Star Trek Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night
© 2012 David R. George III
After the events of Star Trek: Destiny, billions were dead and the Federation utterly exhausted, and yet no relief was to be found. In the wake of such calamity, six powers hostile to the Federation and ringing its borders sought strength in unity. They created the Typhon Pact, a confederacy of scum and villainy, and changed the map forever. The Federation and its greatest ally, the Klingon Empire, were soon engaged in a "cold war" with the Typhon Pact. The first four novels of the series each focused one of the constituent members of the Pact (the Breen, the Romulans,) while following the opening power plays between the two polities. Tales of espionage and political wrangling followed, and the stage was set. David R. George has delivered the first Typhon Pact "epic", one which spans the quadrants and involves both the Enterprise-E and the far-flung crew of Deep Space Nine. Plagues of Night is the opening act, ending on a cliffhanger that saw me stand to my feet in astonishment.
The Federation and the Typhon Pact are not, technically, at war, but both strive to maintain the balance of power that will keep the peace -- through means that threaten it, like covertly attacking one another's shipyards to steal data. Although the Typhon Pact novels established the Pact as a potent force to be reckoned with, they aren't simple villains. Each power has its own ambitions, and the leaders of the Romulan Star Empire dearly want peace. Plagues of Night uses the events of the first four novels (especially Zero Sum Game and Paths of Disharmony) to establish rising tension between the Federation and the Pact, and both the RSE and Federation leaders want to prevent said tension from erupting into open war. But the achievements of diplomacy -- trade agreements and a joint scientific mission into the Gamma Quadrant -- are threatened to perversely turned into the spark of war when things go terribly wrong.
In addition to creating a thriller of a scope we've not seen since the Destiny books, George provides the long-awaited return to the Deep Space Nine cast of characters. The DS9 relaunch was seemingly abandoned when Destiny came onto the scene: there's a five-year gap between the last DS9 book and the events of that magnificent trilogy. Readers were teased with what might have happened in the meantime in Rough Beasts of Empire, and here the station takes center stage under its new commanding officer, Ro Laren. Character growth in Plagues of Night centers on Sisko, who is still grappling with the aftermath of decisions he made after Unity. Abandoned by the prophets, and fearful for his family's safety, Sisko is a man without a friend -- tremendously lonely. And bless his heart, it's going to get worse.
I purchased this book online, and I figured after I read it I'd buy the second book. I couldn't wait. Yesterday, I drove an hour or so to the nearest bookseller and hunted down a copy of the conclusion. I...cannot wait.
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