Saturday, May 9, 2015

Trek Novels - Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Warped

Well, it’s time for me to finally look at a Trek book that features the crew of Deep Space Nine. I’ve only read a couple that involves this crew. I tend to gravitate towards the TOS crew and TNG crew when it comes to novels. Now, I actually found this hardcover novel at a big thrift store in West Tennessee called Top Dog. We were down with my dad’s family for the weekend back in 2010. My granddad had gotten all of the stuff we wanted. I had started to read the book sometime later, but I didn’t finish it until now. I’ll get to why later.

Warped was written by K.W. Jeter and released in 1995. I haven’t heard of the guy until this book. He’s written a lot of original novels as well as ones for this franchise and others. He’s done books in the Star Wars universe. He’s also written some sequels to Blade Runner. Now that was a shock to me. I still need to see Blade Runner. By the way, the book takes place after the events of “Battle Times” and before the beginning of the second season. So, we’re in Season 1 territory… yee haw. Anyway, I’ll get on to the synopsis.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Warped
Writer: K.W. Jeter

BRIEF BLURB: The crew of Deep Space Nine has to discover the cause behind a series of murders while Bajor’s government suffers a takeover from another group.

Deep Space Nine has been hit with a series of shocking, random murders. Commander Sisko and Major Kira were almost victims themselves when they were attacked. Odo does some investigative work and tries to see if the murderers have any connection. He eventually connects all of the murderers to a group of holosuites. Chief O’Brien inspects one and finds a device that uses CI technology, a technology that was banned by the Federation. The tech basically makes your holosuite experience too real and has major side effects on one’s mind.  Jake Sisko had also been in these holosuites, so he gets checked out. 

While this is going on, Bajor has been under turmoil since Kai Opaka “died.” Without Bajor’s spiritual leader at the helm, other factions have been trying to seize control of the government. The biggest one is the Servalty Front and may be pretty close to doing so. Kira heads to Bajor to talk to the head of the Servalty Front. She wants to see if they’ll affect Bajor’s admission into the Federation. Things go for a dark turn when a former associate of hers is killed and the Severalty Front takes over the government by force. She heads back to DS9 but ends up getting relieved of duties since she left the station without anyone knowing. She was also on Bajor when the takeover took place.

Meanwhile, Odo eventually finds out that a man named McHogue, a former associate of Quark’s, is behind these holosuites. Dax, Bashir, and Sisko experiment with the modified suite and find a man controlling the program to his will. Later, Sisko is shocked when he finds out that the man is McHogue and that he is the Severalty Front’s Treasurer. The new government wants to have Bajor take care of itself without the Federation’s help. It’s eventually revealed that the Cardassians are also involved with this takeover as Odo finds out when Gul Dukat offers him a security job at Moagitty, a new casino on Bajor. It also turns out that the place is full of these modified holosuites.

Since Kira is relieved of duty, she decides to go down to Moagitty to see what’s what. Unfortunately, she falls into a trap as the place she heads to is a modified holosuite. Luckily, Sisko is able to find her and get her out. During all of this, storms start to develop on Bajor. Sisko is somehow visited by Kai Opaka. I guess it was the will of the Prophets/Wormhole Aliens? Anyway, she warns him that Bajor is in danger. We get evidence of that as Moagitty is hit with worse mayhem than the station was because of the modified holosuites.

Dax figures out that the CI technology is basically a way into McHouge’s head (?????) and she uses it to go there. Somehow she ends up on Bajor and it’s revealed that McHogue is somehow behind the disturbances that are now reaching DS9. Sisko heads down to Bajor in order to save Dax and stop McHogue. McHogue decides to use his god-like powers on Sisko but that doesn’t go well as Sisko… does something to win the day. In the end, the Servalty Front dissolves and the normal government takes hold. All returns to normal on the station.

So, this wasn’t a good one. I had started to read it way back when but never finished it because of its dry writing. Before I started to re-read it, I looked up its ratings online and they are pretty mixed leaning toward the negative side. So, I decided to brave the storm and see what this book was about. Besides, it’s DS9’s first hardcover novel! Now, I kinda wish I hadn’t.  The thing that kills this book is the writing. It’s really dry and bland throughout the book. Even when there are interesting things happening, the writing feels boring to read. I even nodded off at some points.

The story itself started out interesting. It even had a couple of interesting twists in it. Unfortunately, when we find out how McHogue is able to do these things, I almost felt like throwing the book across the room. Since it was a hardcover, I just tossed it to the couch. Even the resolution feels lacking since we kind of don’t know how McHogue was beaten. The book gives a reason, but I don’t get it. McHogue himself was also pretty bland. We didn’t get much backstory on him and we don’t learn how he was able to do we he did. The book also feels like a bit of a retread on a storyline (a much better one) the show did in the second season. In it, a Bajoran group tries to take over the government and the Cardassians are secretly helping them.
This fits with what I did afterwards. 

Is there anything I like about it? I did think the writer got the main cast’s voices right. I thought the dialogue written would be what they would say. Sisko was Sisko, Odo was Odo, and Bashir was unfortunately Bashir. Remember, this was Season One, so Bashir is a bit annoying in some places. I did like that we got an idea on how Kai Opaka’s “death” affected Bajor and Major Kira. The trippy stuff involving the CI technology was interesting if a little dry at times.

Overall, I can’t recommend this. While the characters were okay, the story and writing felt poor to me. If you’re curious like I was, enter at your own risk and bring a pillow. Well, I think it’s time to move on to something that may be better than this story was. It may or may not be another retread though. What is it? Find out next time. Until then, Peace and God Bless.

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