And now, after highlighting some of the novel’s key characters, I bring attention back to the story itself. Why is Mere Mortals
a fantastic tale? As in Gods of Night
, the book has a mature tone and feel to it. Although David Mack will forever be ‘Mack The Knife’, his style has gone beyond that of the action writer. In many regards, Destiny
is a hybrid of three distinct styles: the action, the political intrigue made famous by Keith R.A. DeCandido and the character/world building of Christopher L. Bennett. Dave’s ability to fuse all three styles together in a way that worked is something worthy of Milton or Tolkien. In my brief summary, I mentioned that Dave was able to pull off what Tolkien did in The Lord of the Rings
by making the Borg the primary villain, but not actually having to see them do things that a villain would normally do. In most forms of cinema and television, you often see the villain on the screen, working to thwart the intentions of your protagonist. To consistently refer to them without seeing them may not necessarily work, especially when most television programs today are devoid of substance, and rely on action, special effects, and big name celebrities to pump in ratings. Before the days of television, you had to imagine what you were reading. In Destiny
, we have an advantage because a good portion of these characters we’ve seen on the small and big screen. Others, like Dr. Ree and Christine Vale, we have to imagine for ourselves. Dave’s done a fantastic job in aiding us in this process. His gem in this trilogy so far is the Caeliar.
The Caeliar as a species invokes several feelings in my mind. Notably, I find them to be as Hernandez sees them: selfish. Their desire to be reclusive in hopes of finding a race far more superior to them deprives them the chance to learn from lesser species is rather provincial in attitude. I also find them to be a perfect example of the lies and deceit that Satan uses to manipulate humanity today. The Caeliar demonstrate an almost utopian society, run in a perfect order...however, look beneath the surface and you find that even amongst themselves, there is discord. To be one of them is to essentially live a double-life: you preach your god-like attitudes to others lesser than you, but you hide the fact that there are internal squabbles, and unwilling to listen to a point of view that may be different than yours. That said, the Caeliar are very advanced, and their way of life is intriguing in the sense that I believe that when one thinks of the Caeliar and their similarities to the Borg, I think of it as the Caeliar gone bad, and I think that the remainder of the Columbia
crew in the other Caeliar cities on Erigol in Gods of Night
have something to do with it. Much like the Watraii in the Vulcan’s Soul
trilogy, I personally believe that the Borg are a similar by-product. Satan works the same way: empty promises, false truths, and illusions of perfection, but lacking the glory thereof. In a religious sense, the Caeliar story could almost be pulled right out of any book of scripture, and it contains many great and sacred truths.
To conclude, I have to say that although it is a quick read and not a resolution by any means, Mere Mortals
is a great read, and definitely something I’d read again. Dave, thanks again for a great book, and I’m excited to see what Lost Souls
has in store for us. A perfect book by a perfect writer. (At least, in my opinion)
Your comments are welcome. I'm sorry for the three parter, but you know.... silly 20 000 character limit.