Most helpful critical review
I fail to see how this is 4 or 5 star material.
on January 17, 2004
Well, I finished reading Rising Son. I fail to see what was the big deal in the book though and I'm failing to see why it was given positive reviews on Amazon as well as Trekweb.com.
The main problems with the book is this:
2/3's of the content is pointless. The only character that has any real impact on Jake is Dez, given the similarities with his father and himself. With that said, I'd find it hard to believe that we'll see Dez again unless S.D. Perry is writing the books herself (and if the Dominion is after them, I wouldn't count on it realistically either).
Another problem is that Jake was portrayed as a over-thinking,
over-feeling female. Yep, I'm know that harsh but this wasn't Jake. If you replaced Jake with "Jessica" and took Star Trek off the cover, I don't think anyone would have had a clue it was supposed to be a guy, nevermind trying to attack Jake's character correctly.
Yet another problem is repetition. S.D. Perry constantly reminds you that Jake is thinking about his father, and she doesn't really say anything new or enlightening that she never already stated in Avatar, let alone the 10 or so character reflection she has added in Rising Son. She constantly pushes this "love and lost theme", that is actually very apparant in the Avatar series and simply repeats that here again too. I find that it's fairly easy to replace Julian, Kira, Vaughn, Ezri, Jake, etc. in any of S.D. Perry's reflection moments and (surprisingly), it makes sense for Perry's version of that character. In Rising Son, it does the same for Jake.
Now, don't get me wrong, the book isn't absolutely crap or anything, however, I can see how people might become confused on the book "getting good" after page 100. By that time, the characters actually start to do stuff. So, the first third of the book is pure introduction, reflection and very little action. If you can get by that, then the story (finally) begins.
Jake joins the crew and they start their first mission. Unfortunately, Drang, the selling of the box and just about everything that happens here has very little if any real impact on the story. All this does is escalate other non-important events that nobody cares about. Maybe some of you care about this crew, but I didn't. Dez was the only interesting and tolerable crew member in the book basically at this point. If you cared about the other characters, I have to ask why: they won't be back in future novels and Jake isn't going to think about them ever anyway.
Then the crew goes off doing more stuff, which is all essentially meaningless until they arrive at Ee (a station). Now, I figured since the book was 2/3's done, S.D. Perry had to get on with the story. Knowing that Jake finds Opaka (from the cover and from the ending of Lesser Evil), I figured that can happen one of two ways: Either they visit the moon and free her, or they happen to find her on their journey. Sure enough, she was on Ee.
Now, at this point, everything - literally - that happened before was pointless. This is where the story actually starts in my opinion, but quite frankly, 210 pages later, was it really worth it?
The thing is, any intelligent person before picking up this book
didn't need to know about the Even Odds and they could have predicted (in some fashion) what took place in this book. Now, to give S.D. Perry some credit, the last 90 or 100 pages were interesting. I actually cared about Opaka's story, the new sister aliens next to the wormhole, the path the Prophets laid out for him not only to find Opaka, but to help in the B'Hala excavation. It gave Jake a real purpose to be here, but everything else before this is simply fluff. It would have been nice to see some dependancies, but there wasn't any.
Anyhow, the importance of Tosk was a nice touch too, however I didn't care for Wex either. She still has little importance, but I guess Unity will answer Wex's purpose soon enough (never read it).
Another disappointment was the Wa - it really didn't have any purpose for being there. It could have been absent from the entire story and quite frankly, it wouldn't have changed the execution of the last third of the novel at all. It could have been very readable without the Wa or the Even Odds crew and their stupid adventures altogether.
In the end, Jake and Opaka were the only two characters I even cared about, as it should be I suppose. But I wish Opaka had been found much earlier since that wasn't much of a surprise finding her in the first place. In fact, the only real surprise (if you can call it that) is the importance of tosk and the new relationship of the planet to Bajor - that's it. Everything else could have been omitted or assumed, which doesn't make for an entertaining read unfortunately.
Oh, and Weyoun could have had much better dialog. That wasn't Weyoun either I'm afraid.
In the end, I'd give the book 2 1/2 out of 5 stars. There isn't enough payoff here to warrant anything higher. With inaccurate characterization of Jake and Weyoun, and a lot of unimportant events that take huge amounts of space, I just can't recommend this book unless you are reading it to complete the series. Frankly, I would have been happy to see the last 100 pages of the story be sliced into the Mission Gamma books. That would have been a lot better from my perspective.
I'm sure a number of you will disagree and will refuse to give this review positive votes. Too many people just want to see positive reviews on anything Star Trek when they are a serious fan. That's unfortunate, because this story really isn't that great as people claim it to be and even outside of Star Trek, I'm sure you could find something else better to read than Rising Son as well. What a shame.