Finally a new Star Trek book for me :D Having spent most of my spare time recently with technical literature, reading some SciFi again was just what I needed. If you’re not into Star Trek, you can skip this post altogether, since the new Typhon Pact trilogy is definitely again something only people who’ve read tons of other Star Trek stuff can really appreciate.
Zero Sum Game takes place about a year after the events of A Singular Destiny and the Typhon Pact flexes its muscles by getting their hands on the schematics of the Federation’s slipstream drive. What follows is some behind-enemy-lines action with Julian Bashir and his old flame, the also genetically enhanced Sarina Douglas with Ezri Dax and the USS Aventine acting as backup.
Sadly, after the extremely epic Destiny series, the plot here feels a bit flat. The focus is the infiltration of a Breen colony, which definitely makes for some nice intel on the mysterious enemy of the Federation, but that’s about it. In the end the author himself adds some nice easter egg with the admiralty doubting the missing report. Especially to the end some things felt a bit rushed and “too convenient” to be plausible. But perhaps they really were (I’ve only read the first book of the trilogy so far), in which case I’ll have to edit this review ;-)
The other focus of the whole story is Julian and how he still enjoys playing spy-games. He even has an argument about this with Ezri early on which for some reason is never really picked up again through the rest of the story. Julian always was a bit of a weird character, in my opinion: Brilliant but at the same time completely naive. That combined with him acting as a spy leads to some classic Bashir-moments where you’d love to hit him in the face ;-)
In this end this book lives from its in-depth look into Bashir’s soul and how he mostly perceives espionage as this romantic James Bond-like experience, and finally some information about the Breen. For this alone it is absolutely worth a read for Star Trek fans and never gets “dull”. That said, some parts of the plot still feel weird and far to convenient for the protagonists. If you can ignore these, it is a nice story fully packed with action.