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Day of the Vipers

(Star Trek: Terok Nor #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  477 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Before the Dominion War and the decimation of Cardassia...before the coming of the Emissary and the discovery of the wormhole...before space station Terok Nor became Deep Space 9™...there was the Occupation: the military takeover of an alien planet and the violent insurgency that fought against it. Now that fifty-year tale of warring ideologies, terrorism, greed, secret in ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 510 pages
Published April 2008 by Pocket Books
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  477 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
"Day of the Vipers" was an excellent Star Trek story. In fact, it is one of the best I've read in a long time. It is a dark and gritty story with the backdrop being the slow-motion fall of Bajor.

Taking place decades before the events of Deep Space Nine, Bajor is a relatively isolationist planet minding its own business. Unfortunately, Bajor has come under the gaze of the Cardassian Union which needs resources for its native population. Seen through the eyes of several key players from a Bajoran
Star Trek: Terok Nor: Day of the Vipers by James Swallow This book covers the years 2318 to 2328 - or rather, the day of official first contact between peace loving, religious Bajor and expansionist, war-torn Cardassia, up till the official start of the occupation.
It all starts when a Cardassian ship returns a lost Bajoran trading ship to Bajor. What is first seen as a friendly gesture by a race that some district ministers have contact with, leads to settlements of a persecuted religious minor
Apr 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi, star-trek, novel
The Terok Nor trilogy got me back into reading Star Trek novels, on the recommendation of a friend, for the first time since Junior High, more than 10 years ago.

Day of the Vipers is the first book in the series and outlines the period leading up to the Cardassian Occupation of Bajor, as well as the Occupation's early years.

What I most appreciated about it was how it shed light on the political dynamics. The Occupation didn’t just happen because the Cardassians were evil; there were economic and
Chris Blocker
Apr 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Review from The Literary Snob

First off, the fact that I even picked this book up is a credit to the author or the marketing team or someone.

I admit, I am a "Trekker." In middle school, I read twenty or more Star Trek novels; I haven't picked up one since. They were enjoyable, but they were little more than your average action/sci-fi thrills and I needed something meatier as began to fulfill my role as a literary snob.

Aside from my hope for a Trek novel with more literary merit, what attracted me

Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Aimed at only a small subset of certain Star Trek fans, this book managed to entrance me. Set around 50 years before the beginning of Deep Space Nine, Day of the Vipers is the first book in a trilogy telling the story of the Cardassian occupation of Bajor (something which becomes a major plot point of the TV show).

This book specifically shows events that lead up to the occupation beginning. It's a character-focused story which contains very few recognisable people from the TV show outside of Duk
Jun 24, 2015 rated it liked it
This was a pretty interesting book.

However, if things happened according to the timeline used here, it would make certain characters considerably older than they seem in the series. I guess that could be chalked up to alien biology, but in the case a of one human character, I don't see how that would work out. Overall, I found that rather distracting.

As for the plot, I thought it did a really good job of showing just how insidious the Cardassians could be, how adept the Obsidian Order is at set
Mar 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, sci-fi
Well it was okay but kind of mediocre. The plot is strong but characterization and writing style is bland. I can't pick out many traits unique to the characters so it was hard to remember who everyone was and what had happened to who. The pace of the narrative dragged and conversations were interspersed with far too much narration. There was too much bland reflection and so the story did not feel exciting very often.

Dukat's role felt forced and like the writer didn't want to make up their own c
Mar 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: star-trek
Day of the Vipers, part one of a trilogy, is a prequel to the opening of my favorite Star Trek series, Deep Space Nine. This book addresses the question of how Bajor came to be occupied by the Cardassians, with the main characters being the infamous Skrain Dukat and Darrah Mace, a Bajoran law enforcement officer. The similarities between the two cultures is not nearly as poignant as knowing the holocausts with which the TV show begin and end; reading this book, we know the consequences of the ma ...more
Aug 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cardassians must age very gracefully indeed, because Dukat would’ve had to be in his 70s on DS9 and he definitely didn’t look that age. Share those anti-aging secrets, my dude!

Anyway, the review.

