One of the founding worlds of the Federation, Andor, has a major problem; they are unable to have children and their race will become extinct in a century unless a solution is found. Normally, they would be able to call on the Federation for help, but they have given up their membership in the federation. The Typhon Pact sees an opportunity to bring Andor into their fold, thus adding a powerful ally to their group. The Tholians have information needed to find a solution to the Andorian problem, but will only share parts of it. The Federation also has what is needed to find the cure, but since Andor is no longer a member, the successor to President Bacco, President Pro Tem Ishan is playing a political game in an attempt to get himself elected to the highest civilian position in the Federation.
Former Starfleet officer Thirshar (Shar) ch’Thane sees the problem and sends a message for help to Chief Medical Officer Julian Bashier on the new Deep Space 9 station. Julian cannot morally and ethically refuse a call for medical help. The key to the cure for the Andorian problem lies in a highly classified Meta-Genome. Julian tries to go through proper channels to secure information on the meta-genome, but is refused. This leads him down a path that could cost him his rank, his career, and if he’s not careful, his very life.
Julian recruits Serena Douglas, a DS-9 security officer as well as Section 31 operative to secure the meta-genome information. Next, Julian recruits six prominent experts on genetics, four of which answer his call and help attempt to discover the cure. Once a cure is found, Julian has the task of delivering it to Andor. With the help of Ezri Dax, he just might be successful.
This series of books, The Fall, so far has chronicled a great deal of political maneuvering and A Ceremony of Losses is no exception, but in this installment, the action ramps up to a dizzying pace with conflicts between allies and enemies alike. David Mack writes a well-paced story that starts out slowly and gradually crescendos to a resolution that has the characters throwing in all the chips to achieve their goals.
Anyone who knows Julian Bashier from the DS-9 television series knows that he was never afraid to stand up to his commanders to do what is right according to the oath he swore to aid those in need, whatever the cost. Mack paints a picture that makes Julian heroic in his desire to do what is right, thus inspiring others to do the same. Ezri Dax, who was never a particularly strong character in the television series, has obviously grown up and throws in with Julian. She struggles for a time in making her decision between following orders that come from the highest echelons in Starfleet and what she knows is the right thing to do, but in the end, she sees what must be done and does it without hesitation.
The story is open ended and while the resolution for the Andorians is clear, what happens to our major characters is not, and this serves to make me eager to read the final two installments of The Fall.
The events of this story happen almost concurrently with the first two books in the series and the three together show an Alpha Quadrant in the throes of clandestine conflict.
Interesting characters mixed with an interesting story by David Mack make a book that I recommend on the highest level to Trek fans.
Well, there it is…