DS9: Avatar, Book One by S.D. Perry Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Defcon, Mar 14, 2014.

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Rate Avatar, Book One

  1. Outstanding

    15 vote(s)
    45.5%
  2. Above Average

    15 vote(s)
    45.5%
  3. Average

    2 vote(s)
    6.1%
  4. Below Average

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Poor

    1 vote(s)
    3.0%
  1. Defcon

    Defcon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Avatar, Book One by S.D. Perry

    [​IMG]

    Blurb:
    RETURN TO THE EDGE OF THE FINAL FRONTIER.

    In the aftermath of a war that brought the Alpha Quadrant to the brink of destruction, Starbase Deep Space 9™ -- the galaxy's nexus of scientific and military intrigue -- is once more the flashpoint of impending Armageddon as a surprise attack cripples the station, killing hundreds and threatening the fragile new peace.

    Colonel Kira Nerys and the survivors -- together with several controversial new officers -- are all who stand against the outbreak of a new war and a terrible doom tied to the unborn child of Captain Benjamin Sisko.

    Elsewhere, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Starship Enterprise™ make a startling discovery...one that will affect the destiny of an entire civilization and forever change the lives of those aboard Deep Space 9.

    A BOLD NEW BEGINNING FOR ONE OF THE MOST COMPELLING STAR TREK® SAGAS OF ALL.

    _____________________

    I don't have an old review ready for this one. But what I distinctively remember is that back then I felt that the first part of the duology on its own was "only" average on the verge to above average. We get some good character (re-)introductions, stories are set-up, but this single book itself lacks a certain something to really shine.
     
  2. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This is pretty much the book that started the resurgence in serious quality in the TrekLit line, and consequently the book that started the resurgence in popularity of the TrekLit line as well. It is also the book that led the change in my TrekLit reading habits, from picking up the occasional Trek book if I happened to see one in the library or a used book store, to absolutely needing the next one to come out as soon as possible so I could know what happened next.

    I don't think the importance and legacy of this book can be overstated. Yes, there were occasional crossovers and special events before this - Invasion! or Double Helix for example - but it was with Avatar that a whole new era of TrekLit started, where a consistent, holistic approach to the Star Trek universe began to be created. You really began to feel like everything that happened in any book series, not just DS9, was part of the same overall ethos and not just something slapped together for one book.

    It was also the start of a whole new way of storytelling, since this book was very deliberately planned as the first in a series, which meant that it had to not only tell its own story but set up things for many different stories at the same time. It was the first time writers and editors were really free to chart their own course for the stories, without having to worry about being contradicted by later televised Trek. It was the first time new regular characters were introduced to replace departed characters from the TV show.

    DS9 was obviously the perfect show to try this experiment with, since it was always much more of a continuing serialized story than any of the other Trek shows, which made it easier to answer the obvious question, "What happened next?" But the success of the approach is obvious, in that all three other modern Trek shows have basically copied it - TNG, Voyager and Enterprise all followed the DS9 model when launching their own 'relaunch' series.

    As to the book itself and the quality therein, I have voted an 'Above Average'. There are later books in the DS9-R series that hit higher highs - Twilight and Warpath for example - but this is still a damn good start that had an almost impossible job to do that had never been done before, and succeeded at it admirably. The feel of continuing the story, of walking the halls of that station via the pages just as much as we ever did via a TV screen, has never been bettered. It's exactly what led to people calling the books "season 8" - if it hadn't felt so much like the TV show, we wouldn't have cared so much.

    All the existing characters have interesting things to do, arcs to follow. Kira is obviously the focus, but Dax and Bashir get a lot of attention too in their new relationship and the challenges to it. The new characters introduced - Ro, Vaughn, Prynn, Shar, Taran'atar, Bowers - were obviously very well received, as they have all remained popular right up to the current day. That would never have happened if they hadn't been introduced and written well in their very first appearance.

    .
     
  3. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

    We reviewed this together on Literary Treks. This was a great start to "Season 8" of DS9 and for me, it was exactly what I wanted. DS9's end had left me crushed and I was so excited to have my favorite show back, even if a lot had changed and it was only in a novel.
     
  4. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Marco Palmieri encouraging the introduction of Tiris Jast the Bolian in WildStorm's "n-Vector" comic mini-series, and Pocket's "Maximum Warp" novel duology, before the publication of "Avatar" was incredibly effective. Had me hooked!
    http://memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/Tiris_Jast
     
  5. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't so much remember this as a book as a transcendental, magical reading experience-- probably one of the most anticipated books of my life.
     
  6. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This is one one of the greatest ds9 novels I've ever read.It's an excellent read and start to the ds9 relaunch.I really like Kira's journey in the relaunch books leading up to Unity.
     
