characters, some of which I was very skeptical.  For example, the commanding officer of Deep Space Nine in this duology is Ro Laren, while Captain Kira has left Starfleet in order to become a vedek in the Bajoran religion.  I feel like many fans would be very uncomfortable with these changes, but David R. George III makes these developments work quite well, and while it would be comforting if everything remained as we remember it from the television show, life is about change.  These novels reflect that, and the author isn't afraid of shaking up the status quo.

As much as I love the characters we've come to know through televised Trek, I think that many of the characters introduced in the novels are fast becoming my favorites.  Of special note is, of course, President Nanietta Bacco of the Federation, whose acerbic wit and well-developed sense of humor is always fun to read.  Her interactions with Esperanza, her aide, are hilarious and very realistic and human.  Also of note is the Praetor of the Romulan Empire, Gell Kamemor.  A very level-headed and insightful leader, Kamemor is one of the most interesting characters to come along in awhile.  With her leadership of the Empire and her ideas of a more peaceful quadrant, I'm curious to see what the next few years have in store for the continuing story of Star Trek going forward.



Final Thoughts:

I have nothing but great things to say about Raise the Dawn and this Typhon Pact duology as a whole.  David R. George has managed to make my favorite of the Trek series relevant once again, and I for one can't wait to see where this is all going next.  The next book in the Typhon Pact series, Brinkmanship by Una McCormack, is set to be released on September 25th, so it seems we will not have to wait too long to see what happens next. If that book is anywhere near the quality of Raise the Dawn, we will definitely be in for a treat.  I can't recommend Plagues of Night and Raise the Dawn enough.  If you are a fan of Deep Space Nine, these books are not to be missed.  10/10, hands down.


More about Raise the Dawn:

Also by David R. George III:

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Mission Gamma, Book One: Twilight (2002)
Star Trek: The Lost Era: Serpents Among the Ruins (2003)
Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Dominion: Olympus Descending (2005)
Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night (2012)
Star Trek: The Original Series: Allegiance in Exile (2013)
Star Trek: The Fall: Revelation and Dust (2013)

Star Trek: The Lost Era: One Constant Star (2014)
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Sacraments of Fire (2015)
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Ascendance (2016)
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Long Mirage (2017)


My next read:

Although I've resisted reading them in the past, I decided to pick up the new young adult release this month, Alan Gratz's Starfleet Academy: The Assassination Game.  Look for a review soon!