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Release Date: October 1, 1999
Pages: 257
Publisher: Ballentine Books
ISBN: 0-345-42717-3


For Alfred Bester, "the Corps was mother, the Corps was father."
But now, his Corps was doomed . . .

Under the ruthless command of Alfred Bester, Psi Corps's reign of terror reached unspeakable new heights--and touched off a civil war among the telepaths. Corps minions fought renegade defectors--a new resistance movement determined to overthrow Bester's monstrous regime. But the tide was destined to turn . . .

Interstellar Alliance President John Sheridan intervenes to stop the bloodshed as a new Psi Corps rises from the ashes. Its first mission: to hunt down and neutralize war criminals, individuals such as Bester himself. Once feared across the galaxy, the dreaded hunter becomes the fleeing prey--with Michael Garibaldi in hot pursuit.

Underground and on the run, Bester builds a new life on the ruins of his secret, sinister past. But as the forces of justice--and vengeance--close in, he must confront the hell he created, choose between surrender or survival at any cost, and prepare to make his final stand . . .

There is nothing as dangerous as a predator who has been cornered and has nothing left to lose.

The stunning finale to the new epic trilogy that uncovers the secret history of the Psi Corps.


Analysis

Final Reckoning is by far the most cohesive of the Babylon 5 Psi Corps trilogy. Where the other two books jump around between multiple characters, and somehow never develop a single strong plotline, Final Reckoning is almost entirely from the point of view of Bester, and his central pursuer, Garibaldi. Since these are both characters well known (and loved) from the television series, the J. Gregory Keyes has a lot more to work with in terms of character expression. Just because the main characters are not original does not mean that Keyes does not develop them. There are twists and turns for both character that helps map out how they change after the last season of Babylon 5.

Overall, the writing in Final Reckoning is the highest quality of any of the Psi Corps trilogy books. Keyes sets up some compelling situations that really express the characters, as well as the setting. The imagery is wonderful, and can really make some of the scenes come alive. There is a particularly exciting scene, where there is a somewhat epic fight in the street, at night, in the rain. Keyes makes that scene come alive with his wonderful imagery, and by focusing on the thoughts of the characters.

One of the interesting things in Final Reckoning is that predominantly, it focuses on Alfred Bester, the 'bad guy'. This makes for some interesting reading, since Keyes often expresses what Bester is thinking and feeling. The reader may find that Bester is not really the total monster that he may seem to be. Bester's attitudes towards some 'normals' (non-telepaths) shifts over time, though there is plenty to convince the reader that he's the same absolute bastard from the Babylon 5 television series.

The whole Psi Corps trilogy is worth reading, if only to get to Final Reckoning, which is by far the best of the trilogy.

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