Demons of Air and Darkness by Keith R. A. DeCandido: C+

From the back cover:
Once they moved from world to world in a single step, through innumerable doors that spanned the galaxy. They were masters of space, and to those who feared them, they were demons of air and darkness. But long ago they left their empire and their miraculous technology behind. Now someone has found the key to it, and all those doors have been flung open.

A world near Deep Space 9, threatened with destruction from the distant Delta Quadrant, becomes the focus of a massive rescue effort as Colonel Kira Nerys, her crew, and some unexpected allies fight to avert disaster on a planetary scale. Meanwhile, as Lieutenant Nog and Ensign Thirishar ch’Thane search for a way to shut down the spatial portals forever, Quark becomes involved in a dangerous game that could determine, once and for all, who will control the Gateways.

This is kind of an odd entrant into the DS9 relaunch series, since it’s actually the fourth book in a different series. The Gateways series has a novel for each of the pre-Enterprise TV series, plus a couple from some original novel series. I was not interested enough in the concept to check out the other books, so missed how this business with the gateways all started. One gimmick is that each of the novels ends in a cliffhanger and all the endings are compiled in novella form in the seventh book of the series (entitled What Lay Beyond). So, basically, anyone reading the whole series got annoyed six times before having to shell out for one more book containing all of the conclusions. Irksome!

DeCandido was better at keeping thoughts in-character for the DS9 cast than he was in the Buffy book I read by him, so there were some good character moments, though the basic plot was pretty dull. The writing was also heavily reliant on dashes—like so—to the point where it became distracting. Also, if books like this even have editors, someone should inform them that “a isolinear rod” and “a instrument panel” are grammatically incorrect.

Like the others in the series, Demons of Air and Darkness ends on a cliffhanger. Its resolution is the novella “Horn and Ivory,” which basically just deals with Kira having taken a gateway to Bajor’s past and realizing that she needs to stop waiting for Sisko to come back and take the responsibility of running the station off her shoulders. Or something. I didn’t read any of the other novellas, so if there was a definitive conclusion to the events of the series, I don’t know what it was. And don’t really care.

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