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The Never Ending Sacrifice (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
As a Deep Space Nine fan who to this day mourns the end of this amazing show I have only have the books written AFTER the series to get my fix and this book is a worthy edition. Carrying on the story of Rugal the cardassian orphan who was raised by Bajoran parents and who was repatriated to Cardassia against his will, we learn what happens to this young lad.

Set against the backdrop of the Dominion takeover and war, we track Rugals journey from bitter teenager forced to return to a cardassia he considers venal to his service in the military, and beyond to the chaos of the wars end. I loved his grandmother, she was so deliciously evil and made me laugh. I never expected to have sympathy for Cardassia or the Cardassians.

I really liked this book and look forward to more from this author. A worthy addition to my Star Trek library.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Read it in a day and was very satisfied with the level of continuity that had been drawn from all of the Deep Space Nine novels that have been written since the end of the series. This is a great story - I always wondered what would have happened to Rugal and now I know.
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on 13 November 2014
I am not a devoted Trekkie, but DS9 grabbed me with it's l-o-n-g story arcs and shades of grey. Una McCormack excels at depicting these shades of grey in her perfectly paced tale of Cardassia's rise and fall through the eyes of one of its sons, Rugal Pa'Dar.

Cardassia's most beloved novel gives its title to this story, and that title fits like a glove. So unsurprisingly, the overall tone of the book is that of inevitable tragedy. As such, the story demanded to be put down now and then. The heartbreak was just too much to take in one sitting.

On a happier note, I was both surprised and delighted to meet Tekeny Ghemor again, and to know Natima Lang (a bit) through the protagonist. Dukat, Damar, Garak - they're all here - to varying degrees, and there are little touches of brilliantly done gallows humour. Hope is rarely seen in the open, but occasionally peeks out from the shadows. The book is a masterclass in subtlety (and how often can you say that about Star Trek?).

Now I was VERY surprised at the "redemption of Damar" storyline that developed (too fast) on DS9, but ended up loving it. Was there ever a better ST moment than Damar yelling, "For Cardassia!"? This book is for those viewers/readers who (like me) loathed the Cardassians in Season 1, but then cried at the destruction of Prime in Season 7.

I'll be watching for a completely original story from Ms McCormack. I have also pre-ordered her DS9: The Missing. I typically get my ST novels from the library - but I want to vote with my ££ for this author. The Never Ending Sacrifice is THE BEST Star Trek novel I've ever read.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 December 2013
"The Never Ending Sacrifice" is a real novel which takes its' name from a fictional Cardassian novel in the "Star Trek" universe. Author Una McCormack takes a character who featured in one episode of the Deep Space Nine TV series, and builds a wonderful tale telling the story of his life.

I have indicated in this review a couple of plot elements and characters from Deep Space Nine (known as DS9 to trekkies) which have been built into this novel in order to inform people who might want to read more about those aspects of the series, but have tried hard to avoid any significant spoilers for either this book or the series. I've included a spoiler warning in the title of this review because those readers for whom even the tiniest bit of detail about who is involved might count as a spoiler may wish to avoid it.

I would also recommend that if you have not watched Deep Space Nine and are thinking of doing so, you may be wise to watch DS9 before reading this book. Some of the events of "The Never Ending Story" give away plot themes of the last four seasons of DS9.

Hardcore DS9 fans will remember that at the start of the episode "Cardassians" (part of Star Trek - Deep Space Nine - Series 2 (Slimline Edition) [DVD]) a Cardassian boy comes to the space station accompanied by the Bajoran adoptive father who has raised him since infancy. The one Cardassian on the station, Elim Garak, is intrigued and approaches them with what is meant as a friendly greeting, but the boy is terrified and bites Garak's hand, sparking off a difficult problem for Commander Sisko. (BTW, that incident is described on the back cover of this book, so I don't think including it in the review counts as a spoiler.)

I'm not going to say how the episode ends or what happens next, but this novel follows the story of the boy, Rugal, from adolescence to adulthood, through the cataclysmic events of the Dominion Wars and all the things which happen to the Bajoran and Cardassian peoples over the following eight years. (The author informs us that in the human calendar the events of the book take place between 2370 and 2378 AD/Common Era.)

