Series: The Fall (#1)
Publisher: Pocket Books
Genre: Space Opera
Publication Date: 2013
The Federation and the Typhon Pact have settled into an uneasy peace. As a signal of trust, delegates from both powers have been invited to the opening of the second Deep Space 9. But the ceremony is about to be the site of a tragedy that will change the Federation, and the Alpha Quadrant, forever . . .
Revelation and Dust marks the furthest point in the Litverse continuity that I reached the first time I got into Star Trek books. Looking at the publication date, I think I would have read this one fairly close to its original release, but I didn’t carry on with The Fall, or do much more than pick up the odd book for a year or so afterwards. On my reread of the Litverse, I’ve now covered over fifty books, most of which are new to me. But now that I’ve reached Revelation and Dust a second time, I can see why I abandoned the series all those years ago.
David R. George III is not my favourite Star Trek author, and a lot of the stylistic choices that don’t work for me are on full display here. The constant recapping of past events (coupled this time with heavy foreshadowing) and general flatness of his prose are something I’m just having to live with, because George is one of the go-to authors for these crossover series. The Deep Space 9 relaunch series is slowly pulling me in,m and his is in the pilot’s chair for most of it, so I’m willing to push through quirks of style if it means there’s a good story at the end.
Unfortunately, Revelation and Dust is not the story I’m after. This is of course the first in a five-part series, so you can’t expect everything to be wrapped up. But this book sets the stage not only for the rest of The Fall, but also for George’s next DS9 novels. I’m writing this review as I start the fourth book in The Fall, and there is little sign of continuation on several key plots from this one. This is a problem that any multi-author, multi-series universe will face sooner or later. I’m only following a few of the threads running through the Litverse, which means I occasionally trip on others that i don’t know are there. Following only the big series also means that I come off the back of Typhon Pact straight into yet another multi-author series showing the Federation’s darkest hour. independently, both are great ideas. But one of the defining traits of Star Trek is its sense of optimism, which has been sorely lacking in some parts of this readthrough.
As for Revelation and Dust itself, there’s not much that can be said. The first half is almost all setup, establishing the political and personal state of current affairs, while at the same time giving the reader a guided tour of the new Deep Space 9. Literally a guided tour. The new station is certainly interesting, and the changes show a lot of promise for later books to fully explore. My real issue with the book, the part that drags it down, is the Kira chapters. Yes, she’s alive. But she’s also stuck in the wormhole and experiencing visions. These visions take up almost half the book, and while they might have been interesting as a separate story, here they just feel like a distraction, and an intrusion on the main events of the narrative. I don’t know what these visions mean for the future of the series, but for me they mark one of the few times I’ve been actively bored by a Star Trek book.
The Fall doesn’t get off to the best of starts, but while I can’t rate this highly on its own, it delivers enough setup to keep me interested in the series ahead.