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To Dream in the City of Sorrows (Babylon 5, #9)
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To Dream in the City of Sorrows (Babylon 5 #9)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  447 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
THEY CALLED THEM THE FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE. THEY CALLED THEM RANGERS.

Ambassador to the alien world of Minbar, former Babylon 5 commander, Jeffrey Sinclair, is one of the first to learn the truth about the Shadows, the ancient race pursuing the destruction of the galaxy. Sinclair also discovers a startling secret: he is the linchpin in the plan to stop them. Now, Sinclair i
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Paperback, 352 pages
Published June 9th 1997 by Dell Publishing Company
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John Keegan
Jul 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the final novel to be published under the original book contract, and it is by far the shining jewel of the collection. In a very real sense, this book presages the kind of tight continuity that marks the trilogies that followed. The story of what happened to Sinclair between his arrival on Minbar and his eventual return to Babylon 5 in “War Without End”, this is a gift to any dedicated Babylon 5 and Jeffrey Sinclair fan.

The author spends a great deal of time reconciling some apparent c
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Beth
Apr 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: guilty-pleasures
This is a B5 spin off, and really is more like an episode of the show (or several) in print form. Since JMS and his wife, Kathryn Drennan, wrote it, and since he created and wrote almost the entire show there is a conspicuous lack of the inconsistencies in plot and characterization that annoy me when I read this type of thing.

It explains a lot about what went on with Sinclair, Marcus, and a lot of other characters, and there is also a good bit about Neroon, who I like.
Azar
Jan 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Babylon 5 fans, especially fans of Marcus and/or Sinclair
I understand now why this is considered not only one of the best of the B5 tie-in books, but also the only one to be 100% part of the series canon. I've been fascinated by Sinclair's destiny for almost as long as I've known about it, and this provided a much-needed "missing chapter" in his journey to accepting that destiny.
Camilo
Aug 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written and with a lot of attention to details that tie in to the show. Altogether a good, in-universe, canonically correct book.
Tom
Oct 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's not often that you come across a novel in a series of this kind that the creator of the series declares to be canon, but this is one of them. It ties up an untold part of the story fairly well.
Grace
Mar 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book! I would highly recommend it to any Babylon 5 fan; and I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I've been a fan of the show since it originally aired in the 90s and I'm just now reading this book.

That being said, I think that a reader should have at least a passing knowledge of the world of Babylon 5, and the character of Jeffrey Sinclair, to really appreciate the story. The book begins at the end of the third season of Babylon 5, right after Delenn is installed as the new Entil'Zha (
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Paul Darcy
by Kathryn M. Drennan, published in 1997.

This Babylon 5 novel, ‘To Dream In The City Of Sorrows’, is considered, in every way, canonical to the Babylon 5 Universe. So says J. Michael Straczynski in his introduction to this novel, and so it is. All the other novels to date are simply licenced products in the Babylon 5 Universe.

‘To Dream In The City Of Sorrows’ answers and explores those nagging questions I’m sure we were all asking after the start of Season 2 of the TV show. What happened to Sinc
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Lonnie
Nov 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi, series
This Babylon 5 tie-in novel delves into the mystery of what happened to Commander Jeffery Sinclair after being recalled to Earth after the assassination of President Santiago on Earth Forth One and his eventual destiny as Ranger One and beyond.

This book is pretty good as tie-in novels go and fills in a lot of what happens to Sinclair after he left Babylon 5, although some events alluded to in the book are only glossed over.

Branded with the JMS Seal of Approval as being as close to canon as one c
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Onegirlsopinion
Jan 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I watched maybe the first three seasons of Babylon Five, and really, really liked this book. I was always curious about the Sinclair character, especially given his eventual (past?) destiny. This book did a great job of continuing his story (and filling in some backstory) after he was shipped off to Minbar. I even find that I've reread it a couple of times, even though I didn't stick with the television series itself.
Jake
May 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
B5 4ever.
Ashley
". . . it is said that to dream in the city of sorrows, is to dream of a better future."

