Friday, June 13, 2008

Stargate SG-1: Survival of the Fittest

"Survival of the Fittest" is the second "Stargate SG-1" book that I've read by Sabine Bauer. The first one was "Trial by Fire", and I mention in that review that the story was dark, with detailed torture scenes, and a super annoying character. I gave it four stars at Amazon. Probably should have given it only three stars, but anyway back to "Survival of the Fittest." If I have enough courage, I'll give this book only three stars on Amazon... just did not like it. The Amazon product page doesn't have the back cover text, so here's what that says (note the British spelling, not my typos):

"Colonel Frank Simmons has never been a friend to SG-1. Working for the shadowy government organisation, the NID, he has hatched a horrifying plan to create an army as devastatingly effective as that of any Goa'uld. And he will stop at nothing to fulfil his ruthless ambition, even if that means forfeiting the life of the SGC's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Janet Fraiser. But Simmons underestimates the bond between Stargate Command's officers. When Fraiser, Major Samantha Carter and Teal'c disappear, Colonel Jack O'Neill and Dr. Daniel Jackson are forced to put aside personal differences to follow their trail into a world of savagery and death. In this complex story of revenge, sacrifice and betrayal, SG-1 must endure their greatest ordeal..."

Ok, a few adjectives from that blurb are correct: horrifying, savagery and death. Complex? sure, why not. But it's also boring. The complexity bogs it down and the pace just is too slow. There is a ton of detail in the scene descriptions which I often find fun b/c I can picture the book as a movie. But this storyline is just too slow would need some massive editing to become a movie, and even then I'm not sure it would be any good.

This book apparently takes place immediately after the Season 5 episode "Menace" where Reese the human-form replicator is found, studied, and killed by SG-1. The death of Reese apparently caused some MAJOR angst between Daniel and Jack, but I sure don't recall seeing it in the TV show. The book chomps onto this supposed angst, stirs in a trap set by the NID to get SG-1 out of the way, adds Nirrti to compete with Frank Simmons for 'most evil bad guy', and flavors with Harry Maybourne, Bra'tak, and General Hammond going on an off-world mission together. We see into the mind/motives of Jack (take the blame in order to protect the team) and we see General Hammond struggle to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder from his tour in Viet Nam. Given that Sabine likes to write about torture, we get a few detailed scenes about that (Jack, Janet, and Sam), we hear language that would NEVER come out of the mouth of Jack and Hammond, and we get to see Sam run around in her undies with every man in sight drooling in sexual paralysis. Roll it all together and its just not a very enjoyable book.

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