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Sagittarius is Bleeding: 01/09/07

Sagittarius is Bleeding

Sagittarius is Bleeding falls in the timeline of Battlestar Galactica season 2 episodes of "Black Market" and "Scar." Unlike The Cylons' Secret, all of the current characters make an appearance and it reads more like an episode (or perhaps miniseries) than book number 2. Of these two most recently published books, Sagittarius is Bleeding is more faithful to the series but The Cylons' Secret is the more interesting of the two because it dares to stray from canon.

It takes a while for the book to get started. The first two or three chapters are rather sloppily written and come off as being big budget fan-fiction. The meat of the story doesn't start until about chapter seven.

The book's weakest point is its inclusion of Boxey (who is given two different first names: Andrew and Alexander). He was probably chosen to be one of the main characters to avoid interference with any future story arc because Boxey hasn't been a part of the series beyond the initial miniseries (thank goodness!) Boxey is by far the series' weakest character. The Boxey in this book read like a strange amalgam of the original Boxey and the one from the miniseries. He cycles between asking naive questions ala "Saga of a Starworld" and while being an angst ridden teenager.

Having Boxey accused of being a Cylon was fun but the book should have gone one step further and have Boxey found to be a Cylon agent just to write him out of any future books. Of course with the series premise that there are only twelve models for the Cylon spies it isn't likely that Boxey could be one. Those twelve slots are probably reserved for more important characters.

Beyond the silliness of Boxey being one of the protagonists of the story and getting to interact with all the major characters there are two interesting mysteries: how did the latest hyperspace jump end up almost putting the fleet into a sun and why is the president having visions? Neither of the flogged possible answers ends up being true, making for a fun mystery tucked in amongst the characters making sure they speak their standard lines and perform their standard actions.

This book could have been a lot better than it is. It suffers from fan-boy dialogue, poor editing (note Boxey's changing name), and some laughably bad descriptive paragraphs early on. With all of its flaws, it is still good enough that I ultimately enjoyed the story and would probably read future books in the series.

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