This is not a fast-moving plot. Like, at all. There are a lot of people and they talk *a lot.* It’s sometimes frustrating, I think in part because I’ve watched DS9 and I know how this particular story ends (hint: it’s the Occupation. It ends with the Occupation). But when the plot does move, it’s really
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: genre-star-trek
The premise of this book is really intriguing -- the insidious politics of how Cardassia wormed its way into occupying a prosperous, stable Bajor -- and it did deliver on that adequately. I also appreciate how it made both societies/planets feel like real places, with vast richness of histories and cultures. Unfortunately, most of it had a distinct lack of narrative momentum (this was supposed to be my "easy fun" read when I started it back in early December!), and I also couldn't remember relev ...more
Richard Harrison
May 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Considering it has almost no characters we've seen before and it's a prequel story so we know what happens, I found this to be a really good novel. Great characters and excellent pacing. Only negative was that I couldn't remember who all the characters were and navigating back to the dramatis personae section is trickier on an e-reader. I have the next book in the series in paperback so looking forward to starting that one
Oz Trekkie
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 19, 2020 rated it did not like it
Really excited to read this, but it was so slow. Dense. Wordy. Waited pages and pages for something to happen. Few characters here that anyone will know from the show (due to the setting being so long beforehand). Couldn't get into all the Bajoran-Cardassian religious sects that occupied so much of the book. Hard to finish.
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very good. It shows that the Kardashian could believe they are the heroes. Fascinating.
David Mcgrady
Sep 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, drama
I liked the book but I found it very hard to get into
Gary McCluskey
Nov 09, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Terrible story. Not worth it.

There is little in this storyline that is of interest. It doesn't tell you enough of the cardassians or Bajorans.
Dec 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: st-ds9, star-trek
When a Cardassian warship arrived at Bajor carrying the dead bodies of Bajoran traders, that should have counted as ominous. Bajor and Cardassia were distant neighbors without formal contact until the Cardassian military found a Bajoran merchant ship adrift and decided to return the dead home to be laid to rest. Despite their seeming benevolence, however, within a decade's time the Cardassians had proven to be very strange friends, the kind who don't leave people alone and level guns at their he ...more
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Media tie-in novels are not generally known to be fantastic writing, but rather simple entertaining pulp at best. This, however, is a good novel in its own right, and for a Star Trek book, it is among the best. The first volume in a trilogy that covers the events between Cardassia and Bajor leading up to the stories depicted in Deep Space Nine, I have high expectations now for the remaining two novels. I am partial to Deep Space Nine over other Star Treks because it revolves around key themes su ...more
Benjamin Plume
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, star-trek
Not bad, though it felt a tiny bit ponderous at first. Probably the difficulty of establishing a bunch of new characters in an existing and well-developed setting.
Mikael Kuoppala
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
A three book saga exploring the Cardassian occupation of Bajor is opened by James Swallow, who gives us a tale covering the decade preceding the military coup. The shadow of the genocidal occupation was one of the strong dramatic elements during the seven year run of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" and that 40-year period was explored somewhat during the series. Still, a lot of questions remain about it. "Day of the Vipers" answers a lot of the questions concerning the events that led to the enslav ...more
Jan 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book explains how the Cardassians came to Bajor and eventually annexed the planet. The Cardassians' plan was crafty from the start - they came under the pretense of peace and mutual understanding, but were secretly planning a takeover the whole time.

The story focuses on people with varied backgrounds. Cardassian characters include Dukat (on the cover), other military personnel with varying degrees of competence, and a priest. Bajorans of interest include a mid-level Bajoran politician, a l
Jun 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: star-trek
This is a competent telling of a very depressing story. We all knew that this story was not going to end well, and that made it a rather difficult read for me; also, it started rather slowly (discounting the prologue which really was rather just confusing). Still, overall I have to say that the story was well-told and moving. It's a story that suffers from some of the same symptoms as the 3 Star Wars prequels; because they're prequels, we all know where the story is headed, and since that is "no ...more
Jan 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Day of the Vipers is an excellent beginning to the Terok Nor miniseries, setting up the horrors of the Cardassian occupation very well. At times quite dark and depressing (we all know where this story is headed), this novel nonetheless shows the resilience and pride of the Bajoran people. This is not the most accessible of Star Trek novels. I think that a casual fan of Star Trek would have a much harder time picking up this novel than a more conventional TOS or TNG novel. However, for ardent fan ...more
Jun 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
I've always been attracted to "corruption and fall" stories (ever since reading Akallabêth), and I've found that the "Cardassian books" are approximately the only things worth reading in the current Star Trek lit-verse -- perhaps because they are so far separated from "main" continuity that they could almost stand alone as good sci-fi even for someone who's never seen Star Trek. And Gul Dukat is a fascinating character. So I was pretty much bound to enjoy this story.

