Spoilers TF: Revelation and Dust by DRGIII Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sho, Aug 18, 2013.


Rate Revelation and Dust.

  1. Outstanding

    29 vote(s)
  2. Above Average

    49 vote(s)
  3. Average

    29 vote(s)
  4. Below Average

    10 vote(s)
  5. Poor

    7 vote(s)
  1. Sherlock09

    Sherlock09 Cadet Newbie

    Oct 1, 2011
    Another great book by David R George III. I understand that the Kira subplot is not to everyone's taste I found it interesting in that it answers the question of what happened to her at the end of Raise the Dawn and sets up what might happen should DRG be allowed to continue the story of DS9. The other big event in the book Which I will not spoil for others is the first time I think in Star Trek that something like this has suceeded. I look foward to reading the rest of the Fall series and also DRG III next book which is set in the lost era.
  2. Patrick O'Brien

    Patrick O'Brien Captain Captain

    Feb 9, 2012
    Brooklyn NY
    Finished yesterday.I enjoyed the book, just not a big fan of the Kira subplot. As a result I voted average. Looking forward to the rest of the series.
  3. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Jan 30, 2001
    Does this get any better?

    I usually love George's work but I'm about seventy pages in and am really struggling to even care what's going on and the pace of the book is brutally slow.
  4. Shane Houston

    Shane Houston Commander Red Shirt

    Oct 11, 2009
    Louisville Kentucky - Halliwell
  5. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Sep 8, 2006
    Berlin, Germany
    Man, I have to strain hard to resist posting random YouTube videos from the "It gets better" campaign ...
  6. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2008
    Washington, DC
  7. Paper Moon

    Paper Moon Commander Red Shirt

    Oct 28, 2011
    This thread takes me back to the days of Rough Beasts of Empire. Oy.

    After I finish a novel, I write out my thoughts before going through the thread. My review is below, followed by comments on what some others have said.

    Spoilers abound ahead.


    In my experience, books that DRGIII writes which are parts of larger series tend to stand better as part of those series than they do on their own. Both Rough Beasts of Empire and Plagues of Night were like this, and I suspect, in hindsight, Revelation and Dust will as well.

    So, after finishing all of The Fall novels, I will probably revisit RaD and reevaluate.

    Until then:

    Very good, 4 stars out of 5.

    A solid read, a definite pageturner. Clearly felt that the novel overall was not intended to be standalone [EDIT: though it can still be enjoyed as such]. The Keev storyline concluded definitively, but none of the others did. I enjoyed the Keev storyline well enough, especially towards the end when its thematic parallels became clearer (especially the tunnel through the mountains as an analogue for the wormhole). [EDIT: wow, just made the connection between the cavern glowing red from Aleira mining and the Tzenkethi wormhole being red; well-played, DRGIII.] Kira’s situation through much of the novel is fascinating; I’ve always felt that the Prophets
    were Bajorans themselves, who had somehow transcended to a higher plane. At this point, there is some cautious support for this theory, especially with the appearance of Altek Dans at the end.
    The assassination of President Bacco did not feel as disastrous as I would’ve expected. The attempt on her life in Silent Weapons and the death of Piñiero in the same felt much more vivid. I will say that I shall be disappointed if we don’t get a damn good story in the wake of her death; such a character’s loss should reap some benefit for the reader.

    I love the new Deep Space Nine starbase. What a bold vision. Would love to see someone take a stab at building a CGI model.

    The wormhole’s return was wonderful.

    The Fall has been described as taking place over the course of 60 days. That’s pretty clearly a reference to the time until a new president is elected.

    Happy with what’s being done with the DS9 characters for the most part, and glad to see the old guard being integrated with the newbies in terms of story focus.

    But I still really missed the characters. We were with each for such a short time, and more often than not, we heard what they had done, without seeing it. This absence was especially pointed when Rom and Nog showed up at Quark’s; it would’ve made me so happy to see everyone interacting again. Would’ve felt just like watching a new episode of the show.

    This may be one way that DRGIII is not as well-suited to writing Deep Space Nine. His stories are so epic, they lack the time to “come down to earth” to hang out with the characters for extended periods of time. I feel that most other Trek authors are better at finding that balance.

