Posted in Blog

StARe 6 – Death Game

Hello everyone!

I did go back and look at ‘Halcyon’ and didn’t find anything in particular that would indicate Ronon wasn’t a full member of the team, so I stand by my reading order in the last post.

Thus, we are going to jump right in, so follow me!

‘Condemned’ was a fascinating episode and ‘Death Game’ was equally as intriguing.

In ‘Condemned’ we find Sheppard and his peeps going to a planet where the Stargate is on a remote island where criminals are sent for their crimes.

Of course, this means that the criminals are the first the Wraith feed on when they come through, so the rest of the population is left alone.

Great deterrent for crime yes?

Actually, yes, as we find out.

Meeting with the leader of the people, Sheppard isn’t too happy about the situation, but Weir insists that how they choose to punish their criminals is not their business. They don’t have any right to interfere and if the criminals are the worst of the worst than better them than the innocent.

Talks of an alliance go forward, but when they head back to the Stargate they’re shot down by the criminals and crash land.

Taken captive, Rodney is forced to fix the damaged Puddlejumper or the criminal leader will start killing his friends.

This is where we meet a man accused of killing someone but insists he’s innocent. We’ve heard it before though right?

Turns out, he isn’t lying.

Death by Wraith for heinous crimes was so efficient and worked so well that they were running out of such criminals. Which meant that lesser crimes were being punished by Wraith death.

Plot twist!

The leader of the people is in league with the Wraith! (a particularly interesting scene happens that I’m sure ya’ll will enjoy!)

He made a deal to supply the Wraith with sacrifices so long as they stayed away from the general populace, but with the Wraith all waking they need more to feed their Hive.

The planet’s leader then has a bunch of innocent people arrested and sent to the island without being tried, let alone accused, of any crimes. Weir and Lorne’s team find this out when an aid tells them they should leave.

A small stare-off where Weir wins, and they leave, happens before we find the planet under attack by a Wraith Hive.

Rodney had managed to get the Stargate working (obviously it was disabled so no one could escape) and the criminals left to another world before our people returned to Atlantis.

I feel bad for the people left behind who had no idea about the deal their leader had made with the Wraith and the fact that they didn’t have the ability to protect themselves or even defend themselves despite having ships of their own. Than again the Wraith let them get technologically further ahead than other planets so no doubt they didn’t have weapons strong enough to mount a defense anyway.

And now, for the book!

Stargate Atlantis: Death Game
SGA #14
ISBN: 9781905586479

‘Death Game’ takes something of a break from the other books we’ve covered so far.

It isn’t bad in any way shape or form and has plenty of action in it including several twists that are superb. However, it has a lot of back story in it from various characters so be warned.

Don’t skip it!

Our usual team has Dr. Radek Zelenka with them this time and Major Lorne shows up too.

Rodney stays behind at the Stargate and discovers that it’s been tampered with so no one can dial out. When Weir has the gate dialed from their end he let’s her know this and Major Lorne volunteers to come through with supplies so that Rodney can try and fix it.

Ronon and Radek meanwhile are on a distant island with ruins looking around when they spy a Wraith cruiser. Not being too happy about that and not being able to contact anyone else via radio, they decide to set out and find their missing friends.

Teyla and Sheppard have been shot down by said Wraith cruiser and Sheppard is dealing with a pretty bad concussion. They find help, for what it’s worth, with some natives but can’t shake the feeling they’re more prisoners than anything else.

Now, Cadman, Carson, Miko and a few others join us in this book once Rodney gets the Stargate fixed, but the main focus are the first six and I really enjoyed that here. A change of pace ya know?

Rodney and Lorne get to talking and Lorne shares some of his past with Rodney. We get to hear a little about his time with the SGC and how the current situation isn’t so weird for him because he’s already seen quite a bit. Not much disturbs him anymore. Including Rodney’s usual demeanor.

Actually, Major Lorne is one of the most laid-back characters of the entire Stargate series. He’s really good to have at your back and can handle himself and his team really well, but he can also get along with almost everyone. He paints too! (we find this out much later in the series, but it’s not a spoiler so I added it here)

Rodney doesn’t exactly share about himself, but we still get to see more of him as a person. There’s a scene with Cadman where she apologizes about some of the stuff she did when inside his head and when Weir says Lorne will come through with supplies so he can fix the Stargate, he isn’t very happy with being asked to do something (again) so difficult when she never acknowledges it.

On the one hand, with Rodney’s incredible and well-deserved arrogance being annoying I can see why people wouldn’t want to make things worse by giving him a big head. However, he still pulls off some extremely difficult solutions under stressful circumstances and it feels here that he doesn’t feel appreciated for his contributions.

I know he can be self-involved and egotistical, but he’s also proven to be more than that and being thanked or congratulated every now and then wouldn’t be a bad thing and the fact that Weir (what we see in episodes) doesn’t say anything like that often (or without prompting from someone first) makes me sympathize with Rodney here.

Teyla and Sheppard’s interactions are fun! We get to hear stories of when Teyla was a child and went through the Stargate the first time. She also tells a story of her people and where they originated from along with a little about her own mother who was something of a wandering soul.

Sheppard let’s us in on how he ended up in the Air Force to begin with and oh, boy is it interesting. His father is a well-off businessman and distant who has an affair with a younger woman who he decides is a better fit than his current wife. Sheppard doesn’t take too kindly to that and apparently says some thing to the new woman that makes his father stop paying for his school.

Sheppard doesn’t have the money to cover the cost and a female friend who is in ROTC is willing to help him get in, but he has to grovel to his father and new mother-in-law so he doesn’t miss a semester which would keep him from being able to join. We can all see how this would cause friction in the family.

This was pretty cool to have brought up actually because a later episode involves Sheppard’s family and we know there’s tension, but this adds another layer to it.

Radek and Ronon are the last of our team to cover and they don’t disappoint.

Ronon doesn’t think too much of Radek. He definitely isn’t a soldier and they have nothing in common so why should he care? Only now they’re stuck with each other and have to rely on each other for survival.

Radek let’s on about his childhood, growing up and finding his place with the SGC. Ronon in turn tells a little about his life via a poem from his planet. They end up stealing a fishing boat to get off the island, but neither actually knows how to sail.

This leads them to eventually being rescued by a passing merchant ship where a very funny miscommunication takes place about what their relationship really is.

By the end of the book Ronon has a new appreciation for Radek and his strength, even if it isn’t like his own. Sheppard has opened up a bit about his own past, which is good because he’s really closed off even from his team when it comes to emotional stuff, and Teyla is the one who helped him. Rodney and Lorne, though it isn’t stated, have developed something of a friendship. With Rodney it isn’t easy, but Lorne definitely has the patience needed to get through the very tough exterior.

This is a LONG post, but a lot happens character-wise so it’s to be expected.

The next post will actually be a catch up of the episodes between this book and the next. There are eleven whole episodes to watch between them and too much to catch you up on in the same post as the book review thus they shall be separate.

See ya’ll soon!

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