I finished this book and, so, the trilogy as a whole, ages
ago, but computer troubles have kept me offline since then so I haven't been able to post my thoughts. In short, I loved "Destiny", and think that it is exactly the boost that the novel franchise needed.
It had everything - action, drama, tragedy, romance...what else could a reader ask for? Everything was so powerfully delivered, and the best part was how Mack managed to capture the intricacies of war; it was the little moments, like Admiral Paris' death and Troi's relief over her child, that really hit home amidst the all-encompassing destruction wrought by the Borg. In such an epic saga, it's difficult to zone in on the individual tragedies, but it was done flawlessly throughout all three books.
Talking of the Borg, this was the most imposing they've ever been. My jaw was on the floor when the cubes effortlessly ripped through the armada that Bacco had worked so hard to assemble. Their relentness approach, and the way everyone had given up fighting back by the time they reached Mars, really had me believing that Earth was going to take some heavy hits if not be ravaged altogether. That's how good the set-up was: not only did I actually believe that core facets of the ST universe were about to be wiped out, I found the fact that some of its key figures (usually so determined and persistent) had given up believable and realistic.
The characterisation, for the most part, was spot-on. I particularly enjoyed Bacco (made me love her even more), Dax (she makes a very different but entertaining captain), Worf and Choudhury (their relationship was developed very well), and Kedair (a new favourite of mine who now has an extra dimension added to her through the friendly fire incident). I thought Picard's breakdown was a little over-the-top, and found his connection to Crusher a bit too sickly-sweet, but otherwise he was written brilliantly. Hernandez and the Caeliar also shone, although I hope they don't pop up again too soon - I'm not too keen on races that powerful, though they fit the boundaries of the story here.
One quibble I had was that the third book, for all it accomplished, felt a bit...ill-paced. It seemed as though the timing was a bit off, with several chapters of talking and then sudden bursts of action, but needless to say that the conclusion was satisfying enough for me to let that go.
Overall, despite some minor criticisms, I give this trilogy full marks. A great read.