Babylon 5 #3: BLOOD OATH
John Vornholt


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Dell, 1995
Reviewed by Joy Calderwood

Science Fiction Series

GíKar, Narn Ambassador to the international space station Babylon 5, is not as pleased as one might expect to get a video communication from a gorgeous Narn woman. The recording shows her ceremonially swearing blood feud, ShoníKar, against him. GíKar heads for the Narn Homeworld to eliminate, once and for all, his deadly enemy MiíRa, but his ship explodes before it is even out of sight of Babylon 5.

The other ambassadors and the human officers of Babylon 5 know just how infuriating GíKar can be, but he is one of their team. Justice is called for Ė if it can be had. Narns will not punish a murder committed in ShoníKar. When Commander Susan Ivanova and Security Chief Michael Garibaldi make an official visit to Homeworld they donít expect to accomplish much. The trip is rather more eventful than planned.

Anyone who knows Babylon 5 knows that GíKar has a great deal more life to live after this book, so author John Vornholt makes no attempt to hide from readers the fact that GíKar has faked his death. He doesnít need that line of suspense; there is plenty left. Every turn of BLOOD OATH has another question to keep us guessing. Who is Al Vernon, the human with the Narn wife, who signs on as guide to Garibaldi at the last moment? What will the cheerfully opportunistic beggar boy HaíMok do next? Will GíKarís aide NaíToth forgive him for ... well, that would be telling.

John Vornholt, veteran writer of science fiction and fantasy, is best known for his many contributions to the Star Trek series of books. Now he has taken on a whole new set of established characters, setting Babylon 5 Books One and Three in the universe imagined by Michael Straczynski. His familiarity with the B5 population even extends to building a base for the character changes which the relentlessly ambitious GíKar will undergo in the future.

I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of writing in BLOOD OATH. Vornholt uses a smooth and balanced prose, handily creating one scene before our eyes and leading us swiftly into the next until the pages are flying by. The things these characters go through! Racing with Ivanova through a street recently shot up by assassins, with the fate of her friends in her bruised hands, made me grateful for my dull little day. Itís nice to know such people exist, even if it is in someone elseís universe.

Aug 2003 Review

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