Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars What became of the boy who bit Garak's hand (very mild spoilers), 22 Dec 2013
This review is from: The Never Ending Sacrifice (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) (Mass Market Paperback)
"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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