Twist of Faith is a bit of a smorgasbord of a Deep
Space Nine book, in that it is actually consists of three
previously published novels and a previously published short
story. The collection opens with Avatar by S.D Perry.
Originally published as two novels, Perry turns in a great
story, that follows on from the last aired episode What
You Leave Behind which saw the disappearance
of Captain Sisko, the departure of Odo and the end of the
Having read the book, I can just imagine the sale pitch, which
sold Perry on the idea of a two-book deal:
deal, two books, think of the money. However what we really
want is a new start so we want you to introduce some more
ongoing characters to plug the gaps, set up a lot of threads,
but for god's sake don't finish any of them and leave the
reader begging for more. Oh and last thing it has to feel
like Deep Space Nine."
A tall challenge for anybody and thankfully one to which Perry
was more than capable of rising. The plot:
months following the cessation of hostilities with the Dominion
and the Alpha quadrant is picking up the pieces. Captain Sisko
remains missing and Kira has taken over the running of
Deep Space Nine. On Bajor a book of prophecy has been discovered,
a prophecy that says that the son of Sisko will bring a new
dawning for Bajor - but only at the cost of ten thousand deaths.
So what does this have to do with the Enterprise investigating
sightings in the Badlands? And does the unprovoked attack
on the station by three Jem'Hadar ships herald the outbreak
of a new war?
Lots of things are set in motion in these two books. Two new
characters are added to the roster of station personnel, one
Starfleet and one Jem'Hadar. That's not to say that Perry
has skimped on any of the other characters - everyone gets
their day in the sun, as new relationships are forged and
old ones strengthened. In the end Avatar was only meant
to be the setting for an ongoing series of new adventures
and as such carried a heavy burden. If it crashed and burned
then it would tarnish any books which followed it. However,
Perry has been able to turn in a book which makes you want
to rush out and buy the others, just to see how the story
ends. Of course the trick is that the story never does end,
but if the standard of writing remains high who cares.
From the massive ensemble piece that was Avatar we
next move on to a book taken from the Section 31 series
of book: Abyss by David Weddle and Jeffrey Lang, which
looks at what it is to be a man separated from other men by
With the station in the middle of serious repairs following
the Jem'Hadar attack, Dr Bashir is contacted by agents of
Section 31, the covert arm of the Federation, to track down
an enhanced human in the Badlands. Dr Locken is using a disused
Jem'Hadar hatchery to create an army, which he intends to
unleash. Bashir, Taran'atar, Ezri and Ro set off to stop Locken,
but even before the mission has properly begun things go horribly
wrong when their Runabout is shot down...
Abyss had a hard act to follow but comes up trumps.
This is really Bashir's story, although, once more the other
characters get a good look in. The sense of alienation amongst
what should have been a close group is both unsettling and
very DS9. Bashir obviously feels apart from his fellows
because of his genetic enhancements, but what about Ro? In
a deeply religious society where does a self proclaimed atheist
stand? Ezri Dax is also apart, not only apart from her companions
for being a person with the experience of multiple lives,
but even apart from herself as she tries to reconcile those
two halves of herself - Ezri and the conjoined symbiote Dax.
Although wrapped up in an exciting adventure story, the heart
of the piece is the fear that in the end we are all only ever
last, full, novel in the collection is Demons of Air and
Darkness by Keith R. A. DeCandido, a veteran of this type
of genre novel. The book was originally published as part
of the Gateway saga.
Returning from a mission with a rescued federation captain,
the Defiant finds the Alpha quadrant in upheaval. Creatures
claiming to be the descendants of the Iconians have activated
the gateway system and are willing to sell the technology
to the highest bidder. With such an extensive system it is
an anomaly that there isn't one near DS9, so Shar and
Nog are sent off to investigate while the rest of the crew
try to help out Europa Nova, whose population is being exposed
to radiation which is eventually tracked back to one of the
And that is just a taster. With a quick gold bar to be made
you just know that Quark is going to be right in the middle
of any profit and, realistically being DS9, things
will not go well for his enterprise.
What can I say? DeCandido is a master of this sort of thing,
setting up interesting premises, which he then plays with.
I hate to use the term "a real page turner" so I'll
just say that this was the only full novel that I read through
in one sitting.
If that wasn't enough Twist of Faith finishes with
one of DeCandido's short stories Horn and Ivory, within
which the focus switches to Kira and a nice little jaunt back
into Bajor's history.
If you have never read these stories then the reprint at 660
pages makes for a very economical way of catching up and if
you've lost your originals it's a good way of revisiting old