Thursday, October 9, 2014

Rising Son

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Rising Son by S.D. Perry
Published January 2003
Read April 15th 2013


Previous book (Deep Space Nine): Mission Gamma, Book Four: Lesser Evil
Next book (Deep Space Nine): The Left Hand of Destiny, Book One


MMPB: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk
E-book (Kindle): Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk

Spoilers ahead for Rising Son and the rest of the Deep Space Nine relaunch!

From the back cover:
Months ago, young Jake Sisko came upon a mysterious prophecy in the ruins of B'hala, one that told of a Son destined to enter the Celestial Temple of the Prophets and return home with a lost Herald. Certain that the ancient text was intended for him, Jake entered the wormhole to bring back his father, Captain Benjamin Sisko -- missing since his final, fateful confrontation with Gul Dukat in the Fire Caves of Bajor. But Jake's quest has failed. Or so he believes.
Flung across the galaxy by a power beyond his understanding, Jake is rescued by a strange ship with an even stranger alien crew. Joining them on a voyage unlike any he has ever experienced, Jake learns that his search for the truth will lead him to find the last thing he ever expected, and to discoveries far beyond his wildest imaginings.

My thoughts:


With this novel, we get something that happened far too infrequently in the run of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: a Jake story, through and through. Sure, he was featured a few times in plots of episodes, such as "The Ascent," "The Muse," and most notably in the episode "In the Cards." However, for a main character, Jake was extremely underutilized.

Jake Sisko is the central focus of this novel.

In Rising Son, we finally catch up with his story. As you'll recall, Jake went through the wormhole in Avatar in order to bring back his father... or so he believed. It turns out that while he is indeed a part of the Prophets' "plan," and he has a role to fulfil in the prophecy, it's not the one he initially assumed.

There is a lot to love in this novel. There is, of course, the "coming of age" aspect as Jake embarks on a long adventure outside of his regular elements. We see his character grow in ways we never got to see in the television series. Also, the crew of the Even Odds was particularly memorable, and we get some surprisingly emotional scenes with them. These are people I genuinely care about by the end of the novel. I would love to see a return by the Even Odds and her crew in a future novel or story.

S.D. Perry does a wonderful job of writing her characters. As mentioned above, the original characters in this novel are very well-written, but her grasp on Jake's character is equally impressive. We get inside the head of Jake and learn a lot about what he has been going through since Ben Sisko left to be with the Prophets. The heart of the story is this young man and his difficulty coping with, and eventual acceptance of, the circumstances in which he finds himself. While I have not lost my father, I have had periods in my life when I felt lost and directionless, and I found myself empathizing with Jake at many points in this novel.

Kai Opaka returns! However, the surprise
is somewhat ruined by the cover art.
Towards the end of the story, we meet up with (former) Kai Opaka and learn the story of how she finally escaped the world she was stranded on way back in Deep Space Nine's "Battle Lines," an episode from season one. It is at this point that we learn the true implications of the prophecy that led Jake on this adventure. Unfortunately, the "surprise" of Opaka's role in the story is gutted by having her appear on the cover. Having Kai Opaka on the cover of this novel is like having movie posters for The Empire Strikes Back feature the tagline "the greatest father and son story ever told." Okay, so perhaps that is overstating things, but I would certainly have preferred to have been surprised at Opaka's role in the story.

Final thoughts:

Rising Son does an amazing job of tying up the threads from the Avatar duology, while at the same time introducing new directions for the Deep Space Nine story to take. This was one of the most enjoyable reads of the Deep Space Nine "relaunch" so far, and I'm eager to continue following the story as it progresses. This re-read of the DS9 post-finale novels has been incredibly rewarding, and I look forward to revisiting later chapters in this story!


More about Rising Son:


Also by S.D. Perry:

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Avatar, Book One (2001)
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Avatar, Book Two (2001)
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Unity (2003)
Star Trek: Terok Nor: Night of the Wolves with Britta Dennison (2008)
Star Trek: Terok Nor: Dawn of the Eagles with Britta Dennison(2008)
Star Trek: Inception with Britta Dennison (2010)

My next read:

In the coming weeks and months, I am attempting to maintain a more regular schedule here on Trek Lit Reviews. My aim is to publish new reviews every Thursday. New releases will be reviewed as they come out, and as for the older novels, I am trying a new schedule: the main thrust of my reviews will be of the Deep Space Nine relaunch and, eventually, the larger 24th century novel continuity. Alternating with that, however, will be other novels so that there is a little more variety in the subjects of my reviews. With that in mind, here is the tentative schedule for the coming weeks:

Next up: an all-new Voyager novel by the wonderful Kirsten Beyer: Acts of Contrition, which should go live next Thursday, October 16th.

On October 23rd, this month's e-book exclusive will be reviewed, TNG: Q Are Cordially Uninvited... by Rudy Josephs.

October 30th will see book two of the Terok Nor miniseries get its review.

So, unfortunately, it will be a little while before the Deep Space Nine series gets picked up again, but rest assured there will be plenty of great material for you to enjoy in the meantime. And remember, we take requests! The Terok Nor trilogy is being reviewed at the request of a reader. If there is a particular Trek novel or miniseries you would like to see us tackle, let us know in the comments! Or email us at treklitreviews@gmail.com.

Live long and prosper!