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Avatar Book One of Two (Star Trek Deep Space Nine) Mass Market Paperback – 2001


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Star Trek (2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074340050X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743400503
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 10.4 x 2.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #588,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

S. D. Perry is a novelist living in Portland, Oregon.  She is currently lives with her husband, Myk, her two children Cyrus and Myk Jr, and their two dogs. She mostly writes tie-in novels based on works in the fantasy/science-fiction/horror genre, including Resident Evil, Star Trek, Aliens and Predator. She has also written a handful of short stories and movie novelizations. Her favorite Star Trek series is the original series, with her favorite characters being "The Big Three" - Kirk, Spock and McCoy.

 

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

The freighter was Cardassian, of an older class, and everyone on board was about to die.

I'm dreaming, Kira thought. She had to be, but the awareness brought no relief. The details were too real, the sensations too vivid. She stood at the entrance of a large cargo bay, the curved and heavy lines of the ship obviously Cardassian, the kind once used to transport laborers and plunder during the Occupation. And in front of her, sprawled amidst the broken crates and overturned bins, were a few dozen raggedly dressed Bajorans and a handful of Cardassian soldiers, gasping for air, many of them already unconscious, bathed in the dull glow of the ship's emergency lights. Life-support failure.

She clamped down on a flutter of panic, inhaling deeply -- and though she could breathe easily, she had to clamp down even harder, her senses telling her that she couldn't possibly be asleep. The air was cold and sharp, and she could smell the fading scents of sweat and fear and watery katterpod bean gruel, the smell of the Bajoran camps where she'd spent her short childhood. It was dark, the only light coming from emergency backup, casting everything in deep red shadow, and the only sound -- besides the pounding of her heart -- was the hopeless, laboring beat of slow asphyxiation, a chorus of strained and pitiful hisses.

She stepped into the storage bay, afraid, struggling to stay calm, to try to make sense of what was happening.

The clothes, the Cardassian's weapons, the very status of the Bajorans -- Occupation. And from the bulkiness of the guard's uniforms, probably from before she was born.

Kira stepped further inside, feeling old defenses rise to the surface, grateful for them. Though bloodless, it was as terrible a death scene as any she'd witnessed. Except for the struggle to breathe, nobody moved. Most of the Bajorans had huddled into couples and small groups to die, clinging to one another for whatever pitiful comfort they could find. There were several children, their small, unmoving bodies cradled in the thin arms of their elders. Kira saw a dead woman clutching a pale infant to her breast and looked away, fighting to maintain control. The Cardassian soldiers were in no better shape; they still gripped their weapons but were obviously helpless to use them, their gray, reptilian faces more ashen than they should have been, their mouths opening and closing uselessly. The image of fish out of water came to her, and wouldn't go away.

Kira turned in a circle, dizzy from the helpless terror she saw reflected in so many eyes, so many more glazing as they greeted death -- and saw something so unlikely that the disaster's full impact finally gripped her, sank its dark teeth into her and held on tightly.

Two young men, slumped together against the wall to her right, their stiffening arms around each other in a last desperate need for solace, for the consolation of another soul with whom to meet the lonely shadows of death. One was Bajoran. The other, a Cardassian.

What's happening, why is this happening? Her composure was slipping, the things she saw all wrong -- foreign to her mind and spirit, a nightmare from without her consciousness. She was lost in some place she had never known, witnessing the final, wrenching moments of people she'd never met. Stop, this has to stop, wake up, Nerys, wake up.

A new light filtered through her haze of near-panic. It filled the room, coming from somewhere above and toward the back of the cavernous space. It was the pale blue light she'd always thought of as miraculous and beautiful, the light of the Prophets. Now it threw strange shadows over the dying faces of the doomed men, women, and children, combining with the emergency lights to paint everything a harsh purple.

She felt herself drawn toward the source of the light, breathing the air of her youth. For some reason, she couldn't pinpoint the light's origin. It was bright enough, and well defined -- but there was a sort of haze at the back of the bay, obscuring the exact location. It was like looking at a sun from under deep water, the light source shifting and unsteady, far away. Kira walked on -- and then she was in the haze, like a mist of darkness, and the light was as bright as a star's, only a few meters in front of her.

Nerys.

A voice, spoken or thought, she wasn't sure, but there was no doubting its owner -- and there he was, emerging from the dark like a spirit, like a borhya. He stepped in front of the light and was enveloped by it, his face serene and aware, his deep gaze searching for hers. The Emissary, Captain Sisko. Benjamin.

He's been waiting for me....

Colonel Kira...

Kira, this is

"...is Security. Colonel?"

"Go ahead," Kira croaked, and opened her eyes as she bolted up, instantly awake. Her room. Her bed. A man's voice on the com...Devro?