    All in all, however, a solid book, one that will merit many rereads.

    Now, on to The Crimson Shadow!


    Me too.

    Yeah, that was my perception of the Keev story too. (A little more on that in my reply to Dimesdan below.)

    Yeah, I hinted at this in my review, but I definitely felt the same way, both about like-not-love, and page counts. Damn shame.

    Yeah, I'm really surprised too. Granted, the metaphor is not as immediately apparent as it was in RtD, but it's still there. I would say, however, that the Keev story parallels more with the end of RtD than it does with RaD. But I'm still digesting.

    The quote from Memory Beta says that each novel will have a self-contained story. Revelation and Dust did: the Keev story.

    It had a beginning, a middle and an end. As a story, it can even be appreciated when removed from the context of Star Trek.

    It's pretty clear to me that the Keev story is a allegory for a bunch of major events in the "real Trekverse," some of which we've seen, others of which I'm pretty sure we haven't.

    Among other things:
    -it addresses how Kira learned that Sisko was safe to spend his life with Kasidy
    -it alludes to how the wormhole was restored
    -it hints, very very indirectly, at the true nature of the Prophets

    The Bacco storyline would seem to be the "more important" of the two. But I bet that, in hindsight, we'll agree that the Keev story was a bigger deal.

    In any case, arguing that Revelation and Dust can't stand on its own basically ignores half the book, in my opinion. For the last ten years, Trek novels have almost always split themselves up between telling standalone stories and contributing to the larger multi-novel arcs. Don't see why this one should be held to a different standard.
  8. JeBuS

    JeBuS Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Sep 4, 2013
    Because this book wasn't sold as what it turned out to be. It was a short story about Keev wrapped up in and chopped up by entirely pointless DS9 text. (Pointless, because as stated before, it had no bearing on the plot of this book.)

    It was sold as standalone. Read the publisher's description, and you'll see that the book was sold as primarily a story about the new station, the reunion of familiar faces, the meeting of heads of state, and the dastardly plot. Then the description talks about answering questions about Kira's fate. I don't think the content of this book fulfilled any of that promise.

    Was there a plot involving the new station? Kinda. Something happened at the new station, but it could have happened anywhere.

    Was there a reunion of familiar faces? Kinda. They were all there, but they didn't do anything.

    Was there a meeting of heads of state? Kinda. They certainly were there, but again, they didn't do anything.

    Was there a dastardly plot? Kinda. Something happened, but the book barely addressed the plot before it was over.

    Did we learn about Kira's fate? Kinda. We learned about Keev. We read about Kira watching the emissary scene again. But Kira herself? Not much until the very end of the book.

    This book should be held to the same standard as any other novel. In comparison, it was a vastly incomplete book. It lacked a major plot. It lacked character arcs on any of the major characters. It contained way too much "telling" rather than "showing."

    Keev's story was the only one with a complete plot and a complete story arc.
  9. Paper Moon

    Paper Moon Commander Red Shirt

    Oct 28, 2011
    But that's what I'm getting at right there: it seems contradictory to say that the novel lacks a major plot and to then say that the story which took up half the novel was the only one with a complete plot and a complete story arc. I think taking up half the book qualifies the Keev story as a major plot.

    Look, I'm not saying that the book was perfect. I could've done with more story focused on the station. But at the same time, I also wouldn't have wanted to sacrifice any of the threads that we got. The novel continuity, and DS9 specifically, has about a gazillion stories going on right now, and I was happy to see them all advance.

    The other choice would've been to slim down the Keev narrative. Maybe DRGIII should've done that. I did think that some of the early chapters in the Keev story could've been trimmed. (I would not have wanted the retelling of "Emissary" to have been cut. That part was important, at least, to me.) But I think he was very deliberate in keeping that story in in its entirety. As I said in my post, there are several things I think that story is supposed to explain, both directly and indirectly, and those things were important.

    And if he had slimmed down the Keev narrative, then we would've argued that there were no plots at all. Really, with all the stories that DRGIII inherited for this volume, he would've had to outright ignore half-a-dozen stories to focus on one or two. And, frankly, that would've sucked.

