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Old January 21 2009, 09:00 AM   #502
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Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

David Mack: I salute you. This is an incredible achievement, and a phenomenal trilogy. Since much of the general praise has been said, here are a few specific observations/questions:

1) To me, this is primarily Hernandez's trilogy, and I must give you a particular kudos on her emotional journey. I think her sections of book 2 might be my favorite material in the entire series, nearly bringing me to tears a couple of times. I'm wondering about the relationship between Inyx and her, though - most of the series felt intricately plotted and detailed, like clockwork (in a good way! Very fitting with the title "Destiny") but the moment where he asked her to live because he was being selfish, and she told him it made him more human, seemed spontaneous and entirely joyful. Was that outlined, or did that relationship grow more as you wrote it? Either way; genius, and I dearly hope we see the return of that pair. One of my favorite relationships in Trek history.

2) I don't know why, but I adore Lonnoc Kedair. Damn nifty to bring the Takarans back, and turn that into such a compelling character (she felt it her calling to defend them, etc) and breakdown in book 3. I'm really hoping we get to see the Aventine in a more central role in a future series, almost entirely just for her. Don't get me wrong, the rest of the Aventine crew was outstanding, but something about Kedair really grabbed me.

3) My only real complaint with the whole series is that our captains have very little agency in the climax; Ezri decides to get Hernandez on the scout ship, but aside from that one action, there's very little that Ezri, Riker, or Picard actually do in the third book. Which makes some sense with Picard, I suppose, though I would've liked to see him realizing that Geordi was right happen on-screen, so to speak, but Riker really seemed to just wander around until Troi showed up. Did you see some significance to that - Destiny, it's out of our hands, something like that - that I missed, or did you just feel most of the arcs for the Titan crew that you were interested in happened in earlier books/with the Caeliar?

4) Finally, I'm not a writer and I don't think I can specifically explain what I mean, but somewhere between A Time To Kill/Heal (which I read just a couple books before starting Destiny) and Destiny, your style has matured noticeably for the better. The prose seemed mostly invisible in the Kill/Heal pair, moving the action along beautifully but not really drawing attention to itself, but in this book there were several passages I came across that I had to re-read just to savor the language (particularly in the 5 planet attack sequence and, of course, the very end). Just wanted to say I noticed, and I'm very impressed.

5) And, finally, thank you for ending on such a stirring statement of fundamental optimism. I used to read a lot more sci-fi than I do now, but lately most of what I've found has seemed either resigned or fearful of the future. Such a powerfully hopeful end to such a terrifying villain was something I didn't expect, and deeply appreciate.

I really didn't think you could top Reap The Whirlwind but... damn.
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