A number of characters from DS9 have roles in this story, including Chief Miles O'Brien, Gul Dukat, his daughter Torah Ziyal, and Legate Tekeny Ghemor from the episode "Second Skin" in "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Season 3 [DVD] [1995]" (that's the one where Garak says the line to Kira, "Major, I don't think I've ever seen you looking so ravishing.")

This novel is what C.S. Lewis would have called a Bildungsroman, e.g. the story of the coming of age of a central character, and it is a very good example of that genre within the backstory of the Star Trek / Deep Space Nine Universe.

This is one of the best Star Trek novels I have read, and if you enjoyed DS9 I think there is an excellent chance that you will enjoy this book. If you are interested in the story of the Cardassians you might also be interested in the novel "A Stitch in Time (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)" by Andrew Robinson (the actor who portrayed the Cardassian character Elim Garak) which fleshes out Garak's story.
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on 21 June 2013
Following on from the second-season Deep Space Nine episode 'Cardassians', Una McCormack's tale follows the life of Rugal, a Cardassian teenager brought up by Bajorans but sent back to live with his biological father. It's a different take on a civilization that was not explored in as much detail as it could have been on television, and gives an interesting alternative perspective on the events of the TV series.

The narrative moves at an excellent pace, easily keeping things in line with the main DS9 storyline throughout, and presents an interesting study of the character and how he grows. McCormack has an excellent grip on her ward and the various other well known characters that appear. Her Cardassia deserves to be the definitive one and she adds layers of texture to the culture that enrich it beyond anything I've read elsewhere.

There are parallels with twenty-first century Earth in the narrative, as well as moments of humour that had me tittering as I read on my commute. It's a perfect example of what Star Trek should be, and I've really enjoyed reading it - why I've waited so long since it was published I don't know.

It's surprising, shocking, tender and revealing. A must read for DS9 fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 July 2010
"The Never Ending Sacrifice" is an impressively epic Star Trek novel, taking place over a eight year period. The central character experiences firsthand the events that affected the Cardassians in DS9, from their war with the Klingons, to their alliance with the Dominion. However, the novel is character driven and showcases the main characters hatred for his own people to an acceptance of them through his experiences.
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If someone would have told me I would have enjoyed a Star Trek novel which focused on the Cardassian race and culture I would have been sceptical but I know from various interviews and reviews that Una McCormack is well respected in writing stories in the Trek universe and really brings the Cardassian people to the fore. It didn't hurt either that The Never Ending Sacrifice weaved it's story around a character introduced in the Deep Space Nine tv series and the story evolves with the events over the next few years playing out as background. This approach added a huge amount of depth to the novel and I suspect anybody reading this novel will be unfamiliar with the tv series and the extra detail the story provides in turn makes you appreciate the tv series even more.
A very enjoyable read which I didn't want to put down and despite not being totally familiar with the Trek universe post DS9 it was easy to slip into the universe as created by this and other novels, recommended for a Star Trek fan or someone looking to dabble into the franchise without getting into a long running series.
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on 22 January 2011
The synopsis for this book may not get your blood pumping. Don't let that fool you, because this is a superb book, in my opinion the best DS9 relaunch novel since Unity. Cardassia itself is almost a character in this book, and Una McCormack succeeds in showing us this alien planet and its culture, often seen and mentioned on the TV series, but never as fully explored as it is in this book.

Events in the book span many years, from DS9's 2nd season, to the impending Klingon invasion, to Dukat's speech declaring Dominion membership, through the war and beyond, as Cardassia burns, its people mourn, and the central character, Rugal, grows from a boy to a man. The post-war chapters show how his character has grown, and when he searches for a loved one who may or may not have survived the Jem'Hadar's attempted genocide of the Cardassian people, your heart is right there with him, hoping that he eventually finds her.

A must read, which had me reading until 4am this morning. If you only buy 1 Star Trek novel this year, buy this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 April 2012
this book is absolutely the best standalone star trek novel I have ever read - and that's saying something. Una McCormack is a fantastic author, I would love to see her write a 3 or 4 book story arc that leads on from the borg invasion of 2381 or andors secsession from the federaton.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 January 2013
Excellent - a superb piece of worldbuilding in the best tradition of the old TOS novels. Think Diane Duane's Rihannsu novels - except this is better.
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