When I first heard of this novel and read the blurb, I assumed that it was a “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” zombie story – which sounded incredibly cool. Naturally, I bought it as soon as I could.
It isn’t a zombie novel.
If anything, it’s quite reminscent of the season five episode “Empok Nor“. However, and this is the really interesting thing, “Station Rage” was published about two years before “Empok Nor” was first broadcast.
Basically, “Station Rage” is what “Empok Nor” would be like if it had been made during one of the earlier seasons of DS9.
The story begins with O’Brien and Odo examining some unexplored tunnels somewhere in the depths of Deep Space Nine and dodging the occasional Cardassian booby trap left over from when Cardassian forces abandoned the station after Bajor gained independence.
After a while, they discover a sealed room – it contains a row of what they believe to be Cardassian coffins – each one containing a Cardassian soldier wearing archaic military uniforms.
Commander Sisko and the rest of the senior staff are unsure what to do with this. Although they are morally (and legally) obliged to inform the Cardassian government of their discovery, they also fear that the Cardassians may use the recovery of the coffins as an excuse to re-take the station. However, unknown to them, it soon turns out that the Cardassian soldiers are not as dead as they initially thought that they were…
As “Star Trek” novels go, this one is definately very readable and it has its fair share of action and suspense too. One thing that I really liked about this novel was that there were quite a few chapters showing things from the perspective of the Cardassian soldiers, who aren’t presented in an entirely unsympathetic way either.
It would be very easy for a less experienced writer to just portray them as “the baddies” and focus exclusively on Sisko and the crew of DS9, but Carey actually makes you almost want them to succeed too. This adds a lot of suspense and tension to the novel too – since although it’s fairly obvious who will end up winning, there’s still a real sense of uncertaintly about this throughout the novel.
There are a few other interesting things in “Station Rage” too, such as the descriptions of the many mysterious derelict and abadnoned tunnels, rooms and corridors on Deep Space Nine. Since these weren’t shown that often on the TV show itself, it was kind of interesting to see them in more detail.
One slight critcism of this book is that one of the central parts of the plot was resolved slightly too quickly and easily (with just a few lines from one of the characters explaining how they’d solved this problem). This was slightly disappointing, given that it had been a key source of suspense in the later parts of the book.
All in all, this novel is definately worth reading and it’s a fairly exciting and interesting book too. The characterisation is fairly good too, especially for the Cardassians. If I had to give it a rating out of five, then I’d probably give it a four.