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Stargate SG-1 City of the Gods by Sonny Whitelaw
Based on MGM's hit television series, Stargate SG-1 CITY OF THE GODS is set at the end of Season 5, and follows the events seen in Season 3 ‘Crystal Skull’.
From the jacket cover:
My enemy’s enemy…
When a Crystal Skull is discovered beneath the Pyramid of the Sun in Mexico, it ignites a cataclysmic chain of events that maroons SG-1 on a dying world.
Xalótcan is a brutal society, steeped in death and sacrifice, where the bloody gods of the Aztecs demand tribute from a fearful and superstitious population. But that’s the least of Colonel Jack O’Neill’s problems. With Xalótcan on the brink of catastrophe, Dr Daniel Jackson insists that O’Neill must fulfil an ancient prophesy and lead its people to salvation.
But with the world tearing itself apart, can anyone survive? As fear and despair plunge Xalótcan into chaos, SG-1 find themselves with ringside seats at the end of the world…
Special section: Excerpts from Dr Daniel Jackson’s mission journal!
“Jack! What are you doing, why aren’t you…” Daniel stopped in his tracks and stared at him. His low voice was filled with apprehension. “Why is it so hot up here?”
Dabruzzi ran past them without pausing. Jack coughed, then coughed again, clinging to the pain searing his throat, an anchor against a different pain, one he could never articulate.
Something wriggled inside his cape. He glanced down at the miniature dog, Spiffy. They hadn’t been able to find the tunnel to the surface until it had jumped out of the cape and scampered up behind a rock fall. The animal had saved them, but it might have only delayed the inevitable. Jack reached in, unconsciously reassuring it with a gentle pat, feeling its warm life against his hand. “Our friendly neighborhood volcano decided to erupt all over the Stargate.” He swallowed the grit in his mouth and stood.
Daniel’s eyes opened wide in disbelief. “What about Sam and the other kids?”
“They’re dead.” Jack’s voice was as cracked and brittle as the cinders that covered the ground. “They’re all dead.”
From Diverse Books - Heads Up campers, Furlings!
While O’Neill and Carter go offworld to bring back some stranded geologists, Daniel Jackson’s grandfather Nicholas Ballard returns from P7X-377, the planet with the Mayan pyramid and Quetzelcoatl (remember back in Season 3?). Nick warns Daniel that someone has found another crystal skull and is trying to use it. Daniel figures out it’s his old professor. He and Teal’c head to Mexico to stop him, but they’re too late. Figuring the professor was taken to P7X-377, they travel to the planet by gate. However, once there, Nick explains that the skulls are a transport network. The archeologist has been taken to another planet called Xalotcan – the same planet that O’Neill and Carter are on.
Meanwhile, on Xalotcan, O’Neill and Carter interrupt a sacrificial rite, which sets an interesting chain of events in motion. When Daniel and Teal’c catch up with them, the team must deal with a bloodthirsty Aztec civilization, a lot of sacrifices, earthquakes and unstable volcanoes, and worse, a bunch of particularly nasty Goa’uld. Then, just when things couldn’t seem to get any worse, the Furlings - or their creations - turn up. And that’s when things really heat up!
Now all of that sounds like your typical SG-1 story, except that along with the best SG episodes, this one throws a continuous stream of curved balls. Every time you think you’ve got figured out what’s going on, bang, the author tosses in another twist. All of this leads to some serious action, serious angst, and serious consequences for the members of SG-1.
The archaeology and Aztec cultural content is just enough to tie the story together. I would have personally liked to have seen more, but then when I reached the end of the book, there’s a section titled: ‘Excerpts from Dr Jackson’s Mission Journal’. Daniel Jackson fans – head up! Lots of insight into his backstory. You can see where his theories about the pyramid builders came from, and how it ties the overall Stargate mythology together. Compelling stuff if you’re into archaeology, mythology, von Daniken, crystal skull history, Aztec or Mayan cultures. There’s also references and photos on the author’s web site. Nice touch because the research that’s gone into this is obvious. No spoilers, just info. The link to the site is mentioned in the book. After reading this ‘Journal’, I read the main story again, and was amazed at how much more there was to see that I missed the first time. This is definitely something I’d like to see more of in future books dealing with archaeology or known human cultures.
Warning: if you don’t want coffee all over your mouse/keyboard/lap, don’t have a cup nearby when reading the Jack/Daniel interplay about Aztec gods. I nearly choked laughing. There are some good introspective moments from Carter. I liked the way she dealt with personal issue. We get to see her technobabble, but only for a paragraph, so my eyes didn't glaze over. Weirdly enough, it also made sense. Also some particularly telling thoughts from Teal’c, and a revealing scene between him and Daniel. I’d like to have seen more from the big guy, but then again, what we get is as insightful as it is succinct, just like Teal’c himself.
Overall, I’d have to say this one is a definite ‘keeper’, not just for the story and character interaction, but for the amazing attention to detail and mythology tie-ins in the Journal section. I still don’t know exactly what is fact and what is fiction.
Amazon reader review - Great story, hard to put down
This latest addition to the list of Stargate novels certainly does not disappoint. Once Started I found it difficult to put down.
Sonny Whitelaw has succeeded in bringing to life the already familiar characters in such a way the reader to "see" the story unfold.
Almost as if your part of it!
Not afraid to confront the less palliative aspects of past societies, The well reasearched history of the Aztec culture blends with the known nuance's and characteristics of the SG-1 team to create an intriguing, fast paced and exciting read.
A job well done.
Amazon reader review
I really have taken to this series of books, and I really liked the blurb (synopsis) for this one. There are some very very funny comic moments that had me laughing out loud. Also it tied up with book #2 in the series Sacrifice Moon, but without giving the plot away, so if you've not read it don't worry, but I thought it was a nice touch. The story is set around the time of season 5.
I reccommend this book, and in fact the whole series, they really are enjoyable reads! As this one was.
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Reader Reviews for "Stargate SG-1: City of the Gods"
|Reviewed by Trickster Sommers
|Adventure - check
Action - check
Drama - check
Characterisation - check
Humour - check
Fandemonium's fourth outing into the Stargate SG-1 universe is a compelling tale that pushes imagination beyond the boundaries of the show. Firmly and expertly rooted in Aztec mythology, City of the Gods takes the reader to places that would explode even the most extravagant TV budget and realises vistas and scenarios the show's producers could only dream of.
Monumental cities and temple precincts on a world in cataclysm - feel the tremors and sneeze at the brimstone - provide the backdrop for desperate, ferocious rites and a truly galactic showdown that features more hair's breadth escapes than you can shake a stick at. But for all its relentless action the book never loses sight of the characters. Daniel Jackson's learning, passion, and ingenuity are equally as well portrayed as Teal'c's quiet intelligence and occasional sense of displacement or the subliminal emotional minefields Jack O'Neill and Sam Carter find themselves navigating.
An additional bonus comes in the shape of seamless ties into previous episodes - including the very welcome, superbly tongue-in-cheek reappearance of Daniel's grandfather, Nick Ballard - and the references to Fandemonium's earlier novel, Sacrifice Moon.
In short, this is a true homage to the show's intelligence, imagination, and humour and a rollicking good read to boot.