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  • The Shadow Within

    I had not seen anything on the site about the B5 books, sorry if I missed it.

    I picked it up 'The Shadow Within' after hearing it reviewed on the Babylonpodcast.

    Quick read so far, I'm halfway through and really liking it. The author has a good grasp of the characters, filling in their history with personal trivia not found in the TV series.
    Easy to tell this story was crafted by woman author - Jeanne Cavelos, as it's sometimes a little fussy with John and Anna Sheridan's romance and not enough bare-knuckle fist fights and fart jokes.
    Good description of the workings of IPX and technology used.

    Of special interest is John Sheridan back on the Agamemnon, it's always good to see the Capt. in command.

    I'll look forward to finding more titles from this author and friend of B5.
    Last edited by DaveNarn; 12-08-2012, 07:34 PM.

  • #2
    I also liked Shadow Within. While you kinda got what happened on that trip, having it fleshed out more was enjoyable and likewise disturbing. I didn't see anything that was out of place in the B5 universe as nothing was forced to fit. While I liked the TV movies, In the Beginning and Thirdspace did have spots where it seemed like things were "shoe horned" in and just stuck out more.

    If you can find them for an affordable price, pick up her Technomage trilogy of novels. Those books fill out more of the Technomage's background and more Galen is a good thing . I also liked how there were parts in the trilogy that used scenes from certain B5 episodes but you saw then in another perspective.
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    • #3
      That 's good to know about the Technomage trilogy. I had only gotten a few chapters in earlier this year where it described Galen's training.
      I'm going to pick it up again now that the weather has turned cold.

      Too bad about The Babylon podcast wrapping it up, I liked their reviews of all the books and comics too.

      After they covered Crusade, I bought the 'American Gothic' DVDs just to see Gary Cole play Sheriff Buck.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by DaveNarn View Post
        That 's good to know about the Technomage trilogy. I had only gotten a few chapters in earlier this year where it described Galen's training.
        I'm going to pick it up again now that the weather has turned cold.

        Too bad about The Babylon podcast wrapping it up, I liked their reviews of all the books and comics too.

        After they covered Crusade, I bought the 'American Gothic' DVDs just to see Gary Cole play Sheriff Buck.
        I found the Babylon Podcast less than a year into its run, and played catch-up. Was caught up when they reached episode 42

        That is a podcast that I am going to miss, for sure.

        I still have to read the B5 trilogy books (yes, I have something B5 to experience yet), I have read "The Shadow Within" and "To Dream in the City of Sorrows". Both very enjoyable.
        Jan from Denmark

        My blog :

        http://www.babylonlurker.dk

        "Our thoughts form the Universe - they *always* matter"

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        • #5
          "The Shadow Within," is an excellent book; it is my favorite standalone novel. What I like most about it is the fleshing out of Morden - getting his backstory, as well as making Anna a real person.

          In the series we meet her after she is dead basically, and of course, I hated her back when we first encounter her because she tried getting in the way of my "ship". LOL

          The book made me like and respect her, and feel sad for her fate.

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          • #6
            I have a similar admiration for the book "Voices" and it's main characters, including Harriman Gray, as written by John Vornholt. For awhile, that book was my only link to the B5 Universe.

            Y'see, when The Gathering was first broadcast over here, (as a feature film entitled Babylon 5 no less!), I watched it and thoroughly enjoyed it, especially Michael O'Hare's performance as Commander Sinclair. But when the series proper began, I originally missed the first few years' worth of episodes because it aired when I was at my evening job! (I was attending college during the day).

            Eventually, they put the show on much later, which meant I caught the end of series 3 and all of series 4, and began catching up on series 1, 2, and 3 whilst awaiting series 5 !

            So for some time, "Voices" was all I had of B5. The only onscreen telepath I knew of was Lyta, so reading all about Talia's adventures was quite an eye-opener. I also loved the use of Garibaldi's character throughout, and really looked forward to seeing Harriman Gray onscreen during my catch-up viewing. It's a shame that this (eventually) heroic character, played by the excellent Jeffrey Combs, appeared in only one tv episode. The book really brings him into focus nicely.
            Last edited by Sinclair's Fan; 12-10-2012, 02:04 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Sinclair's Fan View Post
              Harriman Gray...played by the excellent Jeffrey Combs, appeared in only one tv episode. The book really brings him into focus nicely.
              I asked him about that at the LF&CC in London last year, and he said he liked the character and enjoyed playing him, but sadly they "did not pay very well" so he never went back.

              Shame.
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              • #8
                Of all the wonderful guest stars that have appeared, Jeffrey Combs and Dwight Shultz are my two favorites.