And I did. It delivered what
Jul 31, 2011 added it
Great novel bringing us the event that led to the Bajoran occupation; how it was not just a military operation but partly made possible by power-greedy Bajoran politicians co-operating with the Cardassian Union.

James Swallow has managed to bring us readers closer to Bajor and its people than anyone has done before. Bajor comes to life as fascinating, spiritual yet a similar society to that of ours, with its pros and cons.

In the center of the story there is Darrah Mace, a Bajoran policeman, who
Feb 27, 2014 marked it as dnf
Shelves: star-trek, fiction, sci-fi
yeah, i'm never gonna finish this one. it's just straight up too boring. ugh.

ETA: actually, i have a TON of problems with this book. the main one is probably that gul frakkin dukat is part of the invasion force??? like. no. no. you could've used tekeny ghemor. you could've used enabaran tain. you could've used any number of cardassian characters as a reference to ds9. but you chose to completely invalidate the point of dukat's character: a guy born into wealth, never really had it hard, doesn't
Paul Lee
Feb 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Easily the best media tie-in novel that I have yet read, Day of the Vipers adds substantially to the Bajoran narrative thread from Deep Space Nine. The Trek universe is well portrayed; we get to see more nuances of the relationships between species and between intersteller political entities than we do on television. There is more culture, more religion. The worldbuilding is not unnecessary filler by any stretch; it is intimately connected to the characters.

The prose ranges from functional to le
Leif Barron
Apr 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Complete nerds (like me)
I'm always happy to find another DS9 Relaunch novel released and I was especially happy to see a new mini-series based around the Bajoran Occupation and the pre-Starfleet days of the Terok Nor station.
Swallow is a capable author and although his word choice is occasionally odd and slightly confusing, his prose is at its best and most vibrant during casual conversation between characters. Swallow has a real gift for exploring casual relationships between characters and because his dialogue is s
May 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Trekkers/ies who love DS9
Recommended to Wendy by: I found it at Barnes N Noble
This was a great read! It's such an interesting look into pre-Cardassian Bajor and the life of Gul Dukat before he actually became a villian. So much detail, so many characters and plot twists...I wish all Trek books were like this! I think even someone who wasn't into Star Trek would like this book. Not in the slightest bit cheesy or predictable. This will leave you on the edge of your seat! Now I really feel like I KNOW the Bajorans and the Cardassians. Who knew that a Federation-less story co ...more
William Dicks
Sep 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
True to Star Trek nature, this book has a lot of names and places to keep track of. Yet, it is not difficult to keep up. For those who are Star Trek fans, this will be an enjoyable book with action, intrigue and sadly, loss. It highlights the very thing happening in the world today, in which governments are more and more turning their backs to religion. In the book, freedom of religion is important, showing one government in the process of ridding its planet of religion, while another welcomes r ...more
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James Swallow is a New York Times, Sunday Times and Amazon #1 bestselling author and scriptwriter, a BAFTA nominee, a former journalist and the award-winning writer of over fifty books, along with scripts for video games, comics, radio and television.

His writing includes the Marc Dane action thrillers, the Sundowners steampunk Westerns and fiction from the worlds of Star Trek, Warhammer 40000, Do

Other books in the series

Star Trek: Terok Nor (3 books)
  • Night of the Wolves (Star Trek: Terok Nor, #2)
  • Dawn of the Eagles (Star Trek: Terok Nor, #3)

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