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For nearly a decade Garak has longed for just one thing -- to go home. Exiled on a space station, surrounded by aliens who loathe and distrust him, going back to Cardassia has been Garak's one dream. Now, finally, he is home. But home is a world whose landscape is filled with death and destruction. Desperation and dust are constant companions and luxury is a glass of clean water and a warm place to sleep.

Ironically, it is a letter from one of the aliens on that space station, Dr. Julian Bashir, that inspires Garak to look at the fabric of his life. Elim Garak has been a student, a gardener, a spy, an exile, a tailor, even a liberator. It is a life that was charted by the forces of Cardassian society with very little understanding of the person, and even less compassion.

But it is the tailor that understands who Elim Garak was, and what he could be. It is the tailor who sees the ruined fabric of Cardassia, and who knows how to bring this ravaged society back together. This is strange, because a tailor is the one thing Garak never wanted to be. But it is the tailor whom both Cardassia and Elim Garak need. It is the tailor who can put the pieces together, who can take a stitch in time.

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A Stitch in Time
Average rating
5 / 5
Thoroughly enjoyed it
August 30th, 2013
I had mixed reactions to the first DS9 novels I tried (the collection Twist of Faith), so I went into this with low expectations--and enjoyed it immensely, to my surprise. I was relieved, for one thing, that the book didn't deal with Garak's life in a straight chronological line but rather entwined his past and present, building a more coherent narrative than a birth-to-present chronicle could have. I am beyond impressed that Mr. Robinson showed prose style and expressiveness that was at least the equal of (and often surpassed) the output of the professional writers who worked on Twist of Faith. Most of all, though, I loved Garak's story itself, both pre- and post-show, as I had not expected to. I thought telling his full story, particularly the full tale of his exile, would diminish the intrigue of the character. Nothing could be further from the truth; the amount of emotion and buildup invested in the leadup to the exile, the inevitability of it as you realize how utterly Garak was alienated from the society he was born into and seemed to be thriving in, made the story better than any mystery or intrigue. This one is well worth a read if you're interested in Garak, the Cardassians and their world, the logic of totalitarianism, or just good gripping character drama.
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