Thursday, September 12, 2013

Revelation and Dust

Star Trek: The Fall
Revelation and Dust by David R. George III
Release date: August 27th, 2013
Read September 4th 2013


Previous book (24th Century Continuity): TNG: The Stuff of Dreams (e-book)
Previous book (DS9 Characters): Typhon Pact: Brinkmanship
Next book (The Fall): The Crimson Shadow

Click to purchase Revelation and Dust from Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk

Spoilers ahead for Revelation and Dust and The Fall!

From the back cover:
WELCOME TO THE NEW DEEP SPACE 9 
After the destruction of the original space station by a rogue faction of the Typhon Pact, Miles O’Brien and Nog have led the Starfleet Corps of Engineers in designing and constructing a larger, more advanced starbase in the Bajoran system. Now, as familiar faces such as Benjamin Sisko, Kasidy Yates, Ezri Dax, Odo, and Quark arrive at the new station, Captain Ro Laren will host various heads of state at an impressive dedication ceremony. The dignitaries include not only the leaders of allies—such as Klingon Chancellor Martok, Ferengi Grand Nagus Rom, the Cardassian castellan, and the Bajoran first minister—but also those of rival powers, such as the Romulan praetor and the Gorn imperator. But as Ro’s crew prepares to open DS9 to the entire Bajor Sector and beyond, disaster looms. A faction has already set in action a shocking plan that, if successful, will shake the Alpha and Beta Quadrants to the core. 
And what of Kira Nerys, lost aboard a runabout when the Bajoran wormhole collapsed? In the two years that have passed during construction of the new Deep Space 9, there have been no indications that the Celestial Temple, the Prophets, or Kira have survived. But since Ben Sisko once learned that the wormhole aliens exist nonlinearly in time, what does that mean with respect to their fate, or that of the wormhole...or of Kira herself?

My thoughts:

Revelation and Dust follows two separate story-lines that don't really meet until the very end of the book. In the first, the new Deep Space Nine is preparing to officially "open for business," hosting a dedication ceremony in which leaders from across the Alpha and Beta quadrants take part. However, a horrific attack disrupts this event, casting a pall over the celebration. The guests and inhabitants of DS9 are in danger, and the future of the Federation and Bajor are uncertain.

In the second story, we see Kira's experiences while with the Prophets in the wormhole. Much of this story seems to take place on Bajor of the past, with Kira taking on the role of Keev, a Bajoran who helped maintain an underground railroad freeing slaves from their masters. As her story evolves, we see parallels with Kira's life in the 24th century, as well as possible portents of things to come.

I've been anticipating a return to the 24th century narrative all year! While I really do enjoy novels set during The Original Series, I truly love the shared universe set up in the post-Nemesis era of Trek lit. So it was with a lot of excitement (and a little trepidation) that I read this, the first book in The Fall, a five-book miniseries. While Revelation and Dust started out a little slowly, I found myself really getting into it as the story unfolded. I often find that David R. George III's novels tend to focus more on character than on plot. While there is, of course, the Big Event™ (which I won't spoil here), where this novel really shines is in the characters' responses to what is going on. Most of the characters get a chance to shine: we see Captain Ro struggling with the burdens of command, Ben and Kassidy in their restored relationship and raising their daughter, Odo saddened both by the fact that Kira is missing and his being cut off from the Founders and the Great Link. One thing that made me especially happy was seeing Ezri and Julian finally hashing out their differences and reconciling their friendship in the wake of their break-up years earlier. Even President Nan Bacco has a sweet character moment shortly before she takes the stage at the dedication ceremony. It makes sense giving the reins of Deep Space Nine to DRGIII; after all, DS9 was the series that most exhibited excellent character development, and it is really great to see that tradition carried on here.

Kira's experiences with the Prophets seem unconnected to the other
events in the novel, but as usual, initial appearances are deceiving.
That's not to say that there aren't a few weak parts of this novel. As I mentioned above, the "Keev" parts of the story start out a little slow with no apparent tie to the main narrative. However, I suspected that there would be "real-world" consequences, and right at the end of the novel, it turns out that I was right. However, I can understand that some readers would feel that it was too long of a setup for the payoff that we are given.

One other small error that somewhat perplexes me: at the beginning of the novel, we are given a recounting of the events in the wormhole at the end of Raise the Dawn from Kira's perspective. Sisko's ship is described as being the U.S.S. Robinson and is even referred to as a Galaxy-class starship. However, in Raise the Dawn, Sisko had taken command of the U.S.S. Defiant and taken it into the wormhole. This seems an odd error for the author to make, especially seeing as he penned both novels! However, it is a relatively small mistake and doesn't have a lot of bearing on the novel as a whole.

The new Deep Space Nine - echoes of the original, but wholly unique and brand-new.
Finally, Revelation and Dust introduces us to the new Deep Space Nine. In stark contrast to the previous station, DS9 2.0 is shiny and state-of-the-art. Much larger than its predecessor, and much more sophisticated, I think that this new station will serve well as the setting for many adventures to come. I look forward to continuing to explore it along with the characters in the books and my fellow readers.

Final thoughts:

In writing Revelation and Dust, David R. George had a number of things he had to accomplish: introduce the new Deep Space Nine, catch us up with where the characters are, and set The Fall in motion. I think that he accomplishes these goals well, for the most part. A few small hiccups don't detract from the overall enjoyment of this novel. The twists and turns and surprising reveals at the end of the book make me very curious about what is to come. This novel's setup has certainly made me eager to read the next book in the series. As always, it's difficult to review this novel in a vacuum; as the first book in a five-book series, I believe that to be a fair assessment, it should be considered in the context of the other books that comprise the series. Look for a review of the overall series The Fall after all of the books have been released!

Further resources:

TrekBBS review and discussion thread for Revelation and Dust
Interview: David R. George III on Trekcore.com
Podcast: Literary Treks 36: An Archduke Ferdinand Moment - David R. George III discusses Revelation and Dust

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: Typhon Pact: Raise the Dawn (2012)
Star Trek: The Original Series: Allegiance in Exile (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)

The Fall

Revelation and Dust
by David R. George III
The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack
A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack
The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow
Peaceable Kingdoms by Dayton Ward

My next read:

I recently read a collection of essays about Star Trek fandom, which have been collected in a volume entitled Fan Phenomena: Star Trek. Look for my review soon!