First post! I've been lurking since the old SlipStreamBBS went dark, and have often thought about registering or maybe contributing, but recent TrekLit has convinced me to venture out a little bit anyway.
So, I bought and read the Destiny Trilogy and A Singular Destiny all within the last month or so, absolutely devoured them. I think the unified direction of TrekLit, inaugurated (I think) by the success of the DS9 Relaunch, is wonderful. I haven't read any of the other TNG post-NEM or ATT... books, nor any of the Titan or COE books, or AotF - nor do I think I'll have time to any time soon - but this didn't stop me from loving these books. The most important details I picked up from within the books themselves and lurking here anyway. Bear with me, I don't have the book in front of me, so I'll probly lose some names.
First thing I'd like to comment on - I love
Captain Dax and the Aventine
crew. I guess it helps that DS9 is my favorite series, and Dax is probably one of my favorites, if not my favorite, character. If there's one thing I'd really like to see grow out of these books (beyond the sense of a grand unified playground for further stories), it's good enough sales and reviews to give Aventine
either its' own series or at the very least feature heavily in books going forward. More Aventine
I wasn't entirely sure about Sam Bowers characterization in ASD, seems a bit more abrasive than I remember him being from the DS9R books (though I'm only up to Ferenginar/Dominion), but it certainly works in balance, and especially if I recall we're seeing him with a particular focus of bulldogging as the First Officer. Lonnoc Kedair continues to be an excellent characters created from the Destiny Trilogy, and her interaction with the Janus Mining Corp. woman was a great scene.
That said, absolutely my favorite scene in the book was Sonek Pran's jam session and the lead-up to it. Ezri realizing she still has work to do in being connected with her crew, Erin Constantino's holding it together and then losing it, Pran's beautifully sad song about the devastation. Music does a lot for me, and even if I couldn't actually hear it, thinking about people remembering the devastation in song really touched me.
Speaking of Pran, I really enjoyed reading about him! I'm not particularly familiar with Arlo Guthrie, but Pran I thought was very nicely done, and I hope we see more of him. My only slight negative note about him was his strained relationship with his son did seem a bit convenient and I didn't really connect with that drama, but it's only a slight complaint. I especially liked that he was shown to not be perfect, with his verbal beatdown by Dax and the officers he was traveling with for getting too caught up in being relevant again. Humanized him, I think.
Not having read AotF, ASD (and Destiny, of course) were my introductions to the Federation West Wing, but I quite enjoyed all those scenes.
Speaking of the larger political situation, I enjoy the state of the universe with one quibble - the Imperial Romulan State. Blah, I say. Why do we need "good Romulans" and "bad Romulans?" I quite like the Romulans, and I wish they got more (good) exploration (looking at you, NEM
), but I don't care for that bit. I know, I know, read Titan, maybe that'll help. Maybe not. I also just find it aesthetically bland. The Romulan Star Empire, run by the Praetor and Imperial Senate, is pleasing. The Imperial Romulan State, ruled by an Empress? Blah. And of course the IRS (
) are unfortunately the good guys. IMO, I think the Typhon Pact storyline should see the two states merging back into one, incorporating some of Donatra's reforms but maybe not all of them.
The Kinshaya were great, love the little griffins, and I'm sure we'll get to see some more action from them vs. the Klingons. For what little pagecount they got, they certainly made an impression on me. Ambassador Tezrene needs to be knocked down a few pegs, though she did make a great point about the nature of the Typhon Pact - the shared currency especially makes me wonder if they might not be around longer term than we might think?
Ok, I think that's long enough for my first post, eh? Thanks KRAD for a fantastic book (and David Mack since this is sorta-Destiny-ish too)!