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Battlestar Galactica: Armageddon and Warhawk-A Stone Review

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Posted:     Post subject: Battlestar Galactica: Armageddon and Warhawk-A Stone Review

Way back in 1978, just emerging in the wake of Star Wars, a new science fiction series was born. Despite it's dire premise, the genocide and exodus of the human race, it was largely a family friendly show, and many a Sunday evening was spent with young geeks and their parents watching this show unfold. Under the ham handed Glen Larsen, however, despite some great episodes, the premise was largely squandered, and the show died, despite a planned second season, with Isaac Asmimov scheduled to join the writing staff (that would have been a thing of beauty).

But, despite that, Battlestar Galactica, the original series, made a permanent imprint in geek culture. And through reruns and the new age of DVD, the original show lives on. The strange magic brew conjured up by a good cast, excellent music and great special effects grabbed onto a generation of imaginative kids and wouldn't let go. Now, many of us are enjoying the reimagining of Galactica as told by Ron Moore, a much darker take on the premise that has captured many, and won acclaim and awards.

However, many still hope for a continuation of the original. I hope we do get that in some televised form. But for those who want something that explored the story as it ended at the end of season one, the original series, we now have the Battlestar Galactica books written by Richard Hatch and Christopher Golden.

Richard Hatch, the original Apollo, has been a passionate backer of Galactica for a very long time, pushing for a continuation. He's now involved with the remake, playing the complex political player Tom Zarek, showing acting depth previously unsuspected. But he still believes in the original series. Now, he's writing this book series, based on ideas he had for a continuation, that he even cut a trailer for.

The first book, Armageddon, takes place almost twenty years after the original series ended. The fleet hasn't seen the Cylons in eight years. A generation come around with no direct knowledge of conflict with the Cylons at all. And they want to find a home. Commander Adama has just died, and there is now a crisis of leadership in the fleet. The Cylons have been found again, and Captain Starbuck has gone missing. The fleet is at a crossroads and no one is sure what direction to go. Apollo misses his friend and his father, and wears the heavy burden of being likely nominated as the new fleet commander. And he has also found out something about his family's heritage, their origins and their ties with the Lords of Kobol.

And as if the political crisis in the fleet wasn't enough, the Cylons have apparently made some advances in the in between time. Also, their old foe Count Iblis may be lurking about, as well as the Ships of Light associated with his last appearance.

Armageddon is LOADED with cool ideas about how the original series might have gone, full of passion, fun and speculation. A worthy read for old school fans. Unfortunately, characterization is paper thin for most characters and the dialogue oh so hammy. You MUST be a fan to make it through this book.

BUT...I'm glad to say that the writing became much tighter and the characterization deeper with the second book, Warhawk. The fleet made it through it's latest crisis with the Cylons, gaining some knowledge and technology. And they now have a map of some of the migrations of the original Lords of Kobol, including, possibly, Earth. The next stop on the trip should bring them to possibly one of the early worlds settled by the humans' ancestors. But, they find a system with at least one world populated by a very agressive and advanced alien race. And they find, for the second time, the legendary Commander Cain and the battlestar Pegasus. Cain has settled on the former colony world and has turned his civilian population onto a complete war footing. He's building ships and training warriors with the intent on going on an offensive against the Cylons.

Apollo and the population of the Galactica's fleet will somehow figure into this equation. But how?

Hatch has put alot of feeling into these books. And Christopher Golden has brought with him the discipline of a professional writer, so the initial quirks have seemingly been largely smoothed out.

If you are an old school Galactica fan, these books are worth a look.
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