Once again Amazon.de outdid themselves and delivered a book that shouldn’t have been out for at least 2 weeks, but I don’t complain ;-) At least now I had another Star Trek book to get into and it’s even a DS9 book. Fearful Symmetry, the second book (or first depending on how you count them) in the current mini-series/crossover between the Mirror Universe-timeline and the DS9-relaunch didn’t impress me all that much, but I was still kind of looking forward to a continuation of that story. So here it finally is.
“Fearful Symmetry” had a big problem from my point of view: It was nearly purely focused on a single character that wasn’t all that appealing to me in the first place, back when she was first introduced into the DS9 universe: Iliana Ghemor. And what was not entirely focused on her, played within the mirror universe, so it might have probably been a better fit outside of the DS9 book series and perhaps as a spin-off of the “Star Trek: Mirror Universe” series.
After I read this second book I eventually understood why the first book was written like that. Iliana’s background actually is relevant for the outcome of this mini series. While the first book was all about the history of Iliana with Dukat and others, this one finally reveals her true goals and her whole plan. There are far less jumps back in time which makes “The Soul Key” feel more relevant to what DS9 is now. Most of the book still plays within the mirror universe, but with more “guest characters” from the original universe.
In the end, the book feels completely like a bridge between the storyline that started when Taran’atar moved in on DS9 and what’s about to come with the Ascendants. I’m still not sure if this whole transition really had to be 3 books long and was necessary. It’s not a bad story, but on some occasions it feels a bit too much. If you look at it as a pure Mirror Universe story, it’s really nice, but for a main-line DS9 book, it progresses the story there a bit to little. But it opens the door for books about the next 4 years until we finally reach the Destiny series (2371) :-)