Sunday, March 4, 2012

Demons of Air and Darkness

Gateways: Book Four of Seven: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Demons of Air and Darkness by Keith R. A. DeCandido
Published September 2001
Read February 14th, 2012

Previous book (Gateways): Book 3 of 7: Star Trek: TNG - Doors Into Chaos
Next book (Gateways): Book 5 of 7: Star Trek: Voyager - No Man's Land

Previous book (DS9 Relaunch): Section 31: Abyss
Next book (DS9 Relaunch): "Horn and Ivory" - Gateways, Book 7: What Lay Beyond

Click to purchase Demons of Air and Darkness from!

Demons of Air and Darkness is also available as part of an omnibus, Twist of Faith, containing the first four novels of the DS9 relaunch:

Purchase Twist of Faith from | |
NOTE: This volume contains Avatar: Book OneAvatar: Book TwoSection 31: AbyssGateways: Demons of Air and Darknessand the novella "Horn and Ivory" from Gateways: What Lay Beyond

Spoilers ahead for Demons of Air and Darkness, the Gateways miniseries, and the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine relaunch!

From the back cover:
Once they moved from world to world in a single step, through innumerable doors that spanned the galaxy.  They were masters of space, and to those who feared them, they were demons of air and darkness.  But long ago they left their empire and their miraculous technology behind.  Now someone has found the key to it, and all those doors have been flung open.
A world near Deep Space 9, threatened with destruction from the distant Delta Quadrant, becomes the focus of a massive rescue effort as Colonel Kira Nerys, her crew, and some unexpected allies fight to avert disaster on a planetary scale.  Meanwhile, as Lieutenant Nog and Ensign Thirishar ch'Thane search for a way to shut down the spatial portals forever, Quark becomes involved in a dangerous game that could determine, once and for all, who will control the Gateways.

About the Novel:

The Gateways crisis turns potentially deadly when antimatter radiation begins spewing from a gateway orbiting the planet Europa Nova.  The planet supports a large population of human colonists spread across the world in a number of cities.  The radiation is being released by a Malon tanker in the far-off Delta Quadrant, the victim of an attack by a Hirogen vessel.  Colonel Kira and the crew of Deep Space Nine rush to the aid of the Europa Nova colony, assembling a small task force of ships to evacuate the planet.  However, it soon becomes clear that they will not be able to evacuate the colony in time. In order to stop the flow of radiation from the other side, Kira and Taran'atar travel through the gateway to the Malon vessel.  There, they find that the crew has been killed by a lone Hirogen hunter.  While Taran'atar keeps him occupied, Kira must find a way to "plug the hole" and save Europa Nova.

Meanwhile, Quark is deep in Orion Syndicate territory negotiating on behalf of the Orions for exclusive rights to the gateway technology.  Of course, as we all know from the previous stories, the "Iconians" who are bartering the gateway tech are, in fact, the Petraw.  Things turn sour for Quark when the Orions come to believe that he is not negotiating in their best interests, and he soon finds himself on the run from bloodthirsty Orion mobsters.

My Thoughts:

I initially read this novel years ago, not as part of the Gateways series per se, but rather as a part of the Deep Space Nine "relaunch," of which I am a huge fan.  Deep Space Nine was always my favorite series, and the novels continued the story quite well in my opinion, at least initially.  Demons of Air and Darkness is no exception, and DeCandido highlights many of my favorite aspects of the DS9 relaunch.  Of particular interest to me is the relationship between Kira and Taran'atar, as well as the budding friendship between Nog and Shar.  The new characters are fleshed out and explored, while not giving short shrift to the original DS9 characters we've come to know and love.  Readers who have not read the previous novels in the relaunch will be a little lost, as many of the characters are new, never having been featured on the television show.

DeCandido has a very good handle on the characters, and is very good at writing Quark in particular.  I could definitely "hear" Armin Shimerman's voice as I read, and his actions rang very true to his character.  Another character is introduced to the DS9 universe in this novel: Gul Macet, originally from the TNG episode "The Wounded."  In that episode, he was played by actor Marc Alaimo, who of course went on to play the reviled Gul Dukat in Deep Space Nine.  Understandably, the fact that they look almost identical has an impact on the story, and obviously, on Kira in particular.

Gul Macet ...
... and Gul Dukat

Final Thoughts:

A nice, solid entry in the Gateways series, but I definitely appreciate this novel more for its continuation of the story of Deep Space Nine than for the Petraw story.  Seeing the DS9 characters come together to save the Europa Nova colony is a great story, and let us be honest, seeing a Jem'Hadar face off against a Hirogen is pretty darn cool.  Great writing that kept me engrossed through the ending (which, of course, is a cliffhanger to be resolved in What Lay Beyond).

Final score for Demons of Air and Darkness: 7.5/10.  Solid.

More about Demons of Air and Darkness:

Also by Keith R.A. DeCandido:

My next read:

My next review will be for either the next Gateways novel, Voyager's No Man's Land, or for the latest release by Dayton Ward, Star Trek: That Which Divides.  Until then!

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