Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Book Review: Babylon 5 - The Long Night of Centauri Prime by Peter David (Legions of Fire Trilogy #1)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Good storytelling that expertly captures the characters from the series.
Cons: Some fans might be bothered by a timeline changed from the series
The Bottom Line:
Season 5 is start
In the next chapter for these
Well loved characters

Great Continuation of the Babylon 5 Television Series

The Long Night of Centauri Prime is the first of the Centauri Prime trilogy. Based on the television series Babylon 5, this series fills in some of the gaps between seasons 5 and 3. Yes, you read that right. It focuses on the events on the alien planet Centauri Prime and the characters of Londo and Vir from the show.

The year is 2262 and Londo has just become Emperor of Centauri Prime. But what might have been his best chance to help his people and make up for his past becomes an exercise in frustration for him, as he must submit to the will of the evil Drakh Entire. Watched over by his parasitic keeper, he is only fully able to do what they desire. Meanwhile, Vir suspects something might be wrong with his friend and mentor. But can he find out what is really happening in the palace?

Peter David has done a wonderful job with this book. Londo becomes a truly sympathetic character. The climax is almost painful it's so well written and leaves the reader anxious to pick up the next book. Mr. David has captured each character exactly as they appear in the series. It's very easy to "hear" the actors deliver the lines and picture the settings as they appeared on the show. He also works in references to several pivotal and obscure moments in the show, making this seem to fit perfectly in the Babylon 5 universe. The characters not from the series are also fully developed and help advance the story. Interestingly, two of Londo's wives, from an episode of the show that Mr. David wrote, also play important parts in the story.

There is one small detraction for fans of the series. The book plays a little loosely with the timeline of season 5. However, I find the timeline as presented here to be a little more realistic and something only worth noting in passing.

Fans of Babylon 5 who haven't read this book are in for a real treat. This novel is strong enough that people who haven't seen the show will enjoy this book as well, but might be confused by a few things mentioned in passing. Personally, I had trouble putting The Long Night of Centauri Prime down and can't wait to read the next book in the trilogy. A truly top notch read.

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