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

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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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  58 reviews
22 of 23 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
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
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
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.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Neverending Sacrifice Sept. 16 2009
By Alice L. Moore - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This novel is based on the Deep Space Nine episode "Cardassians". To summarize, an orphaned Cardassian boy named Rugal is adopted by a Bajoran couple. It is discovered that Rugal is not an orphan but is the son of a prominent Cardassian government official. He is sent back with his Cardassian family by Cmdr Sisko. This novel is the aftermath of this repatriation.

This novel like A Stitch in Time (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) is more of a culture/character novel than a plot driven novel. The author did a fine characterization by not making Rugal too human. Many SciFi and futuristic fantasy writers have their alien characters as modern day projections. The situations are metaphors for modern day problems. In Star Trek Deep Space Nine they were able to break away from this with the creation of the Cardassians. They have morality, values, and a soul but they aren't of the human variety. Andrew Robinson and Marc Alaimo both did superb jobs in Deep Space Nine portraying this. This novel built on "A Stitch In Time". Rugal returns to his Cardassian family and doesn't even want to adjust. His attitude persists throughout the years. He finds that Cardassians are not all butchers, yet he persists in trying to find a way back to Bajor. This highlights his non-human characteristic.

Any drawbacks? The novel follows the plot arc of Deep Space Nine. The developments such as the Maquis and the Dominion War are told from the perspective of Rugal and not the regular Star Trek characters. This isn't a minus for myself. Rugal's Cardassian father, Pa'dar seems a model of forbearance not only with Rugal but his imperious mother, Geleth(another interesting character). Pa'Dar seems almost too much of a saint.

This book is overall a good light read.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff! Nov. 15 2005
By Patrick Healey - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was interested to find out how I would like this book, based on the varied ratings here on amazon. "Hollow Men" seems to be one of those love it or hate it books. I personally loved it, but I can understand why some people didn't. The cover of the book touted it as "A Tale of the Dominion War" - and it was. It just wasn't about the fighting. This was about the effects of decision made in war, and their repercussions on events, people and one's soul. People expecting a lot of action will not enjoy this book as much. People who want an in-depth character study focused on the internal struggles of DS9 characters that we all know love I think will get a lot of enjoyment out of these


First of all, I wanted to say that McCormack *really* got the

characters down in this. The feel of when this book was set came off perfectly as well. I recently finished watching DS9 for the very first time and as I was reading this book I could 'hear' and 'see' the characters vividly. In fact, this book flowed so smoothly, that it could have been a very good two parter of the show. The author clearly was "in tune" with the characters and the actors portrayal, and even the internalizations by the characters felt like their thoughts. Very well done.

The story has an A and B plot to it, much like the episodes themselves.

The A plot covers Sisco and Garak heading to earth for a conference of the new Alliance (Federation, Klingon, and Romulan), and both of their struggling with the consequences of their actions a few weeks earlier when the two of them got the Romulans to enter the Dominion war due to their covert and illegal actions. Truly gripping stuff as Sisco tries to work out through his actions. Garak's portrayal was spot on as well as he had a very different perspective on those events. I found myself

locked on the book in the 'A' plot throughout the book. This is DS9 in the finest tradition.

The 'B' plot is a story about Odo and to some extent Quark. In it Odo is trying to prevent a crime from happening on DS9. Again the author got the character portrayals down pat - Odo, Quark, Jadzia, and Bashir are all portrayed true to form. I also could see/hear/ it all.

If the 'B' plot had any flaw, it was that it wasn't as gripping as the 'A' plot. It was well written and interesting to read, but I guess it is a testament to how good the 'A' plot . In the end, the two plots come together, which was a surprise, because I kept wondering if they were related, or if the 'B' plot was just well written filler. Suffice to say they did come together, and in an interesting way. If the book has any flaw at all it was that the "coming" together wasn't as strong as I wanted it to be.

All said and done, I give the book 4.5 out of 5, and thank the author for taking me with Sisco and Garak as they worked through their moral dilemmas. I look forward to reading more from this author. If you want a great character study, check this book out. It firmly resides in my DS9 personal continuity with honor.
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