Just how far would you go? What would you be willing to give
up for the things you hold dear? Would you be willing to lose
it all? Would you be willing to become one of the hollow men...?
Men is a new book from Una McCormack, which continues
tales from the Dominion War. The book follows the events in
the Deep Space Nine television episode In the Pale
Moonlight. The war is going badly. More ships and men
are needed and allies might be found if Sisko can persuade
the Romulan Senator Vreenak that an imminent attack was being
planned by the Cardassians against Romulus. To this end Sisko
recruits Garak's help in manufacturing fake evidence, but
Garak is unconvinced that the data rod will hold up to inspection
and plants a bomb inside the senators shuttle, killing everybody
on board. When Sisko finds out he decides that with the Romulans
now entering the war, he will, for the greater good, remain
book takes up the story of what happened next. Following his
complicity in the murder of a Romulan dignitary, Sisko must
take Garak, and his guilt, to Earth for the first conference
with the Federation's new allies.
Back on the station things are going on as normal. A freighter
with badly damaged engines and a cargo hold of liquid latinum
must stop for repairs, a security headache for Odo, a possible
opportunity for Quark. Thing start to become complicated when
Odo recognises a Hamexi called Brixhta who has recently been
released from prison, a prison Odo put him in. Things go from
bad to worse when the station looses all power. On Earth things
are not going well either. Sisko discovers that a former friend
and Starfleet officer, Roeder, appears to be at the forefront
of a peace movement against the war.
of the good things that came about in Deep Space Nine
was the idea that a show could sustain an overall arc, where
actions had consequences in the on going narrative. Although
this was in no small part a response to Babylon 5,
it still made it a better show. So the odd thing was how could
Sisko - a man of great moral standards, a religious icon,
engage in deception, fraud and complicity to murder - just
walk away from this event. The book shows that he didn't.
Through the book we follow Sisko's continuing struggle to
reconcile what had happened with his own values. These are
nicely juxtaposed with Garak's more pedantic view that everything
is fair in war - that the ends justify the means.
Men also deals with the abuse of power and the consequences
of war on many other subtle levels. Odo is seen to use the
new emergency war powers given to him in a way that makes
others question his decision. Julian must come to terms with
playing games involving killing, when there is so much real
killing going on. And at the back of all this, someone in
the shadows unseen is making events happen.
book has some lovely little touches which, in the main, add
nothing to the plot, but give an overall picture that events
are not taking place in isolation from the global television
story arc. I won't spoil it by detailing them, just to say
that when Cardassian bio signs are searched for it's not only
Garak and the Cardassian delegation that are found. Una is
obviously a fan of the show, with considerable knowledge and
these touches just draw the reader into the greater conflict
that is going on in the background.
nuances of each character are dealt with more than competently,
and I could hear Odo huffing out of the book as I read it.
In some fan boy fantasy land if the show ever comes back I
hope they make this into a two parter. Don't worry if you
cannot remember, or never saw In the Pale Moonlight
it's not really necessary as this book more than adequately
stands on its own two feet.
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