A Stitch in Time, by Andrew J. Robinson

After the two Holocaust novels, I definitely needed something lighter (although a good Trekkie would argue that if you’re reading about the Cardassian occupation of Bajor, you actually are reading something very like a Holocaust novel, but this one isn’t really about the occupation).

Much as a I love watching Star Trek, most Star Trek novels are so flimsily written that I don’t have a lot of patience with them even as “lite” reading. But A Stitch in Time is a definite exception (there are others, particularly anything by Josepha Sherman). Set in the time immediately after the end of the Deep Space Nine series, it is the story of one of my favourite DS9 characters, Cardassian tailor/spy Garak, written by the actor who played him.

According to what I can dig up online, Robinson appears to have actually done the writing himself, without a ghostwriter, and although I’m always skeptical of actors attaching their names to books I can believe he had a major hand in this, because one of the joys of the book is that the book gets Garak’s very unique voice just right, and you can see how the actor who played the role for seven seasons would have a real feel for that voice. Garak’s story unfolds on several different levels as he returns to a ruined Caradassia after the Dominion War and becomes involved in the debates over what a rebuilt Cardassia should be like. He also tells the story of his early life growing up on Cardassia and training for his ultra-secret career, as well as his more recent years on DS9. The different timelines of the story overlap but are never confusing, and for anyone who likes DS9, Cardassians, and Garak in particular this should be an enjoyable read that will add more depth to one of Trek’s most intriguing characters.

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