Sunday, 25 January 2015

The Missing

The Missing

by Una McCormack

Reviewed


The Missing is an entertaining Star Trek story set on the new Deep Space Nine space station as post war Romulan and Cardassian interests clash and Captain Ro Laren has to deal with all of this as well as a first contact situation which is being mirrored light years away between the research and exploration vessel Athene Donald and a mysterious highly advanced starship. The story weaves in Odo and Garak and plays the Bajorans in something of a middle ground with no love for either side but with fences to mend the opportunity for good will and diplomatic gold stars can not be ignored. Dr Pulaski pays DS9 a visit before leaving onboard the Athene Donald and with Dr Crusher as the CMO of the station sparks could fly and the story presents the viewpoints of these two characters in great detail and when it comes right down to it both these characters were portrayed in more positive light than in the tv show, at least that's what I took from it. One aspect of the story is it's place in the post television storylines, I'm not familiar with the specifics of events that are covered in the recent novels so I may not have got everything out of the story as I could, for example the two Tzenkethi characters and their cultures place in the new look Alpha Quadrant but thankfully I don't think that was essential.
The story itself takes place mainly in two locations, the first DS9 as first contact is made with the People Of The Open Sky and then soon after the Athene Donald comes face to face with the highly advanced "Chain" in their uber starship who seem to look down on the Federation vessel. As events begin to spiral out of control with break-ins, murder, suspicion and distrust between races and individuals it's up to everyone to pull together and look beyond their limited expectations and ingrained beliefs and embrace a future of new possibilities.
I really enjoyed how Pulaski was written and her interactions with Crusher in this story and I found myself smiling quite a lot, the mystery created by the first contact situations and the investigations while not overly complex kept me turning the page (so to speak) and while there were plot elements I hate with a passion in this case a certain technology that has been covered in the movies this novel for a fan of Trek and DS9 is well worth reading. Garak, Odo, Ro, Crusher and Pulaski were all written well and the new characters (at least to me) merged well within the established framework and I suspect we'll be reading a lot more about some of them and for that I am thankful, I believe there is a lot to be told in this new Federation of Planets and beyond.

I also should mention the personal logs that head up each chapter, they were very interesting and compelling offering insight into first contact and posing some very valid questions, they added immensely to my enjoyment of the main story.


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