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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Hollow Men (Star Trek Deep Space Nine (Unnumbered Paperback)) [Mass Market Paperback]

3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book by McCormack, Una

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Format:Mass Market Paperback
Set not to long after the episode 'In the Pale Moonlight', Garak and Captain Sisko are bound for earth to attend a diplomatic conference on the war. But of course with a Cardassian around, especially a former Cardassian spy, things don't go as planned when kidnapping, conspiracy and murder become involved. In the mean time Odo's busy keeping an eye on Quark who's up to his old smuggling tricks again but against a rather dangerous foe.

I really wanted to like this book, it had Garak in it and a lot of mystery and back stabbing and masked threats but it just wasn't as intriguing as i had hoped.
Una McCormack does a lovely job with the writing in the story but there's not nearly enough excitement. Its a bit more of a diplomatic and controversy novel. If you like in the pale moonlight' I'm sure you'll enjoy this one. Its not to everyone's tastes but its worth a shot.
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  60 reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark secrets come home to roost July 4 2005
By David Roy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Hollow Men, by Una McCormack, is one of those "love it or hate it" types of novels. It's a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine story that takes place during the series itself (as opposed to afterwards, as the latest DS9 books have been). In the series episode, "In the Pale Moonlight," Captain Sisko had to go against all of his ethics in order to trick the Romulans into joining the Dominion War, as the Federation was losing. The situation spiraled out of control until he was guilty of countenancing murder in order to get the job done. Hollow Men is the aftermath, and it's told in McCormack's normal style. Not many "events" occur, and the book lives or dies on whether you believe in (and are intrigued by) the characterizations and the internal aspects of the plot. Me? I loved it. But your mileage may vary.

After the events of the television episode, Sisko is on his way back to Earth to attend a conference, the first one that the Romulans will be a part of. Starfleet Intelligence wants Garak, the Cardassian tailor and ex-spy who performed most of the skullduggery, to come along. Sisko is being eaten up by guilt for his actions, trying desperately to justify them internally but hating himself more and more, and this carries over to Garak. Garak, of course, is concerned that Sisko will break and confess everything, and he's certain he's going to end up in a Federation prison. When they get to Earth, however, they get wrapped up in more intrigue, as an ex-starfleet officer turned peace activist becomes even more important to the entire war effort, and secrets that should never be revealed are in danger of coming out.

McCormack is the author of the Cardassian story in The Worlds of Bajor: Volume One, which I happened to love. Her characterization of Garak was dead-on in that story, and she captures him very well in this one too. His sarcasm and general wit are evident, but we also see his cunning and his intelligence. When he gets wrapped up in the Starfleet Intelligence plot, he is determined to follow his own path to finish the job, and he will even refuse to do the job if he doesn't like what he finds out. He's calm under pressure, he knows what torture is like and so is ready when he's about to be on the other end of it than he's used to. I especially loved his reactions to the peace protests when Sisko takes him to one of them. He honestly can't believe that such a protest would be allowed during war time, and thinks back longingly to the days on Cardassia where stuff like this would be stamped out immediately. He has plenty of traditionally Garak quips. Basically, if you like Garak, you should love this book.

Sisko's guilt is also extremely well done. Even better is his reaction when he doesn't get the reaction he quite expected upon revealing what happened. He searches desperately for something to salve his conscience, and while this might seem out of character for the Sisko we know, to me it seemed realistic for a man who has transgressed his principles as far as he has. He knows what happened was necessary, but he feels like he should be punished. The various attempts he makes to get that to happen are excellent, ending in a wonderful discussion with the one person who he can depend on to talk him through this.

There is also a story that takes place on DS9, involving Odo and a shipment of latinum (the main currency outside of the Federation). This plotline isn't as interesting as the main one, and it doesn't even tie into the main story until the end (in a way that, admittedly, comes out of left field a little bit, and is my only real problem with the book). All of the characters are well done, but there wasn't that much to really grab me until near the middle of the book. Some people have claimed that a fault with the book is that nothing happens for long periods of time. While this is true, I found myself so fascinated with the Sisko and Garak storyline, and interested enough in the station plot that I didn't really notice.

