Monday, December 23, 2013

Twilight

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Mission Gamma, Book One of Four
Twilight by David R. George III
Published: September 2002
Read October 28th 2013


Previous book (Deep Space Nine): "Horn and Ivory," in Gateways: What Lay Beyond
Next book (Deep Space Nine): Mission Gamma, Book Two: This Gray Spirit


Purchase Mission Gamma: Twilight from Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk

Twilight is also available as part of the omnibus, These Haunted Seas, containing the first two books of the Mission: Gamma miniseries.

Purchase These Haunted Seas from Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk


Spoilers ahead for Twilight, Mission Gamma, and the rest of the Deep Space Nine relaunch!

From the back cover:
THE TIME HAS COME 
... for a new era of exploration. With the Dominion War behind them, the crew of the USS Defiant journeys through the wormhole as Commander Elias Vaughn leads a "corps of discovery" to blaze new trails into the unexplored reaches of the Gamma Quadrant. 
THE TIME HAS COME 
... for a civilization to reach a crossroads. As political forces throughout the Alpha Quadrant intersect at Deep Space 9 to determine the future of Bajor, the planet's theological unity threatens to shatter. And for Colonel Kira Nerys, the path of the Prophets may become a road to ruin. 
THE TIME HAS COME 
... for a father and daughter to confront their past while a mother and son fight for the future, for lovers to be tested and for friendships to transform, and for worlds on opposite ends of the galaxy to face the dusk... or the dawn.

My thoughts:

More than anything else, I will always remember Deep Space Nine as the Star Trek series that embraced character development the most. So it is fitting that character development is what I loved the most in Mission Gamma, Book One: Twilight.

The Defiant sets out on a months-long tour of exploration of the Gamma Quadrant, while on the homefront, the stage is being set for Bajor's eventual admission into the Federation. The terrific character development comes in the exploration of the relationships between the characters. For example, we get a wonderful examination of the relationship between Elias Vaughn and his daughter, Prynn Tenmei. Estranged for many years, the two of them finally get the chance to see their relationship evolve. Also of note is the evolving relationship between Lieutenant Ro and Quark. In theory, this relationship seems doomed from the beginning. However, it is written in a believable and lovely manner. In some ways, I find myself disbelieving that it can go anywhere, but I'm continually surprised by how well they work together.

It is in this novel that we see the beginnings of the Andorian reproductive crisis storyline, which will continue to have a bearing on the lit-verse for years to come. Featured in the remaining Deep Space Nine relaunch stories, as well as more recent entries such as Typhon Pact: Paths of Disharmony, and The Fall: A Ceremony of Losses and The Poisoned Chalice, the Andorian reproductive crisis storyline is possibly the longest continual storyline in either the novels or in Star Trek in general. I don't know that the authors knew that this plot development would carry on for so long (over ten years!) or have so many far-reaching repercussions, but the inception here is a harbinger for many more great stories to come.

A pleasant surprise was a lovely little scene between Quark and Vic Fontaine. I am a big fan of David R. George III's writing, and his skill is evident both in little scenes like this one, and in the on-going struggles of the characters, such as Kira's handling of being excluded from the Bajoran faith by the Vedek Assembly. DRGIII has a terrific handle on the characters, and their interactions are always a pleasure to read. I found myself feeling empathy for all of the characters, both old and new.

Final thoughts:

This is not a small book. For some, the high page count combined with the small text may be a little daunting, but for me, the strong writing and great character moments pulled me right in and didn't let me go until I was finished. This is an excellent continuation of the on-going Deep Space Nine saga, and I'm excited to continue my re-read of the DS9 "relaunch."

Further resources:

Podcast: Literary Treks 59: The Rough Seas of Love - discussion of Twilight

Also by David R. George III:

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 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)

My next read:

Next up is an oldie, but a goodie: The Wounded Sky by Diane Duane, a classic from the early days of Pocket Books' Star Trek line.