  7. Paul Weaver

    Paul Weaver Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    I read it recently. I bought it when it first came out, but couldn't get into it for some reason. It was probably the last book I read until about 2 years ago. Other things happened in life and it wasn't until I read a little about Destiny, realised "actually maybe I should read this in my hotel instead of watching repeats of family guy every night", and with the disaster of STID, started on the A Time To... series and death in winter, then the DS9 relaunch up until Unity, then the enterprise stuff, then finished the post-nemesis stuff.

    Just started destiny proper now. Feeling a little guilty about leaving the mirror universe and post-worlds-of-ds9 behind, but I got far too swept up in Before Dishonour.
     
  8. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Commodore Commodore

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    I reviewed this one fairly recently. I'm in the middle of a re-read of the Deep Space Nine relaunch. I remember absolutely LOVING this when it first came out (I adored DS9 and was starving for more!). It has held up quite well over the years, and I really enjoyed it again this time around.

    Check out my review!
     
  9. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    This book is pretty much the whole reason I read Trek Lit today. I was just blown away when I read it. It really felt like the series had never stopped after What You Leave Behind. Definitely an outstanding for me.
     
  10. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, this is the one that really started the whole interconnected Trek thing. Still outstanding now, for sure.
     
  11. Tirius

    Tirius Captain Captain

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    This sums up my thoughts as well - still firmly in my top-10-ever list. :)
     
  12. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Mine too, or near enough. I keep a journal where I review all the books I read; only 11 novels have ever gotten 10/10 from me, and this is one.
     
  13. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    This is what got me into Trek books, so I'm curious: Before this - everything was standalone, unconnected stories?
     
  14. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not quite. There were several crossover miniseries, and also several miniseries set within one series. (Look up Invasion! or New Earth, for instance). New Frontier had also been going for a few years, which was a heavily serialized novel-only series.

    There was a long period in Trek novels, late 80s and early 90s, where novels were not allowed to refer to each other (and had various other silly restrictions, too). You can kind of view the late 90s as some experimentation with larger-scale stories since it was finally possible, with the DS9 Relaunch marking the point at which an ongoing continuity overall started to emerge.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It didn't really kick in until late 1990 or so, actually. And even after that there were a few exceptions, like the Lost Years sequels (although they were heavily altered from the original plan and didn't fit together all that well). The L.A. Graf TOS books from the early '90s had at least one minor recurring character, IIRC (security guard Ensign Howard, who'd actually been created by Howard Weinstein in The Covenant of the Crown years earlier). Diane Carey's hardcover Best Destiny from 1992 was a direct sequel to her Final Frontier from four years earlier, and 1993's hardcover Shadows on the Sun by Michael Jan Friedman featured the character of McCoy's ex-wife Jocelyn as established by Vonda N. McIntyre in Enterprise: The First Adventure in '86. TNG: Contamination by John Vornholt in 1991 featured the Kreel from Peter David's earlier novel Strike Zone. In 1996 we got TNG: Possession by J.M. Dillard and Kathleeen O'Malley, a sequel to Dillard's TOS novel Demons from a decade earlier. 1997's TNG: Intellivore by Diane Duane was based on a concept alluded to in her The Romulan Way.

    Also, the first several DS9 novels attempted to maintain a loose continuity. I believe there were minor cross-references linking at least three of the first four original DS9 novels (The Siege, Bloodletter, The Big Game, and Fallen Heroes), and Valhalla and Betrayal form a loose duology, with both books featuring the same Cardassian political faction as the main antagonist (although Valhalla was delayed by a year, so the second part came out first).

    But yes, those were the exceptions. The vast majority of the books from about 1991-96 were required to be pure standalones, and continuity only gradually worked its way back in from 1996 to about 2001.
     
  16. DS9forever

    DS9forever Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    DS9 definitely has the best prose-only characters - Vaughn, Shar, Tenmei, Bowers, Yevir etc. Speaking of Yevir, the character kind of disappeared after Unity and Worlds of DS9 didn't he?. He obviously didn't get elected Kai, as Rough Beasts of Empire mentions a Kai Pralon, but did a lot of good work working with the Cardassians.
     
  17. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Especially Vaughn. I don't think there's a single prose-only character I like as much as Vaughn.
     
  18. Paul Weaver

    Paul Weaver Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    Yevir wasn't prose only - we saw him in Rapture :D
     
  19. Cyfa

    Cyfa Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Me too. I was beside myself waiting for this book to be released, and wasn't disappointed in the slightest. It really did kick-off the modern era of Trek Lit in my eyes. Splendid! (because the word splendid isn't used enough in my opinion)
     
  20. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    I actually came to Avatar late (only just read it for the first time a couple of years ago), but I agree with the consensus. S. D. Perry did a wonderful job extending the story of DS9 and setting things up for what's become quite a massive interconnected universe. Now, obviously she didn't do it alone, but if this book had been a failure things might have turned out very differently.