Maybe it's just because I spent the majority of high school reading any and all Star Wars expanded universe novels I could get my hands on, or maybe it's because I'm a big fat snob with a Master's Degree now, but I'm embarrassed of how embarrassed I am to be reading this book. In my head second-hand fiction about a dead television show (or film series) is now associated in my mind with the social pariahdom of
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John Hefner
Jun 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When the star of Babylon 5 had to leave the show after the first season due to tragic personal reasons which have only recently come to light, it threatened to throw the grand five-season plan of J. Michael Straczynski's into disarray.

While JMS was able to replace the actor's character, Commander Jeffery Sinclair, with a new character, Captain John Sheridan (notice that all three share the initials "JS"), this left some major holes that the show was never able to fully explain. This was especial
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Laura
Nov 30, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book for a couple bucks somewhere because I had heard it was one of the few decent books in the B5 novel series. As it turns out, "decent" is a pretty good word for it - I enjoyed reading it, but ultimately it's pretty forgettable. It was fun to learn more about Jeffrey Sinclair, a character I would have liked to have seen more of on the show.

I though the book's weakest point was its lack of a cohesive central arc. While it's often hard to give characters a good storyline withou
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Sarah Crawford
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is definitely a official canon-type of book in the Babylon 5 series. It centers around three people: Jeffrey Sinclair, his would-be wife Catherine Sakai, and Marcus. It takes place after Sinclair left Babylon 5 to before ambassador to Minbar, but before he goes back in time on Babylon 4.

It fills in a lot of holes left in the series as far as all three characters go. For Marcus, it explains what he was doing before he became a Ranger; his relationship with his brother; how his brother was k
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Kristian Bjørkelo
So whatever did happen to Sinclair after he left Babylon 5 to become the ambassador to Minbar? Quite a bit, and some of it is told in To Dream in the City of Sorrows, you even get to know more about one of the characters the TV show lost along the way; Catherine Sakai. As well as the origin of everyone's favourite heartthrob Ranger, Marcus Cole.

It may not be great literature, but it is a darn good spin-off novel set in the Babylon 5-universe, and if you like Babylon 5, you'll love this. Don't ex
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Brittany
Feb 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For starters: Marcus Cole fans - PICK UP THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW! YOU'LL HATE YOUR LIFE AFTERWARD, AND TV COMPANIES IN GENERAL, BUT DARN IT, YOU WON'T REGRET IT!

-Ahem-

BB5 fans - pick up the book, because it rounds out a number of loose ends. At least most of this book is considered canon for the series, so it's a good guide to go by.

The writing was pretty good, although I have read better fan works. Part of the problem was probably some of the more threadbare bits of the BB5 universe that I already
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Shira
Aug 30, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book fits well with the B5 story, mostly explaining what happened to Sinclair and his Sakai, his fiancee. It does well in reminding us of many of the sayings of various Minbari. It also does well in reminding us of the themes for which I enjoyed B5: workers rights, equality, compassion.

"delight, respect, and compassion" : Christian-Jewish Deut.4:24 views via shared struggle, as portrayed using Minbari and 'Earth' religions (I am reminded of the episode in which Sinclair lines up all of the
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Molokov
Oct 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read this years ago, but after a recent discussion about it on The Babylon Podcast ( www.babylonpodcast.com ) I figured I'd try and get a hold of a copy and give it another go.

This book does a lot to fill in the time between Sinclair leaving B5 and when he returns in 'War Without End', and also fills out Catherine Sakai's continuing story, and Marcus Cole's backstory before he appears in Season 3. It's well written and keeps you invested in the characters, but there's a bit of a "crops-o
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Joseph Szupiany
Sep 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are a fan of Babylon 5, and you've watched all the TV episodes and the movies, then this book is a must read. It fills in the back story for Commander Jeffery Sinclair. The TV show left a lot of stuff unanswered in regards to Sinclair. What happened after he left Babylon 5 to be the Ambassador to the Minbari? How did he become involved in The Rangers? What is his relationship to Marcus? etc...