Dream, just a dream but it was so --

"I'm sorry to wake you, Colonel, but there's been an attack on board the station." It was definitely Devro, newly assigned to security, and he sounded excited.

Kira sat up, blinking, forcing herself to leave the dream behind. "What happened?"

"Ah, I don't have the details, Colonel, but it appears that at least one person was killed, possibly two. The lieutenant said that she'd meet you at Medical D."

Autopsy facilities. Kira felt a rush of anger. Quark's, it had to be, and he was going to be sorry this time. There had been several drunken riots in his place in the past few months; no fatalities, but it had only been a matter of time. Just two weeks before, a female Argosian had stabbed one of Quark's servers for mixing up a drink order. He'd been lucky to survive.

I told him to start cutting them off earlier...and where the hell was security? After I specifically ordered higher visibility on the Promenade?

"On my way," she said, and Devro signed off. The computer informed her that it was 0530, only a half hour before she had to get up, anyway. She swung her feet to the floor but sat for a moment, eyes closed. Bad news after a bad dream, after a whole series of bad days. Frustrating ones, anyway, with the station's overhaul running past schedule; she had enough to do without having to worry about the continuing stream of die-hard revelers on the station, still looking for a party to celebrate the end of the war. Or having to babysit her new security chief, a woman to whom inconstancy was no stranger.

She dressed quickly, her anxiety growing as her mind began to work, as she woke up and considered the possibility that Quark's had nothing to do with the incident. Maybe she should talk to Jast about trying again to request a few additional security details from Starfleet, just until things settled a little....

...wishful thinking. Might as well have her ask for a few dozen Starfleet engineers while she's at it, and the backup tactical and science cadets to fill out the duty rosters, not to mention medical. They'd have as much luck requesting a new station made out of gold-pressed latinum. The Federation's postwar reconstruction efforts meant that Starfleet's resources were spread thin, almost to the point of being ineffectual in some places. Not to mention their humanitarian work, the aid being extended to independent worlds and cultures that had been damaged by the war. Politically, it made sense -- the new allies and friends they were making meant potential new Federation members, and if that meant that facilities like DS9 had to run overextended and understaffed for a while longer -- well, those facilities would just have to make do with what they had.

Some of us more than others. As if they didn't have enough to do, DS9 had also been designated the official coordinator for the multi-societal relief efforts to Cardassia, which meant extra work for everyone on staff. With supply and aid ships from over a dozen worlds arriving and departing daily -- supplemented by an ever-changing number of freelance "ships for hire" -- there seemed to be a near-constant stream of problems great and small. Add to that a strange new emotional climate on the station, like nothing the colonel had ever experienced. Although Kira had faith in the good intentions of her people, with the overwhelming majority of the station's nearly 7500 inhabitants being Bajoran, she wasn't so certain that DS9 was the best choice for the restoration effort, regardless of their position and capacity.

First Minister Shakaar had disagreed, arguing that Bajor's willingness to take point in the relief efforts would be an important step toward rapprochement with the Cardassians...as well as in Bajor's renewed petition to join the Federation. "Besides, Nerys," Shakaar had said, "you were there. You saw what it was like. How can we not help them?"

The question, so gently asked, had left Kira unable to argue as she recalled the carnage and destruction the Dominion had wrought. There was a time, she knew, when she might have looked on Cardassia's fate as a kind of poetic justice. But thinking back on the blackened, smoking ruins, the corpses that lay everywhere, the shocked and vacant faces of the survivors...It was no longer possible to view them as the enemy that had raped Bajor for half a century.

But while convincing Kira of the role that Bajor, and DS9 especially, was to play in the healing of Cardassia had been relatively easy...the Bajoran populace was another matter. A Bajoran installation providing aid to the Cardassian homeworld? Irony was seldom so obvious, and the atmosphere of reluctant, often grudging charity from some of the Bajorans aboard the station was less than ideal.

At least Starfleet had given her Tiris Jast. The commander had already proven herself able to work miracles when it came to administrative matters, among other things; after a somewhat rocky start, Kira's new first officer had turned out to be a definite asset.

It wasn't until Kira checked herself in the mirror on the way out the door that she thought about the dream again, and was surprised by the sudden loneliness she felt, the loneliness she saw in her tired reflecti...


