Tuesday, August 16, 2016

DS9: Bloodletter

I read Star Trek: Deep Space Nine #3: Bloodletter recently. This book has been badly received by the fans, for good reason. The author clearly hasn't seen the show. Maybe the author saw the pilot episode, but that's it. So everyone is out of character, and the storyline doesn't fit the show. On top of that, the story is incredibly slow, bogged down by plenty of sections with no dialogue or character interaction.

The general premise is a good idea, though. The Cardassians are building a space station on the gamma quadrant side of the wormhole. Uh oh, the bad guys are making Deep Space Nine 2.0! Commander Sisko is kind of mad because his boss cut his budget this year, so he purposely lets the Cardassians go ahead with their evil plot. That'll teach the Admiral not to underfund Sisko's projects!

...I told you everyone is out of character.

Our heroes have to do something to stop the Cardassians, so they decide to "claim" the area, by putting a mobile medical unit there. Apparently, interplanetary law works just like parking spaces at a crowded mall. Dr. Bashir and Major Kira are given the mission of flying the medical unit, which is bad news, because he keeps trying to seduce her. Meanwhile, she's suffering from PTSD and a spiritual crisis, over the time she slaughtered a group of monks in a hostage situation.

The religious stuff is kind of awkward, partially because the author was forced to invent a religion, and partially because the villains have the same name as a real-life group of monks. The Redemptorists are a bunch of gullible idiots, led by a madman named Horen. He kills one of his men, to prove how evil he is, and he gets the other men to smuggle him onto the mobile medical unit, so he can kill Kira.

Constable Odo solves the mystery, by performing psychological torture on the Redemptorists. He uncovers the murder plot against Kira, just in time to save her. Kind of. See, Part 2 of the book is when things get intolerably slow. Mostly, Horen sits around and waits for Kira to appear, while Kira cries and hides. Eventually, Bashir and Kira stop Horen by blowing things up. Oh, and Bashir spends about 100 pages talking to the wormhole aliens. That subplot didn't go anywhere, and it felt like a 100-page timewaster, an excuse for Bashir to be somewhere else, so he couldn't help Kira earlier.

So, that's the book. Like I said, it's not good. I give it a 2 out of 10, because it had two good ideas: the Cardassian plot to conquer the other end of the wormhole, and the wormhole aliens having an identity crisis. Other than that, it's an overly long book where everyone is out of character, and the story doesn't match the TV show at all. I would not recommend reading it.

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