Nut Ink. Mini reviews of texts old and new. No fuss. No plot spoilers. No adverts. Occasional competency.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Babylon 5 : To Dream in the City of Sorrows (1997)

Author: Kathryn M. Drennan | Page Count: 278

"Maybe," said Sinclair, "but I sometimes think the Vorlons just make up nonsense to amuse themselves at our expense."

The only Babylon 5 book that is 100% part of the five year canon. It's fully sanctioned by creator J. Michael Straczynski and is penned by his then wife, Kathryn M. Drennan. It's the untold story of what happened to Commander Jeffrey Sinclair after he left the station. It relies heavily on your knowledge of the TV series and as such it’s stuck between having to remain faithfully tied to it and trying to present something exciting and independently new.

Unfortunately, sandwiched between the potential of the beginning and the very average ending is a middle made up of lots of meh. The dialogue is clunky, the story lacks any real sense of urgency or danger and most of the people are uninteresting. It focuses on my least favourite characters (Catherine Sakai… give me a break!), so unless you found Jeff and his partner to be charismatic and exciting (if you did, you need to get out more) then you may feel similarly.

Marcus Cole's back-story was what kept me reading because I really liked him in the series. (Mentioning him isn't spoiler, he's on the cover.)

If you've read and enjoyed this kind of pulp tie-in novel before, for any of the sci-fi franchises, then you can probably estimate before even opening whether or not the content will satisfy your needs; it's not taxing or overly engaging but it has a huge audience, so if that's you then pick it up to complete your B5 experience.

1 because I’m not a total monster out of 5

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