Star Trek: The Fall: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack
Cardassia Prime is home to a prideful people who, for centuries, forged alliances with those they believed would strengthen them and their place in the Alpha Quadrant, and expanded their empire at great cost to other worlds. For generations, dissenting voices were silenced by either fear or an early grave. When their wartime ally, the Dominion, suddenly turned on them, seeking to transform Cardassia into a tomb for every last member of their race, their old adversary—the United Federation of Planets— put an end to the carnage, and even now works to help rebuild Cardassia Prime.
To celebrate this alliance, the Castellan of the Cardassian Union is to welcome the Federation president to Cardassia Prime. As a symbol of this deepening friendship, the U.S.S. Enterprise-E is tasked to carry the Cardassian ambassador to the Federation back home. For his part, Ambassador Elim Garak is working with Captain Jean-Luc Picard to oversee the diplomatic reception that will commemorate the last of Starfleet’s personnel finally leaving the homeworld. However, there are malevolent forces at work, who even now strive to “restore Cardassia to its proper place and glory,” and are willing to do anything to achieve their goal.
This second installment in The Fall series focuses on Cardassia – its politics, uneasy alliance with the Federation, and the fallout from President Bacco’s assassination. Garak is now the Ambassador and of course still has plenty of connections. Garak was easily my favorite character from Deep Space 9, so I was happy to see that he was a central character in this novel. Big changes are happening in the Star Trek universe, and I’m glad to see Garak isn’t overlooked.
The Crimson Shadow is a well-paced political thriller. Full of mystery, intrigue, and engaging characters – this installment is exciting addition. I completely enjoyed this fascinating Cardassian adventure from beginning to end. I look forward to the next story in The Fall and to see where the authors take us.