Mission Gamma: Lesser Evil Bk. 4 (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) Mass Market Paperback – 29 Oct 2002
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"After seven addictive seasons...the best sci-fi soap opera of them all" -- The Times "The best incarnation of Trek yet" -- Starburst
About the Author
Robert Simpson is a contributor to the acclaimed Star Trek anthology, THE LIVES OF DAX.
Top customer reviews
Simpson packs a lot into a very tiny package, and I think it suffers for it a bit. The Borg storyline feels incredibly simple, and while I enjoyed reading about Vaughn and his daughter's reaction to what they find, it all seemed to end almost as soon as it began. The situation down on the planet where they find the Borg is over quickly and it seems like it was there only to set up the conclusion of the book that leads into Rising Son. It's certainly not that interesting by itself. The only thing that saves this story at all is the strong characterization of Vaughn and finding out more about why he came to Deep Space Nine and the orb vision that sparked his decision. While we have known that the conflict with his daughter was because of what happened to his wife, we never knew exactly what did happen to her. That was neat to see. I just think it called for a bit more story than we actually received.
Once again, the Bajoran story is the highlight of the book. We finally learn the secret behind what's been happening for the last three books, and it's a doozy. Of course, as I've said, I already knew it, but I didn't know the details. When I discovered them, it was still a bit of a shock. The sequence where Kira has to try and regain control of the ship is riveting, and it's full of even more twists and turns. In hindsight, one of the twists is obvious, but I admit that I was fooled. Unfortunately, the climax of this story (or should I say this part of the story, since it does continue in Unity) reads very much like the concluding scene of the episode that introduced this villain (and I won't say which one as that will, obviously reveal who it is). It would have been nice to see a little more originality. Thankfully, Simpson nails Kira's characterization, and he also does a good job with the crew of the Gryphon. Kira shows the battle smarts that got her through the Occupation when she has to come up with a way to keep the other ships on her side from firing on them. It makes wonderful use of continuity and it's little dashes like this that give me hope for the Star Trek books.
The main problem with the book is that it just seems to be treading water waiting for the first hardcover of the new Deep Space Nine series. At the end of Cathedral, the whole Joseph Sisko problem was introduced, and this story spends a lot of time with him as he's slowly coming to terms with what's happened to his son and grandson. It brings back some familiar faces, which is nice, and the story is very sweet. The characterization of Joseph is great, as is the characterization of the guests. So while it gave me a pleasurable feeling, I couldn't help the feeling that it was all just included to get Joseph to Deep Space Nine for Unity.
Thus, the "Mission Gamma" series comes to an end, not with a blast, but with a "to be continued." However, the series itself can still be judged, as the Gamma Quadrant portion of the story is over. Ultimately, I found the Gamma Quadrant stories to be weaker in all four books. Some of that may be my interest in Bajoran politics taking precedence, but I think part of it is also my feeling that the stories just weren't that substantial. I realize that the exploration of the Gamma Quadrant was to be more of an exploration of the characters who went on the mission, but does that mean that we couldn't be given any interesting external elements? The only interesting species were the Yrythny in This Gray Spirit, and we weren't given any good characters within that species to really make us sit up and take notice.
The series itself was quite good, just not as good as it could have been, saved by the Bajoran political angle. Unfortunately, Lesser Evil ends the series on a bit of a fizzle, forcing us to look to the intriguing Unity to bring it out of its doldrums.
I have nothing but praise for this book, its starts off at warp and keeps on going. Truelly the icing on the cake for the Mission Gamma series.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Okay, I know most people that love the epic qualities of DS9 also love Babylon 5. That show's creator would often warn fans via the 'net that an upcoming episode would be called a WHAM! episode, where the viewer finds out everything she knows is wrong, but then it's all right again. Worlds live, worlds die, the universe is never the same sort of stuff. Good becomes evil, cats like dogs, two plus two is five sort of stuff.
...P>Hunh unh. The first three books ... well, heck stuff going back to the earliest days of The Next Generation, really ... was all just setting up the dominoes. This book topples them, or starts to. Everything you know is wrong. Black is white. Good is evil, and evil good.
Robert Simpson gives us one of the most heart-pounding, action-filled, revelation-studded, plot-thread tying (and KNOTTING) episodes of Deep Space Nine I've ever wat ... uh, read. No contemplative chapters of characters resolving old wounds, or helping complex societies avoid civil wars here. All the emotions ... and there's some deep stuff going on here, folks, especially with the Vaughan family ... are painted in very broad strokes, an abrupt change from the first three books, which took a 'slow burn' approach for the most part. But it works, giving you almost a 'sweeps episode' flavor where many stories get resolved in the midst of incredibly tense action scenes. The incredible (and for many fans of the early days of the show, triumphant) ending to this book leaves the reader in just the right state of mind during the long wait til the next book in the series: salivating, hungering, demanding more of this good, good stuff.
What a smash up ending to a series of books I was starting to lose interest in ... but like the TV show it's based on, the DS9 relaunch series of books knows just how to reel you right back in.
The characters behave as you would expect them to (and hope they will), and it is good to have the Defiant crew back from the Gamma Quadrant, again. Simpson writes so simply and flowingly that you visualize these events happening before your eyes, as on TV or in a movie.
The novel brings closure to the Gamma exploration mission and also paves the way for the next DS9 adventure.
I hope to buy other books by this author, and I hope you will, too.
Regarding "Lesser Evil", imagine that you are in Star Fleet. What were the WORST of the WORST enemies you encountered in the Star Trek Universe? Then imagine the worst-case scenario! This book kept me on the edge of my seat and I finished reading it within 24-hours because I simply could NOT put it down! On top of that, the story ends on a cliff-hanger that announces that the saga continues with "Rising Son"! Now I have to locate the next novel to see where the twists and turns take me!
I ordered the book, "Rising Son" on Thursday, April 23, 2009 and it arrived, TWO DAYS LATER on April 25, 2009!!!!! I AM AMAZED THAT IT ARRIVED SO FAST!!! I'm already reading about what is happening with Jake Sisko and will be writing a review on "Rising Son" as soon as I finish reading the sequel on Sunday, May 3, 2009!
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