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The Lives of Dax

(Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  912 ratings  ·  89 reviews
Statesman, scholar, scientist. Engineer, officer, ambassador. Mother, father...and murderer. Virtually immortal, the symbiotic Trill named Dax -- an alien creature who must join with a humanoid host to survived -- has experienced nine very different lives over 357 years of Star Trek history.Part historical epic, part anthology, The Lives of Dax tells the story of each of t ...more
Paperback, 347 pages
Published December 1999 by Pocket Books
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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Mar 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this one because, frankly, I consider DS9 to be the best series, and because Jadzia was my favourite female character. While I agree that including famous Trek characters here and there seemed a little forced (especially if they play out cliches rather than add anything interesting to the plot), overall, I think it's worth it, especially if you want to read into the history and customs of Trill (since DS9 offered only some glimpses of that world). To paraphrase The Smiths, some stories ar ...more
Nine short stories about each of the Dax symbiont's lives. Many of these stories end with a cover-up in order to render them canon-complaint; an understandable impulse, but tiresome. The plots are standalone minisodes, most of them are scaled well to short fiction and decently written, but they're not often about the Trill directly or, when they are, focused on the insularity of Trill society. It teases a lot of fascinating, nuanced issues: Trill who don't want to be joined; the ways that host a ...more
Jul 28, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek, 100-books
An anthology of stories each featuring a different Dax host sounds like a good idea. Then I read the list of authors. Some of them I like, but I know from experience that some are notable for their lack of insight, ingenuity, and story telling skills. Luckily, it's easier to overlook these flaws in short story form than in novels.

The book starts of promisingly enough with Ezri and Vic Fontaine. The device of the anthology is Ezri is explaining Dax's lives to Vic. The Vic/Ezri bits are good, but
Alex Ward
Initial thoughts: This was really fun to read, and a lot more accessible than I thought it'd be. Only major qualms are that I don't really know what the Vic Fontaine thing was all about, and I think I definitely need to finish DS9 before the Jadzia story makes sense. ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Star Trek Fans
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: Shore Leave Goodie Bag?
I really, really liked this--more than I thought I would. Technically, this isn't a novel, but a short story anthology, but it reads more like a novel given its structure and subject--Dax, the Trill symbiont in its various nine lives. As the editor said in the Introduction, "Dax is a living anthology--a collection of stories. The book would be too." And it works--beautifully. Each of the hosts, Lela, Tobin, Emony, Audrid, Torias, Joran, Curzon, Jadzia gets their own story by different authors--w ...more
Heather Domin
I was really excited about this one -- the intro was very Ezri, and I enjoyed the first three stories (Lela, Tobin, and Emony), but the later stories didn't hold my attention as much, I have to admit. And yes, I absolutely did picture the various DS9 cast members in my head for each host. I regret nothing :D ...more
Jan 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
My first Star Trek book combines one of my favorite Deep Space Nine characters with a smart character (studies) concept that is a readable and intriguing exploration of Dax's lives. ...more
Jonathan Lee B.
Dec 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Lives of Dax is walking through a museum with a different artist exhibit every few feet.
While I love the idea of telling Dax's story through an anthology-- with different authors and voices and perspectives-- the main failing of this book was not adequately tying all these stories into *one life*. "How can Ezri Dax be more than the sum of her parts?" is presented as the most important question framing the book, but more could have been done to attempt to answer this. Who, exactly, is Dax separate of the hosts?

That said, many of the individual pieces were fascinating character and/o
Jul 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
I wanted to read this book for ages, because Jadzia was one of my favourite characters on DS9 and I was always fascinated by the concept of the joined Trill.

The book is a collection of short stories - each an episode out of the nine lives that the Dax symbiont spent joined with its hosts. The stories are all written by different authors and thus also differ in the narrative style, the details, the focus of the stories, the POV etc.

While I loved some them of them, I wasn't quite satisfied with
Nov 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An amazing book that I keep coming back to. Ezri as we knew her before the relaunch series, Jadzia at her best dealing with an emotional adventure, Emony´s story finally told (and don´t tell me that you weren´t curious!), Audrid (my favourite of the hosts... write some more books about her !!!) finally explored in detail, and Lela´s struggles as the first host of the symbiont...

This is definitely an amazing collection of stories... All of them, not just those about my favourite Dax hosts.

Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
In nine stories, various authors explore all the different incarnations of Dax through more than three centuries of Star Trek history, from Lela all the way to Ezri. Dax is a fascinating character, and I absolutely love the concept of this anthology, paying tribute to each of the previous hosts that we have only seen little glimpses of during the series. While Jadzia was one of my favourite characters in DS9, I never really warmed up to Ezri (due partially to the terrible decision by the writers ...more
Mar 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Jadzia Dax was always my all time favourite character in Star Trek until I rewatched the entirety of DS9 again. She's now my second favourite (not far behind, to be fair), behind Kira Nerys. I love DS9, I have been obsessed with that show since I was a child, and I will devour anything to do with it. In Goodwill I found this collection and snatched it up.