                Voices has a wikipedia page that says it's the first in a series of novels:
                "This book does contain some elements which are Canon to the series and explains a lot about the relationship between Garibaldi and Talia. The book also shows the development of the eventual relationship of Sheridan and Garibaldi."

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babylon_5:_Voices

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                • #9
                  I have to say the praise for "voices" surprises me. I started reading it, and I liked the Harriman Gray and Bester part, but I felt that Sheridan was written horribly.

                  From my memories of him at the beginning of season two, he was super cheerful, and enthusisatic, and friendly, and so the way he treated Garibaldi just felt really off to me.

                  And then when he's shocked that Garibaldi and Ivanova aren't thrilled about the telepath conference. That just felt really out of character as well.

                  But if no one else felt "Sheridan" was off, then maybe I just didn't know him as well as I thought? Should I give the book another chance?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Delenn_of_Mir View Post
                    I have to say the praise for "voices" surprises me. I started reading it, and I liked the Harriman Gray and Bester part, but I felt that Sheridan was written horribly.

                    From my memories of him at the beginning of season two, he was super cheerful, and enthusisatic, and friendly, and so the way he treated Garibaldi just felt really off to me.

                    And then when he's shocked that Garibaldi and Ivanova aren't thrilled about the telepath conference. That just felt really out of character as well.

                    But if no one else felt "Sheridan" was off, then maybe I just didn't know him as well as I thought? Should I give the book another chance?
                    For me, the Gray/Bester part was the book's only redeeming feature. Never mind Sheridan, the whole rest of the book was "really off" for me ... I don't think I even bothered to finish it. It is also the only B5 related item I have passed on to the charity shop (apart from the VHS tapes I replaced with DVDs of course).
                    The Optimist: The glass is half full
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                    • #11
                      I thought some of the stuff with Gray was interesting, and it was cool to have a character tie in like that, but by and large the book left me flat. I've never had enough interest to go back and read it again, which is generally a pretty strong indication of the impact for me. With my bad memory, I reread most books that I like. :-)
                      "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."

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                      • #12
                        The Shadow Within is well worth the read on it's own, but also is a good intro to the TechnoMage trilogy as she continues threads from it into the trilogy, but it's not required to read it first. It's an excellent "fill in the cracks" novel giving a real story to stuff that was mentioned in the show. That scene in Revelations when John is talking to his sister is a really good one, but reading the book and knowing the full story behind it was powerful. And that's the "b" story! I also liked how it also tied into the 2nd book of the telepath trilogy, but again not in a way where one needs to be read before the other.


                        Believe it or not, I had a copy of Voices but never read it. If I can find it I'll give it a look, but I don't think I'll be buying it. It's been mentioned in many threads that Shadow Within and Dream/City of Sorrows and the trilogies are the only books to bother with, but oppinions vary. I just wouldn't bother to read a "non-canon" B5 book as continuity is such a great strength of B5.
                        "And what kind of head of Security would I be if I let people like me know things that I'm not supposed to know? I mean, I know what I know because I have to know it. And if I don't have to know it, I don't tell me, and I don't let anyone else tell me either. " And I can give you reasonable assurances that the head of Security will not report you for doing so."
                        "Because you won't tell yourself about it?"

                        "I try never to get involved in my own life, too much trouble."

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                        • #13
                          I enjoyed all the cannon books.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Delenn_of_Mir View Post
                            But if no one else felt "Sheridan" was off, then maybe I just didn't know him as well as I thought? Should I give the book another chance?
                            The "Voices" book was written before the second season had started filming. That's probably why Sheridan seems off, because he hadn't really been defined at the time.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JoeD80 View Post
                              The "Voices" book was written before the second season had started filming. That's probably why Sheridan seems off, because he hadn't really been defined at the time.
                              Precisely
                              Originally posted by Delenn_of_Mir View Post
                              I have to say the praise for "voices" surprises me. I started reading it, and I liked the Harriman Gray and Bester part, but I felt that Sheridan was written horribly.

                              From my memories of him at the beginning of season two, he was super cheerful, and enthusisatic, and friendly, and so the way he treated Garibaldi just felt really off to me.

                              And then when he's shocked that Garibaldi and Ivanova aren't thrilled about the telepath conference. That just felt really out of character as well.

                              But if no one else felt "Sheridan" was off, then maybe I just didn't know him as well as I thought? Should I give the book another chance?
                              Don't forget, at the time I hadn't seen Year 2, or Sheridan. Other than the stellar pilot-film, this book was all the B5 I had back then....

                              The Harriman Gray stuff was excellent, in my opinion.
                              Last edited by Sinclair's Fan; 01-10-2013, 02:24 AM.

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