Just finished, and I've gotta say, it was a fantastic read.
At first, I thought the jumping, varying nature of the scenes was just going to show different aspects of the Alpha Quadrant in the wake of the Borg invasion; I had no idea that they were going to be subtly linked together through Sekki, which was an ingenious idea. It was almost like a mystery - as soon as Sonek realised that there was a pattern, I was trying to figure out the connections as he was.
Since this book had so many sub-arcs working back into the main storyline, I thought I'd give my thoughts on each one individually:
- The refinery on Capella - this was an intriguing plot at first, because it wasn't picked up on for quite a while after it happened. I was more locked in with the other arcs, until Kedair arrived to sort things out, at which point it became completely engaging. Kedair was written fantastically, and she is now easily my favourite from the Aventine crew.
- The Musgrave and the farantine - personally, I found this to be the weakest arc. I'm not familiar with the SCE books, so I didn't really respond to Fabian Stevens being there, and everything seemed to revolve around technobabble. Although it was cleverly tied back in by the end (and I did like the fact that they reached the conclusion about Sekki themselves), I was glad when their storyline was wrapped up mainly from Sonek, Altoss, and Trabka's point of view.
- Tal'Aura and Donatra - this was my favourite section of the book. I love the Romulans and the direction they've been taken in, so seeing them after the Borg attack was great. I liked the way Sonek handled the centurions on Artaleirh, and the introduction of Altoss quickly made her an entertaining character, but the best scene has to be the one between Sonek and Donatra. Great dialogue.
- The Klingons and the Kinshaya - my second favourite section, sheerly for the fact that Klag and the Gorkon completely kicked the Kinshaya's ass. Strangely satisfying, especially since I've never read any of the Gorkon books.
- Bacco and the Typhon Pact - I'm not sure if this technically counts as a separate story thread, but I love it regardless. Bacco has been a favourite of mine since "A Time for War, A Time for Peace", and seeing her verbally thrash Tezrene was awesome. Can't wait to see how the Typhon Pact develops.
- The interludes between chapters - very enjoyable, from the death list with some very shocking names right down to T'Lara and the others on the talk show.
While I enjoyed the book overall, there was one problem that stuck with me throughout - and that was Sonek. I liked his character, I thought the premise of him was good, I liked the irony of him not even being able to talk to his own son. But I couldn't see what the big fuss about him was. He didn't say anything special, he didn't say anything that I couldn't imagine, for example, Dax saying. It seemed a bit like the reader was being told to accept that Sonek was a genius communicator without much proof of it.
Another quibble, though more minor, is the theme of music that runs throughout the book (along with the occasional set of lyrics). To me, they didn't fit very well and seemed to jar with the tone of the novel.
Overall, however, I'd still give "A Singular Destiny" a very strong 4.5 out of 5