I enjoy DS9 because I find that a space station is an interesting setting, I’m curious about the different situations that might happen there and this book really delivered for me on that front. In the original series episode, Devil in the dark, we were introduced to what seems to be one of the series’ most unusual aliens, the Horta. This book is set in the second season and begins with a mother Horta, named Ttan, and her unhatched eggs being brought to DS9 to assist with mining operations on the planet Bajor.
Cardassian high command takes interest in the unique alien and a deep space encounter occurs where the Ttan is kidnapped from the ship. The unhatched eggs are separated from their mother and are taken to DS9, but without their mother’s guidance, the hungry alien babies soon hatch and begin eating away the station, causing a serious emergency. Major Kira leads a rescue mission into Cardassian space and is forced to enter, again, into the horrors of the Cardassian occupation of Bajor.
I have mainly positive things to say about this book, so I looked to some other reviews and found that a recurring complaint is that the characters are underdeveloped and isn’t a true reflection of the progression of these characters during the second season. There’s some parts that seem to justify that, I didn’t find it to be jarring but I can’t seem to remember many noteworthy pieces of dialogue, except from Sisco, to be honest. There’s some scenes with O’Brien and Odo wracking their brains, trying to come up with solutions, and Sisco has to employ delicate diplomacy with Bajoran officials and Cardassian forces, so I happen to think there’s something to enjoy.
The Horta are interesting to read about, the authors explored the characteristics of these aliens in great detail and they have many memorable moments, in that way it feels like a continuation of the episode from the original series. During the station emergency, I couldn’t imagine how they were going to resolve it and payoff was great, not what I expected.
I found this story had a great premise with more substance than I’m used to getting from Star Trek novels, I think the characters were written with affection for the DS9 series. My only complaints are that the characters Quark, Julian Bashir and Dax feel very much like they’re stuck in the background. To sum it up, I have no doubt that this would have made for a unmissable episode, if you like a good space adventure I’m sure you’ll find a lot to enjoy.