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Terok Nor: Day of the Vipers by James…
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A visit to the bountiful world of Bajor from the resource-poor Cardassian Union ignites a conflict as personal, political, and religious tensions spiral out of control, changing the destinies of participants on both sides.



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Review from The Literary Snob
First off, the fact that I even picked this book up is a credit to the author or the marketing team or someone.
I admit, I am a "Trekker." In middle school, I read twenty or more Star Trek novels; I haven't picked up one since. They were enjoyable, but they were little more than your average action/sci-fi thrills and I needed something meatier as began to fulfill my role as a literary snob.
Aside from my hope for a Trek novel with more literary merit, what attracted me to Day of the Vipers was its subject matter: the Cardassian occupation of Bajor. It’s a part of Trek history that viewers never saw; rather, we were given glimpses of its repercussions in the series Deep Space Nine. I'll spare you the details (if you're curious, read this article), but the fifty-year occupation of Bajor rolls many of humanities darkest moments into one, i.e. colonization, genocide, and slavery.
This book, the first in a series of three, covers the first ten years of Cardassian intervention. Focusing largely on the conspirators and the manipulation of the common man, it moves slower than one might expect. At first this pace bothered me, but I realized that this is how monumentous events happen—it takes many moves on a chess board, many of which involve pawns, before a game builds into something notable. Swallow does an excellent job of making each "chess move" relevant to the story regardless of how tedious some may seem.
I also like that Swallow does not cast the Federation (the mostly human republic and basis for all Star Trek series) as the perfect society as is too often done. Deep Space Nine was brave enough to venture into some of the corruptness of humanity's future and I was glad to see the author here did the same. Making only a few scattered appearances, the Federation prevents intervention in the brewing conflict due to the same bureaucracy we see in today's society.
The most difficult part with Day of the Vipers is the characters themselves. I found many of them to be unrealistic and flat. One of the primary characters, the chief security officer of the Bajoran city focused on, often played the cowboy and felt a bit too cliché. Gul Dukat, who made many appearances in the DS9 series, seemed too dark and not as dimensional as he is in the series. These character discrepancies were not glaring, but they were distracting from time to time.
Overall, I felt Day of the Vipers captured a part of (future) history that needs to be told. It was done well enough that I'll probably read the next book in the series, Night of the Wolves.
I wouldn't necessarily recommend this book to the non-Trekker, but I do think anyone could follow the simple storyline. The story of such heinous acts is, unfortunately, a story we know all too well. ( )
  chrisblocker | Mar 30, 2013 |
Part James Bond, part Tom Clancy, part Star Wars, but all Star Trek! This is probably the second best Star Trek book I've read in years and one I can certainly recommend to any fan of Deep Space Nine who wants to know how it all really began.

There are several distinct plots that make up the first installment of this three part epic. The main plot focuses on the events that lead up to the Cardassian Occupation of Bajor, with several character driven sub-plots. The action starts with the delicate subtleness of the Obsidian Order's orchestrations that lead up to violent upheavals that send Bajor spiraling out of control and in to the hands of the Cardassian Union. The blurb for this book is quite accurate: It is indeed a tale of treachery, tragedy and hope as the Cardassians come in peace, but lead the way to war.

I mentioned that it is part Star Wars. Infact, there is a character in this book (a freighter jockey named Syjin) who uses a very famous Star Wars line when encountering the USS Gettysburg. You'll know it when you see it.

One of the very nice parts of this book is that at the end, there are three appendixes that detail the characters and other appearences in the book, and several indicate canon items that appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. It's a great and helpful cross reference.

Get this book! Get the series! ( )
  JMHurd | Jul 7, 2008 |
This book is the first of a trilogy of books detailing the Cardassian Occupation, serving as a sort of prequel to the events of Deep Space Nine. This one covers the time from when the Cardassians sent their first diplomatic mission to Bajor to when the Occupation formally began. In terms of gap-filling Star Trek books, it occupies a space somewhere between the greatness of Serpents Among the Ruins and the blandness of Forged in Fire; the information about the period is sketchy enough that the book can still go a number of interesting places. Though I enjoyed how the Cardassians came to Bajor-- as I'd always suspected, it was under a flag of peace, slowly worming their way into society-- it would have been nice to see more Bajorans who thought that the coming of the Cardassians was a genuinely good thing, instead of embracing it for selfish reasons or being manipulated into it. But that's niggling. The sense of place was pretty good-- Bajor felt like a real place and the Bajorans like a real culture-- and the characterizations were mostly solid. Though Dukat never felt much like Marc Alaimo to me (not necessarily a bad thing, given how distant this book is timewise from the Dukat we know), the book's main focus is original character Darrah Mace, who I thought came across very well, as did most of the rest of the book's original characters (or even ones who were fundamentally original because they never did anything on screen, like most of the politicians). It does sort of bother me how many familiar faces there were from fifty years later, though. Overall, a solid book, and I was amused to see Swallow using "kosst" as a Bajoran curse word, much as I have been in my fan fic since 2000.
  Stevil2001 | May 11, 2008 |
This was a lost tales saga of the cardassian occupation of bajor.there were no kirks,spocks or picards in this one ,heros are few and far between. A world were evil has many faces and where puppet masters reigned to do as they please ... its about tragedy and daring to hope when hope is the least likely option.i am a waiting the second and third installments of this saga.. ( )
  reclining_budda81 | Mar 31, 2008 |
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