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I found that much of this book was a buildup for Book 2. Not that that's a bad thing, but it was what I deem a "necessary introduction" for the DS9 Relaunch. The characterization is good, but not as complete or rounded as in the Reeves-Stevenses' Millenium trilogy (a must read!).
The book starts with a recap of important events from pre-DS9 (ie Occupation of Bajor, Orbs) to the finale where Odo, Worf (and Martok), Garak, O'Brien, Rom AND Sisko have all left DS9. I must say at first I wondered how a show (book, whatever) could proceed with a) Kira in charge; b) only Ezri, Bashir, Kira, Jake and Nog and Quark (who is spot on perfect btw) left from the original cast (oh and Yates). But surprisingly it works very well. The main reason for this is the introduction of some new characters. However, I deeply missed the interplays with Worf and especially Garak. And without O'Brien, Bashir is demeaned to the position of the relationship character with Ezri...
The best part about the book I found is the solid character development for the new characters, but also Ezri and to some degree Kira (though she's still arrogant).
Andorian Ensign ch'Thane is probably the most refreshing character. To delve into a new race is great fun, and Book 2 offers a lot more intrigue (and I'm assuming the Gamma books).
Elias Vaughn. This guy rocks, I can't wait to read more about him. This 101 year old Starfleet veteran is going through a change of mindset and his introspection is fascinating.
Lt. Ro Laren. She's there to take over Odo's position (which is funny cuz Kira loves Odo but dislikes Ro). Ro's arrivial bugged me for several reasons. Understand I think it is brilliant to have her on DS9, but she's very poorly introduced.
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By Haseeb on Nov. 30 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It turns out that the station was attacked again which resulted in thousands of deaths and severe damage to the station. While every one on the station is more or less recovering from the attack and working around the clock to make repairs, Picard's ship stumbles upon a significant find. This find is significant because it has something to do with the planet Bajor. So Picard's crew heads for DS9 to show Kira what they've found.
There are other sub-plots which may or may not be connected to the Enterprise's discovery such as:
A strange Jemhadar soldier shows up on the station claiming to be on a mission of peace.
An ancient Bajoran tablet is found which contains a ground-breaking prophesy (Avatar).
Other than those aforementioned plots, the book is mostly character driven. Bashir, Ezri, Nog, Jake, Quark and others are still on the station but there are a few new interesting characters such as Shar. Shar is an Andorian and I think it's neat how they have sensory antennas on their heads. Shar (a member of Starfleet) plays a significant part in making a frightening discovery on board DS9 where his antennas come in handy.
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By taking a rest on Feb. 17 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
With 4 stars I may be erring on the high side of rating this book. However I do so as it is well written. The Deep Space Nine television series is not one that I kept up with and I chose this book as it was to include The Next Generation cast that I am familiar with. Before the actual tale starts there is a history of Deep Space Nine up until the book's beginning so, if your lack of knowledge is like mine, a general overview is provided. It cannot make up for dozen of missed episodes but it does make the read possible and enjoyable.
This is book one of a series and The Next Generation plays the minor role in this first installment. I believe this will change dramatically in book two due to a discovery that the Enterprise makes on an old Cardassian Freighter that requires a trip to the space station DS9. The one character that I always wondered what happened to plays a key role in this book and I would guess in many others that have preceded this volume. Ro Laren was always one of my favorite enigmatic characters from TNG series, and after she betrayed Captain Picard's trust and fled I was always curious as to what happened to her. Her back story is explained in broad strokes, but at the time of this book she is now in a position of authority on DS9. Nothing about her personality has become any smoother, but it appears as though there may finally be an opportunity for her to find someplace where she will no longer feel suspect, feel the outsider.
Prior to taking on any more new DS9 material I will have to go well back and reach a point where I can appreciate these stories without only having a brief historical overview for a crutch. This book seemed well done and I believe that to the extent it failed it was solely due to my lack of knowledge.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
One does not pick up "Star Trek" novels expecting to find great literature. We read them for plots which extend the television legacy, and are satisfied with action and dialogue that are at least congruent with what we have seen on television. For that reason, "Avatar: Books I and II" (and the two "Deep Space Nine" novels which follow it) are a wonderful surprise. They are, in fact, great literature.
The intricacies of the plot, and the breadth of the character development are superior to those in most "Trek" novels, but what makes these works truly stand out above the others I have read is the writing itself. It is so lush and descriptive that images are brought to mind with a clarity and brilliance that rivals the images we have seen on the screen. These books are not merely an attempt to substitute for television episodes or films; they are great works in their own right. That following novels by different authors are equally well-written is a great gift to fans of "Deep Space Nine."
The other thing that makes this novel and its successors -- "Section 31: Abyss," and the "Gateways" installment, "Demons of Air and Darkness" -- so outstanding is the employment of internal monologue to truly engage the reader. We are not merely observers and listeners, but equal participants in the unfolding adventure. We share the fears, pain, joys, and triumphs of the characters as each faces her or his particular challenges. It is a privilege to experience the "Deep Space Nine" universe through the characters' eyes and minds, enabled by these gifted writers.
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