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Betrayals (Babylon 5) [Mass Market Paperback]

S. M. Stirling
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Jun 1996 Babylon 5 (Book 6)
The Narn have been greatly wronged by the Centauri.  During the domination of their world by that sophisticated and ruthless people, the Narn were slaves in all but name; forced to watch as their world was stripped of everything of value.  And when at last they succeeded in driving the hated dictators from Narn space, they were left with little but their freedom.



They hate the Centauri, but have learned from them.  The Narn sought out other worlds, rich with resources to supply their beggared home-world.  They found them.  And when those worlds had native populations, the Narn conquered them, enslaved them, and exploited them as ruthlessly as ever the Centauri at their worst might have.  Now, the Centauri have struck again at the Narn and the two powers are embroiled in battle.  It is a time when an enslaved people might see an opportunity to strike at their enemy; perhaps win their freedom.  But in every conflict there comes a lull, a time when exhaustion temporarily causes even the bitterest opponents to call a truce, to rest and recoup, a time when allies try to make peace between the combatants, a time when reluctant rebels might hope for a peaceful solution before they drench their own hands in blood.



Babylon 5 will host a conference between the Narn and the Centauri.  Nobody really expects peace and everyone is determined to remain uninvolved in the conflict, but everyone feels forced to go through the motions.

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Dell Pub Co (Jun 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440222346
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440222347
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.4 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,229,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the second book about a culture the Narn have treated badly. Again, rebels are trying to make trouble and succeed. A fun subplot has Londo and Jkar trying for the same prize. The interaction between them is handled well, exploiting the corruptable character of both.
Ivanova is at odds with a subordinate who seems to know something bad about everyone. The final crisis/resolution is a nice suprise.
This book might have made a good show, but would not have contributed to the arch JWS has mastered the show on. Stirling did a fine job of capturing the characters in context with the show, not trying to add a "hidden side" that distracts from the story arch as a whole.
I felt technically that one context of the aliens causing the problems in the story was not well handled. Bad aliens always seem to have that one special characteristic that lets them do bad things without discovery.
Babalon 5 fans will all enjoy the book. Readers without knowledge of the show would be confused at times. But that's the trade off every writer faces when using the characters and story line of a series.
It's a good read. Buy the book!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Parallels between Centauri and Narn conquerors 19 Aug 1997
By albert@cs.tut.fi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This books starts with three distinct threads and moves them with no hurry to their logical conclusions. I expected a cunning plan which would ultimately tie the threads together before the end, but did not get my wish. Well, in fact two of the three threads crossed each other somewhat in the beginning, but it was not fully exploited. In retrospect, the main plot (T'llin) seems the least interesting, with its 'too easy', behave-better-than-your-enemy resolution that you would expect from a Voyager episode, although the ending had its share of humor and tragedy also. The characters were quite themselves, especially Na'Toth had her temperament intact.

The events take place after "The Coming of Shadows" and before "The Long, Twilight Struggle".
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cool 31 Dec 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As the station prepares for a peace conference between the Narn and Centauri, trouble starts to boil. A race known as T'll arrive looking for help but are turned down by everyone. G'kar is very worried by their presence beacuse the Narn are holding their planet captive, which could ruin the peace conference. Meanwhile Ivanova is recieving data cyrstals which show footage of her brother being a spy for an alien race during the war. She also has the trouble with dealing with a new member of the traffic control team who is an awful worker but has a glowing record. How will Babylon 5 survive the peace conference when there is blood involved? By Victoria Carr
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In-depth view to Babylon 5 30 Jun 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The first chapter was slow reading, but I guess I can say that about every book I read?

To the point. This book was an 8 out of 10. Stirling did a wonderful job. The author convinced me that an alien race in the novel was NOT guilty of all the crimes they committed because of how the Narn had exploited them. I guess you could say that I "felt" and sympathized for the aliens :)

Stirling also did well in exhibiting the relationship between G'kar and Londo; however, I found a minor, yet quite irritating writing habit Stirling has. The author pretty much _always_ would describe the Doctor as "dark" - almost every time Franklin was brought into the story, we might see the author writing, "And the doctor's dark face began to sweat" or "Franklin crossed his dark arms." Stuff like that. Okay, well, its a minor thing, but just a wee bit annoying that sometimes takes away from the author's credibility as a first class writer.

On the whole, I recommend the book to the reader. The endings were clean and nice. Unlike a typical Babylon 5 episode which only gets around 40 minutes to tell a plot, the story went into depth on character analysis and detail. But more importantly, I was quite on the edge of my seat (or for this matter, on the edge of my couch as I laid down to read the book). Page after page I wanted to know what was going to happen next in all of the little tinyplots that were developing in the story.

Once again, its rated high by myself, with a big fat curvy 8. And my friends know me not to be a nice "rater" :)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Narn-Centauri conflict. Politics with earth. Non-arch? 31 Jan 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the second book about a culture the Narn have treated badly. Again, rebels are trying to make trouble and succeed. A fun subplot has Londo and Jkar trying for the same prize. The interaction between them is handled well, exploiting the corruptable character of both.
Ivanova is at odds with a subordinate who seems to know something bad about everyone. The final crisis/resolution is a nice suprise.
This book might have made a good show, but would not have contributed to the arch JWS has mastered the show on. Stirling did a fine job of capturing the characters in context with the show, not trying to add a "hidden side" that distracts from the story arch as a whole.
I felt technically that one context of the aliens causing the problems in the story was not well handled. Bad aliens always seem to have that one special characteristic that lets them do bad things without discovery.
Babalon 5 fans will all enjoy the book. Readers without knowledge of the show would be confused at times. But that's the trade off every writer faces when using the characters and story line of a series.
It's a good read. Buy the book!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jhaeman's Reviews 4 Dec 2008
By Jeremy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The sixth book in the Babylon 5 series, titled Betrayals, continues the generally high quality of the novel line. The book reads much like a two-part episode, with a handful of subplots and one main plot (admittedly somewhat cliched), involving a peace conference between the Narns and the Centauri which may be disrupted by terrorists. Unlike previous novels that focussed mainly on a couple of characters, each of the cast members gets several scenes and their personalities and dialogue fit well with what's presented in the show. In terms of larger significance, the novel doesn't drastically expand our understanding of the Babylon 5 universe, but it does add a little more background into Ivanova and Na'Toth. Now, I wouldn't call the novel line an "electrifying series of original, breathtaking outer-space adventures" like the back cover does, but on the whole I've been happy with the B5 books and Betrayals is no exception.
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