Book Review: ‘Cathedral’ by Michael A. Martin & Andy Mangels

June 6, 2022 at 7:36 am | Posted in Books, Reviews, Sci-Fi, Star Trek | Leave a comment
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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Cathedral is the third book in the Mission Gamma Series. It was written by Michael A. Martin and Andy Mangels, and was released by Pocket Books at Simon and Schuster in October 2002. 

This book felt very mediocre in some areas, particularly the DS9 storyline. In other areas, such as the Defiant storyline, the story really shined. The disparity between the two really makes the book difficult to rate.

The Defiant storyline was superbly done, perhaps some of the best Star Trek I’ve read. I absolutely loved the moral quandary that Bashir, Ezri, and Nog were in when they faced the artifact. Two of them are incredibly injured by the artifact, but one of them is actually helped by the artifact. Should they give up the advantages that Nog receives in order to help Ezri and Julian? Or should they keep their situation the way it is? When do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few? It is an excellent question that is explored beautifully. My favorite character is Julian Bashir, and he really shines here.

The storyline of DS9 was fairly boring. I personally love the Quark-Ro Laren dynamic, but they didn’t have near enough attention in this book. Instead, there is a lot of attention put on the Bajoran-Cardassian plot, specifically from the Bajoran religious side. Sometimes religious discussions in Star Trek are well written, while other times it can be boring and feel preachy. Here, it wasn’t preachy at all, but it was just plain boring to the reader.

Probably some of the best work in the book came with the difficulties felt by the rest of the Defiant crew. They lose three of their best officers in one fell swoop and it becomes incredibly difficult for them to recover. We see Elias Vaughn have to react, which is really well written. 

My criticism of the entire series remains that the authors did not work closely enough together and as a result the books feel disconnected with a thin veil of connection. I wonder if the editor simply added in paragraphs that would tie the books together, because this felt very much like a standalone. I know later series fix this issue, but it was not done well here. 

Overall, I don’t have as much to say about this book, other than some plotlines were excellent and some were fairly boring. As a whole, its far from the worst Trek book I’ve read, but its not a favorite of mine. Two and a half out of five.

Reviewed By: Jonathan Koan for Roqoo Depot.

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