Zero Sum Game
A spy for the Typhon Pact has stolen the plans for Starfleet's latest technological advance: the slipstream drive. To stop them from unlocking its secrets Starfleet Intelligence recruits a pair of genetically enhanced agents: Dr Julian Bashir and Sarina Douglas. Meanwhile, light-years away, Captain Ezri Dax and her crew on the USS Aventine play a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a Typhon Pact fleet that stands between them and the safe retrieval of Bashir and Douglas from hostile territory.
Reviewed on 17th November 2010
Having really enjoyed David Mack's Destiny trilogy I was looking forward to finding out what he would do next to the Star Trek universe in the first of four Typhon Pact novels. I have to admit I was a little disappointed by it though.
The story follows Julian Bashir and Serena Douglas as they attempt to infiltrate a Breen shipyard to retrieve some stolen plans. The Breen as a culture are explored in much more detail than ever before and Mack makes them seem very real. Sadly the same can't be said of the two Starfleet characters, whose genetic enhancements are played up, come across as superheroes whose power is a touch too awesome to empathise with.
The story starts in a style that I found quite similar to a television episode, with a lot of short scenes running back to back, setting up the plot, before settling down to the main part of the story. I find it quite irritating that a large period of Deep Space 9's story has been missed out between last year's The Soul Key and the Destiny books, which means a number of changes have occurred that are sprung upon the reader. I only wish that they had filled this gap with story rather than trying to gloss it over.
This book makes a traditional slightly dodgy attempt to do romance, which Star Trek has always been particularly bad at. Unfortunately it comes across quite cheaply, and doesn't really seem all that necessary to the plot, though it does serve as some motivation to the characters. Perhaps it is something that will be explored further in the rest of the series.
Although it was not what I would describe as an excellent read, it was better than a lot of Trek books and I'm still looking forward to reading the next three.