Saturday, September 6, 2014

Stargate SG-1: Hostile Ground

This is book one of the Apocalypse Series, a series I knew nothing about until Shoreleave Convention in Baltimore a few weekends ago. I went mostly to see and meet Richard Dean Anderson (and Teryl Rothery and Robert Picardo were hilarious!), but I was pretty excited to find the Fandemonium booth. They had copies of all of the most recent releases, as well as two I was told were not commercially available at the time. I bought anything I didn't already have! Unfortunately, I missed the social function later in the day, but I got two of my purchases signed, including Hostile Ground signed by Sally Malcolm.

Hostile Ground, book #25 of the SG-1 series, is set just after the episode "One Hundred Days" and before "Shades of Gray." This is actually an interesting time period, with O'Neill coming back from Edora and shortly thereafter being "recruited" to the dark side. When I first started reading, I found myself slightly annoyed at this- it's a period I prefer to imagine was short and as painless as possible. However, it does make sense to explore this gap and I got over my cringing empathy for the whole situation between Jack and the others as he tries to alienate them as part of his mission in "Shades of Gray" once the action got going.

Book one of the Apocalypse Series
I would definitely recommend watching "One Hundred Days" and "Shades of Gray" before reading this, but a vague memory of the episodes would suffice. We already know Jack is acting out the whole traitorous rebel thing for Maybourne's sake but this novel goes into his thoughts and feelings on everything, as well. There's some angst.

The story starts out with a close call and an injury on some supposedly routine mission off-world. Something goes wrong when Carter dials the gate and the teams finds themselves in an unpleasant, radioactive wasteland. Team dynamics are at the forefront for this part, one of those TV situations where you wish everyone would just explain themselves, except in this case, Jack can't because of his top-secret mission. Back at home, the alliances with the Asgard and the Tollan are in jeopardy. The plot gets pretty twisty and exciting after this!


This is a great one! What I thought were a few minor flaws as I read actually explained themselves rather brilliantly. I'm excited for the rest of the series, perhaps a trilogy? I do recommend this book to anyone familiar with season three of SG-1. Impatient people may want to wait for the sequels to come out first.


My single gripe after reading this book is that one of the Amam, I believe, was deliberately described in such a way to throw us off for a few more pages. I've never heard of a Wraith with black hair, aside from maybe a queen. However, I did like the way they were brought into the story. I wasn't sure they were Wraith till we were introduced to the ship, and it was actually interesting to hear them described from SG-1's point of view of never having seen them before. They are well-written, too. I like "Crazy," the scientist. I may be totally wrong about where things are going, but I can imagine a slightly unstable group or individual going on some mad experiment to find new feeding grounds or search for Ancient technology and ending up in the Milky Way all alone. Of course, it may be something to do with the fact that it is 100 years in the future! I will like it less if it's a whole invasion, I think. But it's fair game. We will see. 

Speaking of which! I did like the subtle hints. Starting with the DHD definitely being dialed for Earth (though we have seen dozens of explanations for how that could happen), the daylight thing, the use of the word "miles" (although are we just ignoring the fact that the whole galaxy seems to speak English for no reason?). It was the red paint on the floor that did it for me, and I liked the reveal. I wasn't expecting Rya'c, that's for sure. But it explains why the boy and girl in the tent city thought Teal'c might be Dix!

The other big twist for me was the chapter that started out with Colorado Springs being on fire. I was so shocked I had to put the book down and gibber to myself for a minute or two. Of course, I told myself early on that the situation would not be resolved back to normal by the end of this book. But this is a doozy! We don't just have to get SG-1 back to Earth. We're going to have to fix the whole darn timeline! I am pleased. 

Plus, we're going to have to erase this timeline from everyone's memory as well, in order to get back to the starting point of "Shades of Gray." O'Neill has dropped the act, Carter knows more than she should, Makepeace is dead and somewhat redeemed, Hammond knows who the mole is. Not to mention the state of Earth, having been attacked by the Goa'uld. I sort of like that we are playing in a timeline that won't exist, but without going totally AU. It will really keep canon perfectly safe. I do love my novels sticking to canon. 


7 out of 7 chevrons locked!


6.5 out of 7 chevrons locked!

Meaningful, interesting plot:

7 out of 7 chevrons engaged!


The angst between O'Neill and Carter during "One Hundred Days" and "Shades of Gray" isn't my favorite normally. I do like that it adds to their overall relationship and I firmly believe, while O'Neill could enjoy a life of fishing and farming in general, it's not what he ever wanted in this situation. As he says in this book, he couldn't live that way while he knows he is needed at home. I think that episode was more about making due with what he thought was his final fate. I also choose to believe he was trying to let Laira down gently when he told her he wasn't happy to leave. He doesn't seem to dwell on it or make a point to go back in the series, except for the ruse with the NID plot. So, I was pretty happy with this story. O'Neill knows he is hurting Carter by being distant and regrets that he has to do it, as we can see later in "Shades of Gray." He also drops it eventually in this novel, which is a good relief. There is not so much shippyness as closeness, and it is enough to keep me happy. We're not hard to please, right SG-1 writers and producers? Apparently.

No comments:

Post a Comment