If you are not a fan, then skip it. As a casual read, this book would lead to too many questions
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Chuck
Jun 28, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
It's called 'summer reading' ;-) The story is more interesting in its first half with three concurrent narratives of Catherine Sakai, Jeffrey Sinclair and Marcus Cole, told in separate alternating chapters. Catherine's and Marcus' solo exploits are the more interesting chapters. One wonders if the author felt a bit hamstrung with the Sinclair narrative of dull, planet-bound politics with the implacable and ritual-obsessed Mimbari, all within a time frame well-circumscribed by events in the telev ...more
Amber
May 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This Babylon 5 tie-in novel is considered canon to the TV series because it was written by the series creator's wife in heavy consultation with JMS. It tells the full story of Commander Jeffrey Sinclair after he is promoted away from heading the Babylon station to be ambassador to Minbar, through to his future destiny in the distant past, connecting all the dots revealed during the show.

Drennan is a fine writer and takes this fascinating story and fleshes it out well, so I would definitely reco
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Paul Saarma
May 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A guilty pleasure. After a friend borrowed my Babylon 5 DVDs my interest in the series was rekindled. This book is useful in filling a gap between Sinclair's departure at the end of season one and re-appearance in 'War Without End'. Elegantly constructed to slot together various pieces in the Babylon 5 backstory and guaranteed continuity friendly, I thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in this novel.
Ekaterina Trayt
Oct 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Babylon 5 fans
I was re-watching Babylon 5 season 3, and when I got closer to the episodes where Sinclair returns to Babylon 5 I felt like re-reading this book. I enjoyed it more this time around, the timing was perfect! I don't think it would be very interesting to those who for some reason still haven't watched Babylon 5 (boooo), but if you're a B5 fan, it's a must! You'll learn so much about the Minbari, for example. ;)
Kelly
Jul 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In my opinion this book was so much better than the first 8 books.... I enjoyed them all but this one was true to the story created in the tv show and it was great reading more about Jeff after he is appointed to Minbar and Ranger One and finding out what happened to Catherine.... Fan-friggen-tastic.... Abso-fragen-lutly......
Daniel Kukwa
Jan 22, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: babylon-5
Another attempt to fill a mysterious Babylon 5 continuity gap. But unlike the tragic & brooding "Shadow Within", this novel simply doesn't have the same power, or develop a similar interest in the characters. Even on TV, Michael O'Hare was wooden in the extreme as Commander Sinclair...and that translate with unfortunate consequences to print.
Nicholas
Mar 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I very much enjoyed this novel, which is the official story of what happened to Sinclair after season 1 of Babylon 5. Good, solid grasp on the characters and the mythology of the show. I would have lvoed to have seen this as a mini-series on TV.
Anna "Andi"
I really wanted to like this. It has some of my favourite characters in, and it was really good to find out what happened to Catherine. But, despite some enjoyable interaction between Sinclair and Marcus, the writing style was clunky and I struggled to get through it.
JR Simons
Mar 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First of all, I miss this series, and I wish it was still on TV. Second of all, I really hate time travel. However, this was a really good read, and it explains a lot of what went missing from the series.
Thomas Kelly
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
NOTE: For fans of the television series Babylon 5, this is possibly 4 star novel. It is a must-read in my opinion. But for those that are not fans, then it may be deemed a 3 star novel (not that non-fans would read it).
A.C. Buchanan
I really wanted to like this. It has some of my favourite characters in, and it was really good to find out what happened to Catherine. But, despite some enjoyable interaction between Sinclair and Marcus, the writing style was clunky and I struggled to get through it.
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  • Final Reckoning: The Fate of Bester (Babylon 5: Saga of Psi Corps, #3)
  • The Long Night of Centauri Prime (Babylon 5: Legions of Fire, #1)
  • The Touch of Your Shadow, The Whisper of Your Name
  • Blood Oath
  • Accusations
  • Clark's Law
  • Personal Agendas
  • Betrayals
  • Babylon 5: A Call to Arms
  • Day of the Dead: A Babylon 5 Scriptbook
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Other Books in the Series

Babylon 5 (9 books)
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  • Accusations
  • Blood Oath
  • Clark's Law
  • The Touch of Your Shadow, The Whisper of Your Name
  • Betrayals
  • The Shadow Within
  • Personal Agendas