Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Stargate Rebellion

Stargate Rebellion by Bill Mccay was a pretty good book. I had first read this book a number of years ago and felt like reading it again. The book is a direct continuation of the Stargate movie. Just so you know this book series, which this is the second of, first book is a novelization of the movie, is a separate universe from that of Stargate SG:1. This book deals with the after effects of Colonel Jack O'Neil and Daniel Jackson's killing of the false god Ra in the movie.

The book has two story lines that merge together. The first storyline is about a corporation from Earth, UMC - United Mining Consortium, attempting to exploit the planet and people of Abydos. A general named West decides to turn to the civilian sector and hires the UMC to mine the valuable quartz material that most of the advanced technology Ra used was based on. The UMC has done private and secret work for the government in third world countries before and could be counted on to send a kick back to the general. Things go pretty good for the UMC their exploitation of the inhabitants of Nagada as cheap labor works at first. The Nagadans not being stupid, company makes the mistake that primitive = stupid, figure out that they are being used and treated unfairly. Tension between the natives and the corporation escalate to the point that a military standoff between the natives and U.S. military occurs. This story shows a lot about corporate greed, governmental and corporate lack of long term planning, ignoring of history, and corporations misuse of power. Of the two story lines this was the one I found more interesting. The tactics that the UMC attempt and how/why the tactics fail was very interesting.

The second less interesting but more important to the series overall storyline, is about the power vacuum caused by the death of Ra. With the disappearance of Ra, the humans playing gods begin in fighting for control of Ra's empire. Thoth revives a legendary goddess, Hathor, from stasis, thinking she would be the best choice for leadership. Hathor is both beautiful and deadly, so deadly that Ra had her put in statis (she had committed a near genocide of aliens who had served Ra before he found humanity). Having awakened from being in stasis for after 8000 years, she's pretty upset about the state of things. Her powerful ships had been turned into buildings, the people were weak, and not used to fighting. She quickly uses a combination of seduction and absolute ruthlessness to attempt to gain control of Ra's empire. One of the first things she does is have one of her ships, Ra's Eye, restored. After her ship was restored the first thing to do is to go to Abydos and find out what happened to Ra.

Overall this book was very good, McCay writes very well. The book can be read as a standalone but it mostly is a set-up for the next book in the series. Major spoilers here. The Earthers and planet natives manage to win this battle with Hathor in a somewhat believable way. Namely lots of luck, incompetence on the part of Hathors underlings, her ship having problems from being improperly restored (was sitting as a building and gutted for thousands of years and was quickly restored in around three months), lack of soldiers (she did not have enough combat ready fighters), and arrogance on her part. Considering the technological disparity and overwhelming power Hathor had at her command the people from Earth really should not have had much of a chance, it could have been done poorly but the compounded mistakes and the set up for Earth winning this battle did occur in a somewhat believable manner setting things up for the next novel.

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