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Old October 7 2008, 11:07 PM   #177
Sto-Vo-Kory
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Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Gods of Night - SPOILER Thread

I finished GoN this weekend and I really enjoyed it. The weaving of the storylines was done very effectively, holding the audience's interests in each of the various crews. I want to give the author specific praise on his tight focus during the book. In an event trilogy such as this, the tendency is to "go big" with the scope and POV -- throwing in everything including an exploding kitchen sink. Instead, the reader of this book is given a limited perspective, often only seeing epic moments through the lens of one character.

The story of Owen Paris, the bridge scene on the Ranger, the Columbia's engineer and his moments with the Caeliar scientists -- these are all intimately told story beats that are all happening within scenes of massive-scale destruction. The novel is richer because we, the audience, are "with" these characters -- experiencing what they experience -- instead of purely witnessing the destruction from "outside." The character moments of this book, in post after post on this thread, are the most fondly remembered sections of the story for most readers in this forum. This is no accident and deserves to be noted as a fine bit of business on Mr. Mack's part.

I would also like to note a certain style choice in this book. In the past, some tie-in fiction writers (they need not be named) have ruthlessly killed trees for the express purpose of churning out page after page of ponderous, uninsightful internal monologues. These passages serve little in the way of exposition or story value; they're just poor attempts at characterization done with little to no sub-text.
In "Gods of Night," the author uses action and dialogue to reveal character for great effect.

Example: the scene with Geordi walking through the torpedo factory/bay and then talking with Crusher. Here he is, inspecting the building process (presumably during his off-shift time), walking through the makeshift factory and his thoughts are full of sympathy for the monotonous tasks of the workers there Everything that he says about them could feasibly be said about himself -- the weariness, the endless call to arms of the war effort, the drudgery of it all -- but his primary concern is for others, not himself. He then talks to Beverly and she comments on how he's the only member of the "old guard" left that she can talk to still. He gives her a sounding board for her situation but what really struck me was how lonely he must now be. He's without his best friend (Data), most of his poker buddies, even Reg. His every free moment is spent on the war effort and it's not hard to imagine him coming to the end of his rope sooner rather than later. All of this information can be sussed out from from what's being said and done in this scene, but no where is it expressly written out. What's happening between the lines and left to the reader's intuition is much more powerful an experience than the author having Geordi come in, think "Boy, I sure am lonely and strained" and tell Beverly that very same sentiment in dialogue a few pages later.

This is just one scene that I'm referring to but "Gods of Night" is full of story moments just like this that reveal character and nuance much more clearly and honestly than spoon-feeding straight-forward text to the reader ever could. Good style choice on the author's part, in my opinion.
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