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Enigma Tales

(Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  325 ratings  ·  53 reviews
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Fall: The Crimson Shadow comes a compelling and suspenseful tale of politics and power set in the universe of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Elim Garak has ascended to Castellan of the Cardassian Union...but despite his soaring popularity, the imminent publication of a report exposing his people's war crimes during the occupati
Paperback, 350 pages
Published June 27th 2017 by Pocket Books/Star Trek
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Showing 1-30
4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  325 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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Daniel Kukwa
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: star-trek
As far as I'm concerned, Una McCormack should be the only author allowed to write for Elim Garak and the Cardassian Union...she never fails to grasp the threads of a story, and spin them into fibers of gold. This is beyond excellent -- this is sublime "Star Trek", and in its complexity and brilliance, another example of what a gift DS9 and its universe was to the wider world. Simply breathtaking from start to finish.
Amy Sturgis
Una McCormack not only gets Star Trek as it is, capturing characters such as Elim Garak and Katherine Pulaski and peoples such as the Cardassians with pitch-perfect clarity, but she also gets Trek's potential to say meaningful things about subjects that are all too relevant to our world today. Her grasp of history, culture, and the complexity of big moral questions is showcased here. Garak, like Cardassia, is trying to rebuild and rise above the violence of the recent past, but he -- like his pe ...more
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, sf-f
Enigma Tales is a thoughtful and moving exploration of how cultures (and individuals) can come to terms with and begin to put right the mistakes of their pasts. (Something that’s also true of the author’s other works about Cardassia, which form a loose series within the larger Star Trek tie-in novels universe). The story touches on the different ways Cardassians deal with their guilt about the past, the role that literature can have in rebuilding and redefining a culture, the fight between those ...more
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: st-ds9
Let me first say that Dr. Polanski is one of my all time least favorite ST characters, any time I watch an episode with her in it I think about how much I'd like to slap her face. Despite that, Una McCormack was able to craft a very well written, balanced novel. She voice's Garick's character perfectly & the story is highly entertaining. I went into this book not really expecting much, given the Polaski element, but I was pleasantly surprised. There's a lot of really great writers writing ST ...more
Tim Buckle
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book, Una McCormack is a must for Elim Garak fans she not only gets his character just right but takes you deep into his psyche. It doesn't stop there though, there is a understanding of the world and all main characters that make you want more.
Aug 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: space-opera
Elim Garak as the head of state for Cardassia? That stretches credulity for me (although I admittedly haven't read any of the other post-show DS9 books, so I don't know how he got there). Still, this is 350 pages of Garak at his most Garakesque, so one can't complain too much about that, even if it means putting up with Katherine Pulaski for an entire novel.

The main plot was enjoyable, as well. Castellan Garak is in the process of rebuilding Cardassian society in the wake of the crimes committe
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
No one writes Cardassian politics, or Elim Garak, as well as Una McCormack.
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Star Trek Fans
Enigma Tales is a mystery/spy novel set in a familiar science fiction universe. With smart, dimension-ed characters that move the story forward, without spoiling the mystery.

The story is set on the world of Cardassia Prime. Recovered from a war that left billions dead. The society has turned introspective, trying to come to terms with and atone for its' past crimes. Journeying to the planet for the first time is Dr. Katherine Polaski. A Starfleet doctor invited to the planet to be honored for he
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, star-trek
This is a great book. I devoured it. I recently finished re-watching the full DS9 series on Netflix and have been looking for ways to fill the DS9 hole in my life. This book was perfect.

I've not read a book by Una McCormack before, but after reading this one I plan to seek out her other Star Trek novels. What I appreciated most while reading this book is how she nailed the characters; two in particular: Elim Garak and Dr. Katherine Pulaski (from Star Trek: The Next Generation).

Garak is one of my
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ds9, star-trek
Another winner in Una McCormack's catalog! She has crafted a compelling story that goes, at times, to some very dark places, but that is offset by a great sense of humor. McCormack captures the voices of the characters magnificently, especially Garak, which is no surprise. McCormack has become a master of writing for the enigmatic Cardassian tailor/spy/leader of Cardassia!

