A quick check in with the Galactica brings me to the sixth book in the novelisations of various episodes, and despite the tagline on the cover about this being the story fans have asked for, there’s nothing to make this one stand out. In fact, of the books so far this is the shortest of the series with only a few changes from the original two part episode of the same name on which it was based.
Tying in with the previous novel, which adapted the pilot episode of Galactica 1980, the story opens with the news that Adama is dead, and that Troy is now the commander of the Galactica, with no word on how things turned out on Earth. He now has access to all of Adama’s files, and wants to see some missions with his adopted father, Apollo (also dead now, of course).
From there the tale of the return of the Battlestar Pegasus continues almost beat for beat without any differences. The Galactica encounters the legendary Commander Cain, a brilliant tactician though dead at a battle two yahrens ago. Apollo and Starbuck are the first to encounter him, and both warriors are thrilled to meet one of their heroes, but both soon learn that he’s not infallible, and he’s more concerned in taking the fight to the cylons.
He and Adama, while old allies and friends, are different types of leaders, and Cain isn’t ready to submit to Adama’s command, or help out with the fleet.
In fact, Cain develops a plan that the Galactica is maneuvered into by a ploy by the Pegasus commander. A plan that will see them leading an assault on the new Cylon capitol at Gomoray in an attempt to steal enough fuel for the entire fleet.
There are some expansions to the story, there’s a bit more backstory for the relationship between Cain and Cassiopeia (and how that affects Starbuck) and the impact it had on Cain’s daughter, Sheba, who is the best viper pilot on the Pegasus (setting up a bit of a mirror image for Adama and Apollo in Cain and Sheba).
There are some extra moments with the Imperious Leader, Lucifer, and Gomoray’s commander, and in an attempt to tie the novel version of cylons in with the television version, there’s a reveal that the lower cylons are cybernetic, and some of them are completely robots. This is a bit of a change to the novel series canon, and it mostly works, but there’s nothing action or main character wise that expands or changes the characters we’re travelling with.
The novel is way too short, able to be read in a single sitting, and doesn’t even end with a Troy/1980 bookend. y next adventure with Starbuck and Apollo will be War of the Gods!