    As for the book not being what was marketed... I feel that's what we get for most Trek novels these days. It's not a precise analogue, but notice how we always see actors from the shows on the covers, even if they're no more than bit characters. It's how they attract new readers. Same thing with those descriptions. Unless we want stories that are "safe" from a marketing perspective (ie. doing what they know works– read: stuff that's already been done), we shouldn't expect the descriptions to be 100% accurate.
  10. Mage

    Mage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 17, 2007

    Basicly, I agree with this entire post.

    In a way, The Crimson Shadow did the same thing. One story line that started and ended with another (the entire assination attempt) running through it.
    DRGIII, unfortunatly, had to not only do a self-contained story (what happened to Kira) he also had to setup the red line that goes through all these novels. Not just that, for those who missed a few novels, you need to tell some backstory. Hardcore fans don't like that, I can understand, but it's been more then a year since we last visited the entire Typhon Pact story line involving DS9, so for those who haven't read those or didn't re-read, some recap was in order.
    Then, since some people are very much into ship/station porn, he also had to take some time to describe the new station.
    All in all, a pretty hard job.

    In sight, I wished I hadn't voted yet. I voted outstanding, because I felt the characters were spot on, the setup for the rest of the novels was great, the reveals at the end left be wanting for more. But perhaps I should judge The Fall as one book, when I've finished them all.

    In the mean time, after they are all released and everything has settled, a re-read is order for me. However, I think I will first read all the Keev parts of the book, and treat that as a single story. Then, after a while, the entire DS9 parts, to again see that as a single story. Perhaps that will put some things in perspective.
  11. Sakrysta

    Sakrysta Vice Admiral Admiral

    May 10, 2001
    Wow. What a thread. I have a headache from all the shouting at brick walls going on in here.

    I haven't decided yet how I'll vote, but I'm leaning toward "Average." Just a few thoughts I'll toss out there for the rabid dogs to fight over. I am not going to use spoiler code, because logic. ;)

    I thought the re-telling of Benjamin's first encounter with the Prophets in "Emissary" with Kira as witness was ultimately a waste of time. We already have a novelization of the episode. If Kira had seen something new, something that tied into her ultimate message for Ben ... well, no, even then, I don't think it would have been worth the time/pages spent on it.

    I struggled through the descriptions of the new station. I think this is at least partially a lack on my part, as I have a hard time creating mental pictures from written descriptions - especially when it comes to architectural structures. The Kira half of the story I had no problem picturing. The more I think about it, the more I think the descriptions were too specific, as if my imagination kept trying to correct what I had already pictured every time more detail was added. And there was just a lot of it. I get we're trying to create an affection for this new station, but it's going to take me a while. I LOVED the old station. I thought it was a beautiful, elegant design. I always had more trouble picturing it as an ore processing plant than I did as a lively crossroads in space. No matter how much they dress up the new place, it will still feel like Starfleet-sterile to me.

    I completely missed the metaphor of the tunnel as the wormhole. I'm glad it was pointed out in the thread. It helps add a little more value for me to the Kira plot. Did anyone else notice that her counterpart's name - Keev - is the same family name of the terrorist leader way back in TNG's "Ensign Ro"? No one has mentioned it yet in the thread, so I thought I'd point that out. His name was Keev Falor. I strongly doubt the choice was coincidental.

    I spent the whole second half of the novel expecting Sarina to be the one behind the president's assassination. When in the last chapter, the author began speaking from her point of view, it completely killed that theory and left me frustrated. I don't doubt that the Tzenkethi could be behind the plot, but leaving ANY traceable evidence behind seems sloppy given how they've been characterized recently. I still strongly suspect Section 31's involvement, and if not them, someone else is pointing the finger at the Tzenkethi, rather than them being directly responsible. I find them compelling as a species and culture, though, so I look forward to seeing more of them as the series progresses.

