Book Review: ‘Lesser Evil’ by Robert Simpson

June 21, 2022 at 6:11 am | Posted in Books, Reviews, Sci-Fi, Star Trek | 1 Comment
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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Lesser Evil is the fourth book in the Mission Gamma Series. It was written by Robert Simpson, and was released by Pocket Books at Simon and Schuster in November 2002. 

This is by far the shortest book in the series. It is so short that it is roughly ⅓-½ the length of the first book. The length of this book feels more like a remnant of the length of the Star Trek books in the 90s while the other three books feel more like the age of Star Trek in the 2000s. 

Despite the short length, this is a highly entertaining story. I was hooked to both plots here, and for the first time, the Defiant plot was the most interesting plotline. Defiant notices a strange energy signature, which leads them to an uninhabited planet with not one but two life forms. What transpires is shocking and highly interesting.

The plot on Deep Space Nine actually reminded me a little of the plot of the later written book Revelation and Dust, although I will say that the plotline here moves incredibly quickly and leaves no superfluous material. As a result, this is by far the fastest paced book in the series. I think that is a serious positive. 

This book is Robert Simpson’s debut novel…and his only Star Trek novel. I was very surprised that Robert Simpson was not given another novel after this, as I thought he handled all of the Star Trek elements, as well as the general novel elements really well. He nailed the “feeling” of Deep Space Nine and also got the characters right. 

This book put the Ro Laren/Quark relationship on the backburner and I really missed it. Maybe the room for more length could have been devoted to their character development. I certainly hope to read more about them in the future books.

The only major problem that I have with this book is that Kira would so easily leave (or be forced to leave DS9) when she is the commander. It would have made more sense to me to switch her job with Ro Larens, and it would have given Laren more time to shine in the second half of the book. Nonetheless, this isn’t a hugely major issue. 

There was a slight sidestep into the storyline with O’Brian, Keiko, Joseph Sisko, and Judith Sisko. I didn’t mind this story, but it really felt out of place. It felt like Simpson was trying a “meanwhile” section to the book. It was a weird choice, but not one I would consider “bad”. 

This book has quite a page turning epilogue and I was really interested in seeing who showed up. This book certainly sets up more DS9 books in the future, and I cannot wait to read them! Overall, I quite enjoyed this book. I think that it is better than it’s predecessor Cathedral and David R. George’s Twilight, but is not as good as This Gray Spirit. Overall, I give this book a 4.5 out of 5. Well done Robert Simpson.

Reviewed By: Jonathan Koan for Roqoo Depot.

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  1. A faster story that raises the stakes for future stories in this new installment of Deep Space Nine. Some good character moments for Vaughn and his daughter Prynn, but the real heart of the story is the DS9 chunks. The reintroduction of the parasites from the TNG Plot offers exciting prospects for the stories to come. The story may not be as satisfying as the previous entries in the Mission Gamma miniseries, but it’s still a very solid effort and enjoyable reading. I’m so excited to see where this story unfolds!

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