Well, every free chance I got, I read the book, so, I’m done! I’m doing a review, with very few spoilers (some scenes mentioned, but no, I’m not tattling on who dies or gets shot, etc.)
With the threat of the Asurans hovering over Atlantis like the sword of Damocles, and casualties mounting among the crew, the promise of devising a weapon from new Ancient technology is simply too good to pass up, only this time it’s John Sheppard who pushes for its discovery, with disastrous personal consequences….
One of the things I truly enjoyed about this novel is that we get tiny but valuable insights into the team via small, nearly inconsequential things mentioned in passing. For example, the mail call, never seen on the series itself, plays a key part in revealing Sheppard’s escalating problems with the stress of command (or rather, people constantly dying because of his decisions). An unexpected letter arrives that just might be the final nail in the coffin.
The major plot revolves around the team visiting P7L-418, the site of a massive battle between the Ancients and the Wraith. The planet is surrounded by the centuries-old remains of both Ancient and Wraith ships alike, while on the surface, the team searches through old ruins for Ancient technology that might help them fight the Asurans (aka the human form replicators). Instead, they encounter a native civilization who possess the ore Aradite, which could just be the weapon the Lanteans are seeking.
The problem is that the locals, the Falnori and the Nistra, are busy feuding over raids each accuse the other of perpetrating. Elizabeth Weir arrives to negotiate, but disaster strikes, pushing the opposing parties towards war and exacting an excruciating cost from Sheppard’s team.
To say more would to spoil the plot, but needless to say the author’s got the Sheppard-McKay snark down pat, and while the show often downplays Weir, Teyla and Ronon, in this tale they get more than ample ‘airtime’ and things to do (and even think!). Major Lorne, Lt. Cadman and Dr. Zelenka are on hand as well, and what is enjoyable is seeing everybody’s point of view on Sheppard as he struggles through the unfolding disasters he believes are all his fault. We get references to episodes, although it becomes apparent partway through that the author wrote this before season 3 aired, as one comment by Sheppard was answered in “McKay & Mrs. Miller,” but authors of paperbacks are never privy to unaired episodes, so it’s an okay teensy flub.
I found the novel to be a very good read (which is why I read it last night till I fell asleep – very long day – then more before I went to work, then at lunch, then when I got home as I just had to see how it ended).
That’s it! (And oh, big thanks to my friend Martha for getting me a copy at the convention this past weekend – that’s how I got an early copy.)
This book is due out in September 2007 – sorry, don’t know the exact date.
The author’s homepage is at: http://www.elizabethchristensen.com/index.html
You can purchase it direct from http://www.stargatenovels.com/bookshop.php or any online book dealer such as Amazon, Borders, etc. Cost is $7.95 U.S. plus postage, etc.
If you’re dying to know any particular details, you can email me at wraithfodder at gmail.com
NOTE: The Comments below may contain some spoiler discussion on the novel, so tread carefully!