I really found this to be a great anthology. If we ignore the fanservice by including important Starfleet characters that JUST HAD to interact
Peter Heisler
The premise of this book is really clever, and it's actually a fairly well executed project; the stories work well together and are (literally) bookended by a contribution that does a good job of unifying them and drawing out an overarching moral. Still, it comes up short because it never successfully engages with Dax the symbiont. Instead of having continuity of personality, Dax seems to be more of a repository of memories that can be selectively opened and shut by its hosts, who are all so dif ...more
Jan 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This continues the story of DS9 following the series finale. Think of it as an anthology of the all of Dax's previous lives. Each "life" of Dax has their own personally defining story told within the context of Ezri conversing with Vic in a holosuite. Each of the stories is written by a different author and could all be an excerpt of a larger narrative. It would be nice to have an additional book or series that further dives into the lives of Dax, this book truly adds more shades onto an already ...more
Jun 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ehh. Like a lot of Star Trek novels, the stories in this anthology are hit or miss. The advantage of having multiple authors writing for multiple lives gives the reader a variety of writing styles and stories to enjoy (or not). With only so much of Dax's character being explored in the DS9 series, it seems that the contributors were given a little leeway with how they interpreted the few facts we were given about some of the lesser known lives. If you are a fan of Star Trek: DS9 you should give ...more
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As with all anthologies some stories work better than others - I could have lived without the McCoy appearance - but the Joran chapter was particularly interesting and I loved the backstory of the 'Rejoined' episode. ...more
Crystal Bensley
Aug 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great collection of Dax stories across the host's lives. ...more
Feb 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
hit and miss. lots of miss.
An okay read, but easy for me to put down. Short stories that I didn't consider flowed together as well as they could. ...more
Maurice Jr.
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For a Trill symbiont, life after awhile becomes an anthology. This is a unique book, as it doesn't truly feature a person. It's the symbiont Dax who is the star of this show.

Anyone who watched Deep Space Nine saw Jadzia Idarris and then Ezri Tigan host the Dax symbiont. They routinely made reference to previous hosts, mostly Curzon, friend of Benjamin Sisko. Here we see portions of each life Dax has experienced thus far- all nine of them. Dax has been an integral part of Star Trek history pretty
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dax fans...and anyone who wants to get to know Jadzia, rather than just Dax, for once.
This review will get more detail after the inevitable re-read. But for now, I'll say that this is one of my favorite "Star Trek" books.

The lack of one star is due to the fact that, like others, I was disappointed that each story didn't start and end with a new joining, and that instead they were just a collection of short stories featuring a different Dax host. But they were all interesting stories, and I enjoyed all of Dax's hosts. I also wish the Trill and their homeworld had been more develo
Gabriel Mero
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this anthology book containing one short story for each host of the Dax symbiont. I enjoyed the characters of Jadzia and Ezri Dax on DS9, so getting to learn more about the other hosts was a real treat for me. I especially loved the cameos of key Star Trek characters within these stories: Leonard McCoy, Pike, Saavik, as well as mentions of Kirk and a male Admiral Janeway. I especially loved the story about Joran Dax, the psychopathic killer host; I'd have loved a full-length ...more
Erin Brenner
I loved visiting with a few favorite DS9 characters and learning more about the Dax character. Having different writers tell the various Dax story helps give each Dax character their own voice.

That said, every so often the writing would clunk. The emotions would be overdone, the explanation too given by a character too obvious ("As you know..."), the foreshadowing blatant. Unfortunately, the closing paragraphs of the book displayed that daytime-soap-opera, arch tone and it's stayed with me since
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a series of short stories from each of the symbiant, Dax, hosts. Each chapter is written by a different author but that didn't pan out as bad as I would have thought. Some are in different perspectives but the transition between the host stories isn't overwhelmingly jarring. If you're a fan of Dax and Deep Space 9 looking for more, I would recommend this book. Its purpose was to give hardcore Star Trek fans a little more, and in my case it certainly satisfied my itch. ...more
Jan 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek, sci-fi
I really enjoyed it and wanted to keep reading each story. Joran and Curzon's stories kind of forgot that they were supposed to be from Dax's perspective but still were good stories. It was almost a history of Star Trek told from one person's perspective. It even included a character that I thought they would forget so that made me happy. I can't say there wasn't one story that I didn't enjoy but I did expect Joran's story to go a little darker but it didn't. ...more
Jun 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stephen Hamilton
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable collection of short stories based on the lives of each of the previous hosts of the Dax symbiont. Each story is by a different writer, and in a different style, and most of them feature a cameo appearance by another character from the Star Trek canon, of varying degrees of renown. There is something here for everyone.
This book walking us through a bunch of fun and exciting stories about the Dax. I loved all of the background information and the connections made throughout the known lives of Dax. Palmieri did a wonderful job and telling us a story that we mostly already know through the TV shows but bringing us new information as well. Great book, recommend to all Star Trek fans as a must read.
I really enjoyed this book. A couple of the stories were really surprisingly great! A couple were less engaging, but all worth the time. A great exploration of the Dax character, and the history of Star Trek
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“I think one of the reasons I liked him so much was that he had more faults than the usual, socially acceptable Trill.” —Benjamin Sisko “Dax” 0 likes
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