    (As a sidebar, can I just say I HATE what the novels have done with Sarina?! I loved her sweet character as she was presented on the show. To turn her into uber-spy sneaky lying to Bashir woman of mystery just absolutely guts her. I loved her as an ultimate match for Bashir, but now I just want her to go away. :()

    The Keev section I thought was pretty much just there. When Veralla gave her the Orb of Destiny ... what happened to the orb again? Did it just disappear? Did she somehow return it to the wormhole? I'm very confused. And I thought we had already resolved that Ben was free to return to Kasidy and his life. And I don't much like him not being the Emissary anymore. As far as the Prophets are concerned, "not anymore" shouldn't really be a thing. But I've noticed writers have had a hard time dealing with the Prophets' existence outside time, pretty much since the pilot. If Benjamin is "The Sisko," then as far as the Prophets are concerned, how can he stop being "The Sisko"? But then, we've heard them using statements like "completed his task" and "will have no rest there" which at least imply a change in being. Whatever. I admit I'm being a bit cranky, but I want Sisko back on the station helping Bajor again, and I miss his relationship with the Prophets.

    Can we please get a break from killing off good characters???? More and more I feel each death is simply the authors' way of getting rid of an inconvenient person so they can tell the story they want to tell. This time, it's we want to rock the foundations of the Federation's government, and Nan Bacco is too strong a leader, so she has to go. I just ... I'm tired of being stabbed in the gut every other novel. Can't we tell a good story anymore without killing off the characters you've spent so much time creating and nurturing? Elias Vaughn. Jasminder Choudhury. Esperanza Piñero. Now Nan Bacco. And I feel like there are several others that are eluding me because it's tired and I'm late. But seriously, stop killing characters off. It's starting to really bother me.

    One more rant, and I think I'm done. I miss the people of DS9. Whatever happened to Shar? How is Prynn? Counselor Matthias? Did Vedek Yevir die and I've forgotten it, or did he just fall off the radar? And of the characters we have seen lately, only Ro really got any quality time this outing. Bashir is apparently a blind, lovesick puppy (either that, or the writers have decided that Sarina is no longer evil, but I'm not buying that just yet). There's some hope for O'Brien and Nog's return, and at least Ben and Kasidy are doing well, but I really miss the mix of people from the first few years of the relaunch.

    So, yeah. The book definitely prompted a reaction. I can't say it was a good one, though I'm aware that not everything I've mentioned above is directly attributable to this book alone. I'm looking forward to the next book, but like so many others, the gaps in time are really starting to grate. We're going to need some fill-in soon, or I'm going to be so lost that I give up.
  12. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Mar 2, 2002
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    I'm honestly surprised to hear that reaction, because, to me, the assassination of Bacco felt more disastrous -- in part because it was so sudden.

    That's something I thought DRGIII did masterfully -- the death scene. He spends the entire chapter building up to the President's speech, you're all caught up in the emotion of it, you're looking forward to Nan having her moment in the spotlight -- and then it happens. Nan doesn't even have enough time to realize what's going on before she's gone. No goodbyes, no realizations, no sense of resolution, no catharsis. She has just enough time to realize she's bleeding, and then she's dead. It's heartbreaking in its brutal honesty.

    So, to me, it felt much more sudden and unexpected, and therefore more disastrous.
    Whereas, Silent Weapons had spent the entire book building up to the attack on the Bank of Orion, and there had already been one attempt on her life -- so by that point, everyone knew someone was gunning for her.
    It was all about building tension and then releasing it, whereas Revelation and Dust was more about setting off a bomb when you least expect it.

    What makes you think that?

    My guess -- and this is purely a guess, I have no idea if it's right or not -- is that the death of Nan Bacco was the story they wanted to tell, not that Nan was in the way of the story they wanted to tell. To me, it almost seems as though the writers wanted to do a Star Trek version of the JFK assassination.

    The one thing that does bother me, however, is that it seems that most of the characters who have been killed recently are female.
    It was especially noticeable in the Cold Equations trilogy, each of which feature important women dying -- Jasminder in The Persistence of Memory, Esperanza in Silent Weapons, and Rhea in The Body Electric.
    I don't think this was intentional at all, but I think it's a pattern that has inadvertently developed and should be broken the next time there's a major character death.