Full review (video):
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
**As per all of my reviews, I like to preface by saying that I listened to this book in audiobook format. This does indeed slightly skew my rating. I have found that audiobooks, give me a better "relationship" with the characters if done well, but also kills the book for me if narrated poorly. Also due to the nature of listening to the text, names and places may be spelled incorrectly here as I often do not have the physical volume in front of me.
Also, I have written this review in a "rolling u
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Una McCormack yet again has given us a window on Cardassia and Garak like no other, the book is beautifully written and flows flawlessly from beginning to end. You won't want to put it down so allow yourself the time required.
Paul Lunger
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Una McCormack has become the definitive expert when it comes to all things Cardassian for the relaunch novels a task she handles very well in her latest offering, "Enigma Tales". Set in the aftermath of "Star Trek: Section 31 - Control", we the reader return to Cardassia Prime where Katherine Pulaski is going to accept an award more deservedly for Dr. Bashir who is still comatose for solving the Andorian genetic problem. She herself is accompanied by Dr. Peter Alden formerly of Starfleet Intelli ...more
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Structurally it's a bit loose, and the mystery has that problem where the resolution comes so quickly you miss it.

However, of course it was a delight to revisit Garrak and Cardassia as seen by Una McCormack. This book deals particularly with the sensitive issue of half-Bajoran children, which of course we knew existed.

Best parts: serious angsty Garrak-Bashir looooove that made my shipper heart twinge with delighted agony. Dr. Pulaski is a pure delight and a great character for adventure, always
Lee Berger
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
alternate title: Meanwhile on Cardassia.
Denes House
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
(Originally published at

“[Katherine Pulaski] wasn’t, generally, let in front of journalists, not without a minder, and not unless her superiors were bored and in need of a busy afternoon or desperate. The problem was her tendency to tell the truth as she saw it. Someone had offered her ‘media training’ once. They hadn’t offered again.”

What does it take to get me to love a Star Trek novel? Give me a handful of interesting characters and have them do a han
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Enigma Tales by Una McCormack Just as a report about war crimes during the occupation of Bajor is published on Cardassia, Pulaski and Alden come to visit - and are embroiled in internal politics, kidnapping and the attempt at defamation of Natima Lang, the next hopeful for head of the Cardassian Union's university.
I love McCormack's Cardassia, it's rich, well-nuanced, and her Garak is to die for, pure and simple. 15 years have passed since the end of the Dominion War
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Continuing in the Star Trek Deep Space Nine relaunch universe is Enigma Tales. As you'd guess, this book is situated on Cardassia immediately following the previous title, Section 31 - Control. We join Dr. Pulaski in touring the capital city on a trip to get an award, meanwhile we follow Garak, sorry, Castellan Elim Garak, on his efforts at rebuilding a Cardassia that isn't an authoritarian surveillance state ran by the military. In this book, we get a chance to read about how the capital has ch ...more
Dave Stone
I swore I'd never read another one of these again.
I don't know how bad novelizations of other TV shows are because after reading a sack full of Trek novels, (mostly TNG) I swore off the damn things and I've never been tempted by Dr. Who or Blake 7 or even Star Wars.
But every now and then I get the itch to try again. it usually ends badly in self disgust.
Not this time. Enigma tales is pretty good for any space opera Sci/fi book, and a frigging masterpiece for a Trek book.
this book is set 15 years
Christian Bays
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
The author brilliantly and smoothly integrated a change in attitude of the cardassian people after the war of the Dominion had ceased. Although giving life to an attitude change experienced by most all of the people of cardassian, he (the author) excelled in giving credit to the same wit and charm of Garrick and his brethren that I came to appreciate in Deep Space Nine. The theme was nicely woven throughout the book giving rise to a certain humility of the cardassians that was not very clearly s ...more
Stephen Keene
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two Old Favorites Return

One of my favorite characters in Star Trek: The Next Generation was Dr. Katherine Pulaski. She returns in this story with her usual straight talking, take no prisoners attitude to get herself unwittingly immersed in Cardassian politics in the post Star Trek: Deep Space Nine era. At this point, Elim Garak, one of my favorite characters in all of science fiction and espionage is now leader of the restored and democratic Cardassian Union. The political turmoil is the crux of
Nov 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
This was a good Cardassian plot idea and the Cardassian characters and setting were true to form. The pace was nearly glacial in places, but I was fine with that--the story was mostly about the characters.