I said that Hollow Men was a "love it or hate it" type of book, and basically it boils down to whether or not you like McCormack's style. So far, she's written two novels for the Star Trek line, and both of them have been more internal books with events taking place as conversations between characters that advance the plot, or dealing with issues rather than events. I think that she does a lovely job getting you into the minds of the characters, and enough happens that I'm not bored by them. There is always some action later on in the story, and this book is no exception. But she takes great pains to set up the action, making sure the action stems from the characters rather than just throwing in a random battle or two. Occasionally, the set up drags too long, as with the story on the station here, and it threatens to lose the reader. But I could hear Avery Brooks (Sisko) and Andrew Robinson (Garak) speak a lot of the lines she gives them, and they carry their sections even before anything actually happens in the story.

Overall, Hollow Men is an excellent entry in the Deep Space Nine saga. If you've read McCormack's previous book, your opinion of that will probably determine whether you agree with me here. However, I can definitely say that this book is worth a try, especially if you're a fan of our favourite Cardassian tailor. This one is up near the top of my Trek book list for 2005.

David Roy
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding! Sept. 29 2009
By Laura - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Never Ending Sacrifice was one of the best Star Trek books I've read. The story line was captivating. I couldn't put it down. Una McCormack should get an award for this one. The main character, Rugal, steals your heart from the very beginning. He's journey from childhood on Bajor, back to Cardassia with a father he never knew. He takes you through the Dominion War from a different perspective. I can't say enough about this book and I don't want to give anything away. A must read and enjoy!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Entry in the Series May 17 2008
By Josh Hagy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This series just keeps getting better. Seeing the Occupation of Bajor is fascinating, especially as we follow Opaka Sulan's surprising spiritual "rebellion" of sorts and continue to see the Cardassian manipulation of Bajor's religion. From the cover, I expected Kira Nerys to play a much greater role, but the novel focuses more on the exploits of a few previously unknown characters and some old favorites. We get a glimpse of Dukat as prefect of Bajor and his right hand Cardassian, Damar, as they struggle to deal with the problems posed by the resistance as well as the intricacies of Cardassian politics. We also get a to see the discovery of Odo, which is done in a surprising way that, to me, fits right in with the feel of DS9. This is a very good second novel in the series and it leaves me looking forward to the third.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The title discribes the novel on several levels Dec 9 2009
By A. Calloway - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Wow! I too was captivated by Rugal's on-going story, although I (sort of) agreed watching the DS9 episode that he should go home to Cardassia. I was kind of irritated when, though realizing his birth father loved him unconditionally, he still wanted to go back to Bajor. But was so into the storyline, and it fits the teenage emotional level.
U.M.'s writing is excellent. It sweeps along from one believable happening to another. It was so satisfying to see him mature, and stop thinking about his own issues,though heart-wrenching, to care for his grandmother, and then his neighbor during the war. I would have loved to have seen some type of reconciliation between Rugal and his father. But like the title says, there were never ending sacrifices--Rugal's, his father's, his adoptive parents, the Bajoran people's, the soldiers, the Cardassian people's, their brain washed children, the survivors of all the ravaged planets, and even the ones that weren't touched. I'll bet when you read this book you'll be able to find evidence of more. U.M. shows how families can be destroyed by cruel ambitions and bigoted people. Then we get to watch in triumph as they rally to survive, and even prosper. How beautiful for Rugal to create one family after losing two. I highly recommend this book. Hats off to U.M. for her fine writing.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great! June 29 2005
By Siona Webster - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As a major fan of DS9 for over a year and a half now, I've had the chance to read a great many DS9 books and this is undoubtedly one of my favorites. It meshes current day topics with all the flare and suspense that Star Trek has to offer. It continues on the highly-rated 6th season episode, "In the Pale Moonlight", bringing up alot of questions and theories that were presented after that episode and the effects on the series it brought about.

Among my favorite characters, Elim Garak, is a main character and he's presented beautifully here. Una McCormack is one of the very few authors I find to be able to write Garak properly (besides Andy Robinson and the screenwriters themselves), and she does so in a great manner. He's such a complex character and that makes him very hard to tie down in a book. I'm glad to have found one that does just that and takes it one step further.

Undoubtedly, the best part of "Hollow Men" is the subtext of both current and possibly future issues. Almost every angle of each story is presented with proper analogy and explanation while still staying true to the characters and the plot; you never get the feel that the anti-war protestors that Garak and Sisko meet have anything to do with the Iraq War or any other military crisis threatening our time; you only get a handle on what their opinions and thoughts are.

All in all, I enjoy this book, am glad I bought it, and won't be putting it down any time soon.
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