11 SepThe Soul Key 35/52

After the whirlwind of the Borg war in the Star Trek: Destiny series, the books since have been involved in the aftermath of the war and picking up the pieces of the Federation. Having been reading the books in chronological order by date released, was I in for a surprise for this next one.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Soul Key by Olivia Woods doesn’t actually happen in the timeline built up in Destiny, Titan, Voyager, and Next Generation series. Instead it jumps back in time several years to carry on a storyline started before the Destiny trilogy even happened.

The Mirror Universe lacks an Emissary to the Prophets that the primary universe has in Benjamin Sisko. Though the mirror Sisko’s destiny had been to become Emissary like is primary double, he was killed during the Terran rebellion. In the Primary Universe, an insane Iliana Ghemor is determined to fulfill that prophecy and become the Mirror Universe’s Emissary and ultimately lead the Bajoran people.

Becoming Emissary is not her only endgame. Years ago she was altered both physically and mentally to become Kira Nerys. Since then the division between who she was and who she is no longer separate; the two personalities have blended, making her crazy. Her ultimate goal is to rid the myriad universes of every single Kira Nerys in existence.

Admittedly the jump back in time disappointed me a little. I was hoping to continue on with the Borg war aftermath story arc*.

The storyline interested me at first. I’ve always been fascinated by the mirror universe and the variety of stories that could be told about the mirror version of the characters I love. The unfortunate thing about this book is that as I worked my way through it, I couldn’t find myself caring very much about the characters or what was going on. There was action sure, but most of the time you wonder if it will all come to a purpose.

The portions with the regular universe characters didn’t really contribute to the story at all, except for the speedy resolution at the end of the book. And while the lack of main characters shouldn’t automatically make this book bad, it felt as though their inclusion in the story was more of an afterthought – “oh yes, I suppose we should mention them too.” I felt there was little to contribute to the development of the main characters.

Apparently this is the conclusion book to a several book story arc about Iliana Ghemor. Perhaps if I’d read those other books it would have made me appreciate this book more, but admittedly The Soul Key has made me hesitant to even bother with the previous books. Then again, it could shed more light on this storyline and why I should care.

All in all if you’re a really big Deep Space Nine fan I’d recommend you at least look at this book. It plants the seed of some storylines to come (though admittedly we already know the outcome of them given the Destiny books). If you’re a Trek fan, you don’t really need to read this book.

I give this book one star.

* The DS9 book that follows this one still doesn’t join up with the post-war timeline. Even though I was disappointed by not following that arc, I enjoyed the following book enough to be able to say my disappointment in not following the arc did not contribute to my overall dislike of this book.

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