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Old January 15 2009, 10:02 PM   #376
Kirr
Lieutenant Junior Grade
 
Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 1: Gods of Night - (SPOILERS)

I too just finished Gods of Night (and already have book 2 waiting for me). Like the poster above David, I came into this series unspoiled and thought I'd give my 'review' of sorts.

I loved this book. I think all the Trek stuff I've read recently has been fantastic (Kobayashi Maru, Greater Than the Sum). A friend told me to give the Enterprise stuff a try (I wasn't a fan of the series), and not that you couldn't read Destiny without it, but these characters make more sense to me because I've read KM and TGTMD. I loved how the story in the 'past' connects to the story in the 'present', it reminded me of some previous trek attemts at comics and books that connected the generations, only it feels much bigger in scope in Destiny. The problems these characters have are real adult problems (miscarriages & infidelity, to name two) and I love that you're not shying away from taking on those issues. In some ways I feel like Trek novels are doing what the show consistently did (at least when Gene was in charge) pushing the boundaries of what's normally done. Media tie in novels don't normally do these things - yet Trek is.

I loved each part of the story. The Avertine exploring the mystery of the Columbia, and all the while me wondering how it fits in with the story of the Columbia from the past. I really liked how that came together right at the end - though a somewhat unexpected turn with the alien dying. I didn't love the idea of Ezri going into the 'command' track in the DS9 relaunch - but I did enjoy her as a captain here. With a few more familiar faces from DS9, I could really like the idea of an 'Advertine' series (basically the DS9 relaunch brought up to the 'current' timeframe).

The differences between the Columbia timeframe and the NG timeframe were much easier to spot in a book that shows both eras. The MACOs, the procedures - I liked that Mack was able to take those two eras and make it so easy to see how much things have changed (and yet people face the same problems). The rebellion of the Captain's MACOs and what the lengths they were willing to go to was despicable, and I think it ultimately led to the issue going on in the 24th century, as I think the 'city' that had those traitors has somehow been assimilated by the Borg. But that's just my current theory (again, having only read book 1).

There are things I like about Titan and things I'm not crazy about. I still don't feel like all the characters 'work' for me. In general, this whole notion of the 'second officer' that seems very important in recent books is lost on me - yeah, Data was second in command, but it was just basically a 'coverage' thing - his JOB was to navigate the ship. Here we've got Tuvok as second officer and what? Tactical maybe, like he was on Voyager? I'm not even sure. We've got a security officer - shouldn't he be the one on Tactical? I've got the same problem with Picard's 'second officer', but we'll come back to her.

But I like that all is not happy in the world of Riker and Troi. Sure I love these two (they were probably my favorite characters on TNG) but it's good to see them have a real couple fight about a real world problem. Miscarriages happen (my sister-in-law had one, they are fairly common and we don't talk about the effects nearly enough) and sometimes hurt feelings get in the way of two people who love each other. I like it - it's REAL. The doctor is completely insensitive, which I wouldn't stand for in real life, but whatever. By being spurned by Troi, Riker is making a poor choice of finding some comfort (but don't read too much into that word) in the arms of his XO - not a wise choice on his part and I hope it doesn't go too far down that road. What with all the actual Borg attacks, I could have done without the 'training' sequence in the holodeck on Titan. I'd have rather had a 'Q' (that's the Bond 'Q' not the Trek Q) moment where the cyborg guy shows the tech he's been developing instead of doing it in training. In general, I'm just so-so about Titan (not a comment on any author, just the series), just as I've felt for awhile, and while it's nice to see them in the context of this greater story I still feel I wouldn't go out of my way to continue to read this series - and I wish I felt different about it because of my love for Troi/Riker. That said, I like where their story led - and it may well be the most important piece of the puzzle - I think they've found where the 'aliens' from Columbia's past have gone to, and they're the key to closing these pathways somehow. I also suspect these aliens are going to somehow correct Troi's baby issue (convenient that she was on the away mission), but I'm not sure how I'll feel about if it winds up as some Deus Ex Machina. Still, I can't help but notice - girl Riker baby, boy Picard baby - maybe these two families will one day be related.

The Enterprise E stuff is great. I'd love it even more if we hadn't had so many recent 'Enterprise faces the Borg novels' cause let's not mince words, this is a Borg story (just like Greater Than the Sum was). But it's on a huge scale. Things are happening - worlds are being destroyed, and I don't for a second think this is all going to get erased and a reset button hit at the end of this. These changes seem permanent. I liked Crusher and Geordi's talk about Picard's state of mind around the Borg - very insightful. I enjoy Worf as XO, and I like the new security chief. I still hate Miranda. She's still barely able to remain faithful to her husband, who by the way is taking care of her less than 1 year old twins and 5 year old daughter. There is just nothing there that I like. Is it accurate? Sure, there are women like this. Career driven. She is more important than any other consideration. It's a very 'real' portrayal, again, so I don't discredit the author, but I can also say without hesitation that I don't like her. Anyway, the Enterprise story has seen the most action - they're on the front lines of the war against the Borg, and this is no easy fight. Lots of losses, very few 'nick of time' moments, and even then, there are people who sacrifice themselves to save others. That preview chapter at the end of Greater than the Sum is a real indicator of what this series is like - and I LIKE it.

Hell, I LOVED this book. I plan to read book 2 in short order - and by then, I'll probably have picked up book 3 and A Singular Destiny too.
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