Saturday, January 06, 2007
When I posted my review of The Cylons' Secret a few days ago, several people mentioned author Peter David. Now I know why. Sagittarius is Bleeding, a Peter David book based on the TV show Battlestar Galactica, is quite a bit better than it's companion book. I didn't hate The Cylons' Secret, but I might have if I had read David's book first. David seems to be well known to sci-fi fans for previously authoring several books based on the TV series Star Trek TNG. I had read some of David's other work, such as Sir Apropos of Nothing, which is a decent read. But I hadn't read any of his Star Trek books. Peter David clearly has a good sense of how to take a character from television and make them believable in a book. That, I think, is the main strength of this book. The story itself is a little more complex than the one featured in the The Cylons' Secret, though it isn't really any more complex than any story line we've seen on the show. Laura Roslin, the President of the colonies, is featured heavily in the book, though we also get a chance to read about Adama, Starbuck, Sharon Valerii (still pregnant at the time this was written), Tom Zarek, Gaius Baltar, and a new character named Boxey-- who may sound familiar to those who remember the original Battlestar Galactica. The main story centers around Laura Roslin, who is having graphic hallucinations where she sees lots of blood and keeps hearing the phrase "Sagittarius is Bleeding." Not knowing if she is going crazy or if there is some significance to her visions, Roslin tries to continue on with her duties while coping with ever increasing uncertainty about her own sanity. At the same time, Tom Zarek has decided to champion the cause of a group of religious extremists called the Midguardians, who are looking for equal status within the colonies. One of whom also decides to appoint herself as Sharon Valerii's attorney seeking "equal rights" for the pregnant cylon. David does a good job with the book. The story line is complex enough to be interesting and the dialogue is really good. I often felt that I could see the characters saying the lines and believing David's portrayal of them. I think he proves that a good author knows how to get inside the head of a character, no matter who actually created them. But my favorite part was when he wrote about Gaius Baltar. He did such a good job of portraying Baltar's disjointed conversations with people and his constant distraction with the blond cylon known as Caprica Six. Again, this is a book for fans of the series, but it's worth the read in my opinion. If you're picky about TV-series-based books, skip The Cylons' Secret, but pick this one up.