Centauri Prime is rebuilding after the bombing of the Alliance. Things seem to be getting back to normal. Only the Drakh are slowing manipulating events. Under Durla the Minister of Internal Security he continues to place his own people in positions of power. A secret military buildup continues to get revenge against the alliance. Yet the Centauri are pawns in the plans of the Drakh. Vir Cotto is one that sees the growing threat. With help from Galen and the mysterious techno-mages he starts to form a resistance against the Drakh’s plans.
The second book continues the saga of Londo Mollari, Vir Cotto and the Centauri. This one is mainly about Vir and how he became the future emperor. We get to see him develop from the bumbling naive character we know from the series. He becomes a man of confidence and decisiveness. His first mission with the techno-mages destroys the world killer shipyard that the Drakh were using. He also manages to plant a bomb in the Prime Candidates headquarters that kills a number of people. You get the sense of his anguish from committing these killings. Or how he uses Mariel by having the techno-mages cast a love spell on her. Then callously use her against Durla who has an obsession with her. His guilt gives the character sympathy for he is doing it to save his people. A very interesting story and another excellent trilogy in the series.
Centauri Prime has been bombed by member races of the Interstellar Alliance. Londo Mollari becomes emperor soon after this. Only he is a puppet of sinister forces. The Drakh, the servants of the Shadows seek revenge against the Alliance and in particular Sheridan. They blackmail Londo with the threat of detonating hidden fusion bombs that would kill millions. So he agrees to have a Keeper, a creature attached to him to monitor his every move. He is forced to appoint Durla as Minister of Security. Durla is a power hungry man who soon appoints his own lackeys into positions of power. He slowly starts to turn Centauri Prime into a police state. Vir Cotto his former aide and friend who is now ambassador on Babylon 5 starts an underground movement against the Drakh. Aided by the mysterious Techno-Mages he starts the path of finding out about the true threat.
A story never told when the series ended was Londo Mollari’s time as emperor. We were left with him having to be a puppet of the Drakh. We did get an ending of how he died and that Vir Cotto succeeded him as emperor. So this second trilogy is giving us the story of his reign. How Vir eventually did become emperor. Once again we are given a truly epic story filled with interesting fleshed out characters. Londo Mollari is a truly tragic figure. A man who isn’t evil but whose actions caused much death and suffering. Now he seeks redemption to save his people from that evil. A very good start to this trilogy.
The Telepath War is over and Alfred Bester was on the losing side. Once the most powerful and feared man in the Earth Alliance he is now a hunted war criminal. He decides to hide out in Paris. Under a false identity he stays at a small hotel. He falls in love with the owner and takes a job as a literary critic for a small publication. Yet he is a hunted fugitive from the government and Michael Garibaldi. Garibaldi is an obsessed man with hunting down Bester and uses his corporate fortune. Soon Bester is discovered and an exciting chase begins.
Now I thought the most logical third book would deal with the Telepath War but instead Straczynski decided to go with the aftermath. I have to say that this story was the best of the trilogy. We get a real character study in Alfred Bester. A man who has an enormous ego and completely narcissistic. Yet it also revealed a human side to him when he falls in love. He actually tries to become a better person. He fails and when the chips are down goes back to his old ways. Something unexpected to have this fearsome character settle down to life of being a literary critic.
The story ends with a very exciting chase sequence that shows Bester is a very skilled operative that leaves the reader in doubt as to the outcome. Yet he ends up captured. At trial he is unrepentant for his crimes and sentenced to life imprisonment. In the end outside his prison they erect a statue of his mother and father with their missing newborn baby. That baby is Bester and he is the only one who knows it. He finds a moment of peace and finally accepts that he is Steven Dexter. He dies and is buried at a lonely grave. At the end Garibaldi comes and drives a wooden stake into his grave in a symbolic gesture. Bester was an interesting character in the series but this trilogy gives the character such a fascinating and in depth story. Del Rey was showing that they knew what to do with this series.
Alfred Bester is raised by Psi Corp from infancy. The Corp is mother, the Corp is father. He is a loner but an ambitious child and determined to become a Psi Cop. He had a ruthless drive to get to the top. No friends or even the woman he loved would stand in his way. He would eventually achieve his power and after defeating the director of Psi Corp become its undisputed master.
This book tells the story of Alfred Bester from his early childhood all the way to adulthood. A rich story of a creepy upbringing that conditioned him to be ruthless. He would even turn in his first love because she was going rogue. Straczynski really created a rich detailed background for this character. He must of had it in his mind when he wrote it for the show. The character of Alfred Bester was one of the most fascinating in the series and now I have a much more understanding of the character. There were some parts that I wish the story didn’t skip like his time during the Minbari war interrogating prisoners. Still this story told enough and ends just at the place were he first went to Babylon 5 and was introduced to the series. A great place to end it and an excellent book. Definitely a must have for any fan of the series.
The year is 2115 and science has made a shocking discovery. Telepathy is real and many people have it. The news causes mass panic as telepaths real and imagined are killed by mobs. Senator Lee Crawford of the young Earth Alliance government takes advantage of this. He is put in charge of a new agency the Psi Corp. An agency to regulate and protect telepaths. It soon becomes clear that there is an ulterior agenda to use telepaths for covert government motives. Fiona and Matthew Dexter lead the resistance against Psi Corp. Only the rebellion is crushed and their only child a newborn infant named Stephen is taken by the Corp. Given a new name Alfred Bester he would grow up to be the most ruthless operative Psi Corp ever had.
Del Rey acquired the book rights to the series and took a different approach. By this time the series was coming to an end and the spin off Crusader was fated to be cancelled after half a season. There was a lot of elements to the Babylon 5 universe that were never addressed. So they wisely decided to fill in some gaps with a series of trilogies. All were outlined by the show’s creator. The first dealt with the Psi Corp, that sinister agency created to regulate telepaths. This first book tells the story of the birth of Psi Corp. We get a look at the early days of the Earth Alliance. We see how the Corps was formed and how it became the agency that we came to know during the show’s run. This was a really engaging book and a great start to the trilogy.