REVIEW OF

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA 14:

SURRENDER THE GALACTICA

By Robert Thurston

Boxey runs away because Apollo keeps going off on dangerous missions. He joins up with an old man who is part of a secret society living in the Devil's Pit, deep within the bowels of the Galactica. Apollo and other search crews are unable to find him. To get his mind off things, Apollo decides to join Starbuck in testing a new craft called the SuperViper. During the test run, the ship goes out of control and almost crashes.

With this book it is Berkley who finally surrenders!Imperious Leader has removed Baltar in command and placed Spectre in his place. Baltar has volunteered to serve under Spectre. Lucifer is brought back to life, but Spectre has his memory completely erased. The Galactica is located, and Baltar volunteers to undergo cosmetic surgery so he can sneak aboard the battlestar and plant a bomb. Lucifer is disguised as a Borellian Nomena and accompanies Baltar to help him carry out his mission. The two wind up joining a theatrical troupe that is touring the fleet and will be performing on the Galactica. Dwybolt, the head of the company, is one of Cassiopea's old favored clients; he still dreams about her, making his current woman very jealous, but he doesn't know she is alive and on the Galactica.

Starbuck is still being chased by the Vailean cadet named Hera, but he turns her down because he prefers to be the one who makes the approach. Hera gets angry and is determined to get back at him. She gets together with Cassiopea and Athena, and they decide to write a play for the upcoming theatrical performance. The play is designed specifically to make fun of Starbuck.

Boxey, the old man, and a little girl named Peri are caught up in a war going on in the Devil's Pit. The children are prisoners for awhile, but manage to join up with the theatrical troupe. The old man is rescued by Apollo and others. Befriended by Hera, he agrees to help her write the play. Cassiopea easily convinces Dwybolt to have her play performed as a sideline of his show. Dwybolt recognizes the old man as a great actor who disappeared a long time ago, but the old man insists he is an engineer and refuses to return to the stage.

Apollo sees Boxey during the performance of the play, and he runs up on stage where they are reunited. The crowd applauds them. Cassiopea's play is about a womanizer who eventually shouts "Buck the star! Buck the star!" Starbuck angrily storms out of the theater, followed by Hera. Lucifer leaves the play, enters Adama's cabin, and attempts to murder him. Starbuck and Hera stumble upon them, and they attempt to pry Lucifer's stranglehold off of Adama. Starbuck pounds on Lucifer, and his memory is suddenly restored by the jarring. Lucifer stops his attack because he remembers Starbuck and that he liked him.

Baltar sets explosives and attempts to escape the Galactica. Tigh confronts him in the landing bay having recognized his voice during his performance in the play. The explosion goes off, and Baltar knocks Tigh out in the confusion. Baltar escapes in a ship before the Cylons attack.

The Galactica is unable to launch vipers due to the damage, and Cylons attack ferociously. Spectre demands that Adama surrender, but Adama's response is "Felgercarb!" Starbuck and Apollo use the SuperViper to turn the tide against the Cylons. Spectre is baffled that he lost. Baltar is smug, happy that he will look good in Imperious Leader's eyes because he was successful in carrying out his part of the mission. Starbuck and Hera remain friends. Boxey stays with Apollo. Lucifer decides to stay with the Colonials, and Starbuck persuades him to be his gambling partner.


This is a book I did not get my hands on until 1996, so I actually waited almost 10 years for the answer to the question of what became of Lucifer after he deactivated himself in BG 12: Die, Chameleon! So you have an idea how much I anticipated finally finding out what happens. After all that time, all I can say is...

What a disappointment.

Robert Thurston saved the worst for last, as this would be the final Galactica novel that Berkley would publish. The biggest problem is that there are too many plot threads, and thus too much is going on. The second biggest problem is that almost everything that happens in this story is dull, boring, or not believable.

First of all, we learn that Imperious Leader has removed Baltar and placed Spectre in his place to hunt for the Galactica. What makes no sense is that the Leader allows Baltar to serve as Spectre's second-in-command! If Imperious Leader felt that Baltar was no longer fit to command, he surely would have had Baltar executed. So this is a major flub right here, in my opinion.

Another problem is that Boxey is given a huge role in the story. Considering how many great characters were underused in the TV series, it is a shame to give so much time to one of the show's least liked characters (I've already mentioned my dissaproval of Thurston's use of Croft in previous novels). Boxey's reasons for leaving don't make all that much sense, anyway. The new characters that are introduced are fairly dull, and they actually take more away from the story than they add.

The plight of the engineer, and the writing of a play by Hera, Cassiopea, and Athena to play a prank on Starbuck all turns out to be pretty boring. I like the character of Hera, but she, along with the other women, is wasted here.

I also didn't care to see Baltar have his face changed, as it is hard to imagine him being as great a villain while having a different face. Lucifer suffers the worst in this novel. With his memory erased, the character turns out to be dull. It's hard to imagine why Spectre would bother to use Lucifer for a purpose such as saboutage. Surely the Cylons would have other robots that could be deployed for that.

There were two things that I did enjoy. Adama's message of refusal to surrender to Spectre, and Lucifer getting his memory restored at the end and winding up with the Colonial fleet. Still, I think this was an extremely poor way to conclude Lucifer's story. I think there was a lot more that could have been done with the character, although since this turned out to be the last Galactica novel, perhaps it is for the best (considering that Baltar does not die, I get the impression that Thurston believed he would be writing more novels).

All in all, this book is very disappointing and is probably the worst of all the Berkley books Thurston has written.


It is mentioned that the Cylon fleet is conquering other areas of the galaxy.

Socialators were trained to serve others, to be an adjunct to society but not quite a part of it. They had to follow strict regimens. Cassiopea had found it to be a comfortable and fulfilling life, but not a free one. She had more freedom now on the Galactica than she did on the planet Gemon. Her parents had sold her into the socialator "cult". Socialators were not allowed to have children.

Baltar had been an occasional theatre performer during his youth. He had been convinced he could make a grand career with his talents. Others had predicted a grand career for him in the arts, but he was lured away by the temptation of money and power. Once, at the academy, he had even done a skit with Adama.


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