Posted in Blog, Book Review, Reviews

StARe 3 – Reliquary

I see you have returned. You must like me!

Another awesome read happened and it happened to be Stargate Atlantis: Reliquary. Here’s the info.

Stargate Atlantis: Reliquary
SGA #2
ISBN: 9780954734374

And on we go!

This book comes after Season 1, Episode 12: The Defiant One.

Sheppard, McKay and two other scientists travel fifteen hours to see if they can get an Alteran defense weapon on-line. They can’t because there’s no breathable air on the weapon and they don’t have suits with them. Before they turn around though an SOS from the planet draws their attention and, after wheedling and cajoling with Weir, they go see what they can find out.

The Wraith Hive ship was obviously brought down by the weapon in orbit and since the war that sent the Alterans tucking tail and running back to the Milky Way ended 10,000 years ago it had to have been there at least that long.

With no life signs detected they believe its safe to explore. Unfortunately, someone has survived. To be precise, a Wraith has survived and this is when we find out that while sleeping, the Wraith don’t give off life signs. The Hive isn’t a battle ship but a supply carrier and it had a hold full of humans that the Wraith lived on before turning on his own and feeding on them to survive.

Cunning and lethal, this is our first real time seeing a Wraith in action and can I just say ‘dang boy’. The Wraith drains one of the scientist’ before feeding on the other to distract Sheppard and McKay from following it. Sheppard tries to stop the Wraith from finding their ship and leaving the planet.

McKay stays with the second scientist who notes that Rodney’s changed. Having been fed on, the scientist has lost several decades of his life and urges Rodney to go and help Sheppard. Rodney refuses because there’s a chance other Wraith are simply sleeping and may wake to finish the scientist off.

He does it himself by putting a bullet in his head when Rodney’s back is turned.

I mention this because Reliquary does and Rodney’s face is heartbreaking during the scene.

The Wraith is killed by a Drone from a rescue team Weir sent out early and they leave the planet.

We thus, find ourselves here.

The first thing the team notices is the feel of the planet. The repository itself looks almost identical on the outside to one SG1 found in the Milky Way that held incredibly important data. This doesn’t make the uneasy feeling go away, however.

The inside of the building is a mix of Alteran and Thesian architecture. A little unsettling as it’s just off enough from Atlantis that they put the feeling down to that. They come back with a larger group because it’ll take more than just the four to uncover what the repository holds.

While exploring a lower level, they discover chambers that resemble prison cells more than anything. Teyla and Kavanagh (you dislike him, I promise) think the lower levels were used by the Alterans as a hospital to treat the inhabitants and to act as a quarantine. Rodney and Sheppard are of the belief that it was used as a testing site for biological weapons.

The dead bodies sealed in the rooms and some obviously having died painfully are something of a giveaway.

Further down Sheppard and a few others follow Rodney as he leads them to what he suspects is a ZPM or something similar, if his sensor is right. They are attacked by strange creatures that appear out of thin air and are forced to seal themselves inside the room the energy signature is coming from.

There, they find a man in stasis who they wake thinking he’s an Alteran left from the war.

He isn’t. He was once part of a race called the Koan who had developed biological weapons to keep the Wraith away. Unfortunately, it also messed the Koan up.

Dorane claims to have begged the Alterans for help, but that they refused to intervene, so he had to do something. He was allowed into Atlantis where he stole data and then proceeded to experiment on his own people and the Thesians. When the Alterans found out, they bombed the place not realizing there were lower levels that hadn’t been taken out.

Dorane uses a mind control drug (after killing a few people) and takes everyone but Rodney and Sheppard over, leaving those two behind on the planet to return to Atlantis to retrieve data he needs to finish his work.

Some of the Koan escaped Dorane’s control and live away from the repository that sends out a frequency that makes them easy to control, with a side benefit of madness tossed in.

The drug Dorane forces Teyla to give to Sheppard is actually a retrovirus he created that made a bastardized version of the ATA gene. It starts turning him into what are now the Koan. Only, it isn’t stable, and he isn’t going to last long before the changes kill him.

They make it to Atlantis, with Sheppard pretending to want to help Dorane because his own people won’t trust him now, and set out taking the city back.

After a bit of trouble, they manage to do just that, with Dorane becoming less than a pancake under a PuddleJumper.

What I liked about Reliquary-

The mind control aspect was really cool in this one and the fact the Sheppard was genetically messed with was also fun. I love how the books so far have integrated themselves seamlessly into the tv series without being detrimental to the story line. Which of course would be the point, but I’m really glad these exist because the different secondary characters don’t usually get a chance to shine and here, they do.

I also really enjoyed the moment where Sheppard asks for a gun and McKay demands that Sheppard gives his word that he won’t shoot himself with it. The reference to the episode ‘The Defiant One’ gives us a place between episodes to read this book but it also speaks to their developing friendship that Sheppard would recognize and seriously consider the issue instead of just lying to make McKay feel better. That they see the deaths as personal failures on their part is another aspect of the characters that I adore and appreciate the author adding it in.

All in all, another fantastic book and I can’t wait to tell everyone about the next book Halcyon, cause if you thought the first 3 were good, are you in for a surprise!

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