    Shar was last seen in Typhon Pact: Paths of Disharmony by Dayton Ward -- and I'd bet good money he's gonna be in this month's The Fall: A Ceremony of Losses, given as how that book is going to focus on the Andorian reproductive crisis thread.

    Prynn had several scenes in Revelation and Dust and a major sub-plot in Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night/Raise the Dawn last year. Matthias, IIRC, is referred to as still being in the DS9 crew.

    I don't recall any references to Yevir in the DSN novels since Zero Sum Game; my suspicion is that his story may have been one of the plots that were dropped for the four-year jump.

    I'm not sure why you'd say that. To me, the text seems to be saying that Bashir is in love with her, but still isn't quite sure if Sarina is trustworthy or not.

    I think it's much more realistic to have characters move on and advance in their careers, rather than spend decades in the same rank/position a la TOS.
  13. Sakrysta

    Sakrysta Vice Admiral Admiral

    May 10, 2001
    ^ Yeah, I know where we last saw a lot of the people, it just feels like a long sine we've seen them that I don't really feel like I know where they are now. As for Bacco's assassination, it has allowed the authors to maneuver a Bajoran into the role of President Pro-Tem. That could not have happened short of Bacco's either resigning or dying. Resigning would contradict her established character too much, so she has to die.

    I don't remember who first mentioned it upthread, but with all the extensive security precautions they were taking, WHY was there no physical shield between speakers and audience???
  14. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Mar 2, 2002
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    I still think you're assuming a conflict I don't think is in evidence. We don't know that the motivation was to tell a story about an asshole President, and that Nan had to go to make that work; it's just as likely that the story they wanted to tell was itself the death of Nan Bacco and the fallout that results. The series is entitled The Fall, after all.

    [Also, they already did a "President Evil" storyline -- nine years ago, with A Time to Kill and A Time to Heal. If that were just the whole goal, it's a bit of a retread.]

    To me, it looks a lot like the idea was, in essence, to do a sort of Star Trek version of JFK meets Macbeth. Deep Space 9 is Dallas, Nan is Duncan. If my suspicion is correct, perhaps Ishan is Macbeth/Stone's version of Lyndon B. Johnson? We'll see.

    Why was there no physical barrier between George W. Bush and the man who threw a shoe at him?

    Because sometimes there's a point where it's no longer reasonable to keep adding security precaution after security precaution, and a potential assassination is just the risk you take.
  15. Markonian

    Markonian Commodore Commodore

    Jun 2, 2012
    Yorkshire, UK
    True, but there is a major technological difference between both president'S eras: In our time, you could put a cumbersome glass/plastic wall between speaker and audience - but in the late 24th century all you need are portable forcefield generators to place an invisible/soundless forcefield.
  16. Elias Vaughn

    Elias Vaughn Captain Captain

    Yevir's character arc was pretty much over by the time of his last appearance. He began as a self-righteous zealot convinced of his own moral infallibility, and then became a person who could see other points of view enough that he went to Cardassia to hook up with the Oralians. His plot wasn't dropped so much as it was over.

    And since none of the recent books have had much to do with the Oralians or Bajoran religion not specifically about the Prophets and wormhole, there really hasn't been an organic place for him to cameo without it feeling incredibly forced.

    Also nobody likes Yevir. That's just science.
  17. toughlittleship

    toughlittleship Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Apr 5, 2006
    United Kingdom
    ^ Wasn't Yevir going to stand for election as kai though?
  18. Elias Vaughn

    Elias Vaughn Captain Captain

    He was planning to, but if memory serves he chose to become a goodwill ambassador to Cardassia instead. It's been forever since I've read Worlds of DS9 though, so I don't remember if he said anything else there.
  19. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2008
    Washington, DC
    I thought that was a fine place to leave Yevir's story. I don't feel like it's aching for a follow-up. Cool to see if he ever does appear, sure, but I'm not upset.
  20. Elias Vaughn

    Elias Vaughn Captain Captain

    That's my thought too. His arc was growing from a character of religious intolerance to one of religious tolerance. There's no better place for him to go than where he went; even becoming Kai would seem to be a step backward considering I think that's what he wanted in the beginning anyway.