That said, the story didn't need the othering/exoticizing gaze of Pulaski & co. You could delete nearly every single one of the Federation characters and nothing significant would have changed in the plot. Limiting your POV to a handful of Cardassians--or just Elima, for that matter--would
Wesley Kushner
Jan 04, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christie Greenwood
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I really love Una McCormack's Star Trek books. They're well-written, engaging, thoughtful, and very inclusive, which is a thing I care about greatly. Also, I love the way she gives depth to Cardassia and the Cardassian people, making all characters three-dimensional and interesting. I'm just not giving this five stars because I'm not too sold on Garak's characterisation. His dialogue and mannerisms are spot-on, but some of the character development he goes through didn't really seem too plausibl ...more
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Having enjoyed Una's latest Benny story so much I wanted to read more of her books. I never really got into DS9 but Garack was always my favourite and in my recent re-watch of next gen I realised how cool Pulaski was so it was great to have a story that focused on the two of them. One of the nicest things about this book was to see Cardasia rebuilding, the people returning from their dark times, it was a little bit of hope that is very much needed right now. I also really enjoyed the minor chara ...more
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Enigma Tales is the perfect title for this story, which is partly about the way that everyone is guilty of something. It's ALSO about hope, and rebuilding life in the face of trauma; not only how difficult that can be, but how that means culture, not just buildings and services. It's about love. It made me laugh, as well as make incoherent wailing noises. It's a book I plan to re-read when I have recovered enough emotionally.

If you do not believe this is possible from a Star Trek novel, then you
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Enigma Indeed

This book took almost a month to read. It was slow and did not capture my attention. This work brought nothing to the table. I kept waiting for something interesting to happen. It never did. I only finished it due to the fact that I’ve faithfully followed all the post Nemesis books. Garak is a character that has been fleshed out in media that makes him engaging. That didn’t happen here. Honestly don’t bother. This book can be easily bypassed with no loss. Pulaski is not likable. She
Jun 14, 2018 rated it liked it
I was really charmed by Enigma Tales. I’m not sure I’d go so far as to call it good - the mystery plot in particular is underdeveloped, and ends abruptly - but it’s self-indulgent in a way that’s genuinely enjoyable. McCormack’s account of post-reconstruction Cardassian politics is a little black and white (spoilers: I’d have been happier if Lang was actually guilty). Even so, I loved the deep dive into Cardassian history, culture, and social organization. She gets Garak’s voice just right. And ...more
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
McCormack deftly and imaginatively expands upon the Cardassia we get in DS9, diving deep into their cultural conflicts and academic pursuits. The novel ends a bit disappointingly, and the plot does not move mountains. But the view of daily life on Cardassia Prime is priceless, as is McCormack's characterization of Garak and her almost-frank approach to his sexuality and his romantic love for Julian Bashir.
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek
A Star Trek novel featuring Dr. Pulaski and Garak as the main characters surprised me, but I quite enjoyed it. Garak is one of my favorite characters in general. I think Dr. Pulaski is an underappreciated character and this story was a good use of her somewhat cantankerous personality. I really liked getting a look at Cardassia's post-war society and their collective reflection on their dark past.
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  • The Light Fantastic (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
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  • Hearts and Minds
  • Sight Unseen (Star Trek: Titan)
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Una McCormack is a British writer and the author of several Star Trek novels and stories.

She has also written a number of Doctor Who novels and short stories.

Other books in the series

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1 - 10 of 53 books)
  • Emissary
  • The Siege (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, #2)
  • Bloodletter (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, #3)
  • The Big Game (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, #4)
  • Fallen Heroes (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine #5)
  • Betrayal (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, #6)
  • Warchild
  • Antimatter (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, #8)
  • Proud Helios (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, #9)
  • Valhalla (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, #10)
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“The proliferation of material means that people might start to become selective about what they consume and, if my instincts are correct, they are likely to read only that which confirms what they already know. This means they will never have their ideas tested. I worry that as a result, people will form tight groups around those who confirm their biases, mistrusting those whom they encounter who think differently.” 1 likes
“Into the echo chamber of his own mind, where he was always able to find a justification for the most terrible actions.” 0 likes
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