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Avatar: Book One (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 1) Kindle Edition
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When I first heard about the books I was slightly worried, wondering what the writers would do to one of my favourite TV series. But I had no cause for concern as the books continued with the style of the series and started some new arcs and introduced some new original regular and recurring characters. That's another one of the good things about the book, all of the characters aren't moaning about the rest of the crew leaving them, they have continued their lives and mostly welcomed the newer characters into their family in the three months since "What You Leave Behind".
On the whole this book is an enjoyable read, along with part 2, don't miss out on this book if you're a Star Trek or just a DS9 fan!
1. It has numerous typesetting issue, including missing spaces around any words in italics, line-breaks in the middle of sentences for no apparent reason, accented letters displaying incorrectly. It's still readable, but the problems are numerous enough to get in the way of seamless reading and immersion.
2. The omnibus "Twist of Faith" costs only £3 more, contains the first 4 books in the DS9 relaunch (this one, then part two, then two others) and doesn't contain any of the same typesetting problems.
Avoid this, and get the far superior omnibus edition.
The author even goes so far as to shed some light on the lives of the Aldebaran crew, which gives their part of the story a more emotional impact.
Something I was particularly worried about was the author introducing purposefully "alien" characters. Having read the first three Titan books before this, I felt the exotic species described in that book made it hard to really feel for any of the characters or picture them going about their business. Thankfully, all the new characters are totally believable and fits in with what you expect from each species (hopefully, these books will create some more culture for the Andorians where Enterprise left off...).
And that's where this book excels, the story plays out like an episode - with multiple stories running throughout, some crossing over. This is also helped by the fact the characters, and their reactions are believable. I normally have a hard time picturing what I'm reading, but this plays out more like a novelisation of an episode, so you can see what the characters are doing, hear their voices delivering the lines.
S.D. Perry has easily placed herself up there with Peter David as one of my favourite Trek authors. She knows the series, inside-out it seems, and doesn't retcon past stories, or invent new pasts to fill in gaps with established characters, keeping them believable and keeping the Deep Space Nine story alive. As another reviewer said, this is literally Season 8.
The very start of the book is a good example of this. Several times within the first 20 pages she mentions characters only barely listening to someone talking and that's how I felt the book was like. It drones on, making you only half read because large parts are just dull and then other parts confuse you.
Yet at times she makes confusing switches between characters. Adding on top of that is the bad habit of switching from first to third person and visa versa. First she'll write "he does this" and then she'll write "I have to do this".
The story itself is far from bad, but it just bugged me quite a bit. I had already put the book down once several months ago but because I just completed watching all 7 seasons of DS9 again, I thought it would be worth giving it another go. But again, I struggled. The book doesn't offer enough rewards to the reader.
Also, what's up with the semi-sexist feel of the book? Nearly every captain or important character introduced is a strong woman who the (male) characters strongly look up to. It seems the writer can't introduce anyone without her going on about how strong she is, how well she does her work, etc. The male characters (even established ones like Nog) are reduced to less favorable roles. It's never a good thing when you can guess the gender of the writer just by how she defines the characters. I just as much dislike writers that make female characters weak and helpless (there's been a few DS9 books where Kira was portrayed far too weak).
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