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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

View Poll Results: Grade "Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals"
Excellent 97 77.60%
Above Average 15 12.00%
Average 10 8.00%
Below Average 1 0.80%
Poor 2 1.60%
Voters: 125. You may not vote on this poll

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Old October 24 2008, 02:37 AM   #1
Julio Angel Ortiz
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Destiny: Mere Mortals by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Just finished it today and I'll have a review up in a couple of days. In short... excellent read. I wanted to put this thread up to start the discussion.

A couple of points...

  • I was digging the subspace tunnels concept and all the high-concept ideas hinted at (a race who can travel at warp by thought- and they owned the Borg? A galaxy where many of the stars are contained in structures?). I was hoping the tunnels would stick around and, oh, I don't know... maybe Voyager could spend some time exploring them...
  • Over seven thousand, four hundred Borg ships? That ending... wow.
  • Leave it to D-Mack to take a potentially fannish concept (Worf vs. Hirogen ZOMG!11!!) and make it really work. The entire Hirogen sequence was incredibly well-written, extremely intense. Loved it.
  • The Ree / Troi cliffhanger... was that every fanboy's fantasy made manifest?
  • Hernandez's and her crew's plight... again, great job. It forms the emotional spine of this novel and is just heartbreaking in so many ways. I can't believe Erika isn't crazy by now.
More thoughts as they come, but overall, a great effort. The only nitpick that comes to mind right now is the very end... I'm not a fan of Riker's decision, on a few levels, but I'm interested to see where it goes.
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Old October 24 2008, 03:12 AM   #2
Ferd Burfel
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Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

I'm worried about how this is gonna end. This is just my opinion, just my own, but I am so sick of the Borg. I have a feeling this will leave me with some sense of finality, but I'm just so damned sick of them as the bad guy. And then they just bring over 7,000 ships through... I'm just shaking my head a bit. I'm not big on the whole doomsday thing so far. Skeptical about the ending.

The Hirogen stuff was well written, and gruesome (just what I'd expect from David Mack). Dr. Ree pouncing was also a moment where I was scratching my head. I know why he did it, but it just seems he isn't very...doctorly...quite often.

I equate Riker's decision with the same one he made at the end of BOBW Part 1..."Mr Worf...fire."

*edit*
I also didn't dig all the flashback to Hernandez. I understand it and I get it, but I was getting kinda tired of going back over and over to her endless days. I just thought it could have been done with fewer flashes.
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Old October 24 2008, 03:42 AM   #3
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Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

Ferd Burfel wrote: View Post
I'm worried about how this is gonna end. This is just my opinion, just my own, but I am so sick of the Borg. I have a feeling this will leave me with some sense of finality, but I'm just so damned sick of them as the bad guy.
But did you notice? Mere Mortals is book 2 of a trilogy that's supposedly all about the Borg -- and the Borg are barely in it! They're there a bit at the beginning and a bit at the end, but that's about it. This volume is much more of a science-fiction world-building epic than a war story.
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Old October 24 2008, 04:16 AM   #4
Julio Angel Ortiz
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Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

Ferd Burfel wrote: View Post
I'm worried about how this is gonna end. This is just my opinion, just my own, but I am so sick of the Borg. I have a feeling this will leave me with some sense of finality, but I'm just so damned sick of them as the bad guy. And then they just bring over 7,000 ships through... I'm just shaking my head a bit. I'm not big on the whole doomsday thing so far. Skeptical about the ending.
I echo Christopher's sentiments above. The Borg really aren't in it that much. At the beginning, and at the end... but their presence is felt throughout the book in a very powerful way, and it works wonderfully. I'm not sick of the Borg, in the sense that I see this as the ultimate Borg story... and after this, we better not be seeing them for a long time (if ever... then I'd be sick of them ).

My only "concern" is about how it's going to end as well, just because I keep seeing the Caeliar (great race, too...) as having a big sign over them that says Deus Ex Machina. I chalk that up to years of being jaded by television and books as a kid that would resort to that... and I don't think David and crew would go that route. But clearly the Caeliar will play a pivotal moment in the last book (hey what happened to that third city that survived, anyway?... ). I'm deferring any kind of judgment like that until the end, though... but I am psyched for the finale.
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Old October 24 2008, 03:14 PM   #5
JD
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Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

Wow, sounds like there's some pretty cool stuff in this one.
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Old October 25 2008, 05:15 AM   #6
Ferd Burfel
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Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

And that is the exact reason why this trilogy (through two parts) has me so torn! I'm sick of the Borg, but I know they haven't much been around. I think part of me just wonders why "X" couldn't be the bad guy instead of the Borg. I get that maybe we'll get some finality and closure on them, but I'm just suffering Borg Fatigue. So I agree with you Julio, hopefully we don't see them again for a while after the third book, one way or the other.

I'm not saying the book(s) are bad by any means, I'm just personally sick of the Borg period. It is VERY well written and I like the new aliens and threads being created. I mean no disrespect at all towards Mack or anyone else involved, I just don't like the Borg anymore.
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Old October 26 2008, 04:48 AM   #7
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Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

GWAAAH! Crazy awesome!

Loved this book quite a bit, and very a lot. Ferd, I'm gonna have to disagree with you... I thought the Erika Hernandez flashbacks were amazing. I found myself really getting lost in her story, and the monotonous despair of Erika's situation really got to me. I felt *very* uncomfortable reading about the final plight of Sidra especially, and the choices that were made leading up to it, but all of the deaths and character evolution in this section hit me hard. David did a great job of making these characters very real, and very important to me as a reader. As they dropped off for their various reasons, the emotional weight of the situations was very clear.

And there were so many 'Gee Willikers, that's cool' moments as well. Erika gaining her powers, the gradual reveal of all the subspace tunnels, the growing relationship between Erika and Inyx... (it should be fairly clear which of the threads I enjoyed the most, methinks).

And the action... the action! The hirogen battles, the borg battle at the beginning... so cool. I was petrified that Choudhoury or Kadohata would bite the dirt...

And the politics!!! After book 1, I was thinkin "Well, that was a nice Bacco cameo. Too bad there wasn't more meat to it." Well, here was the meat. And seasoned to perfection. The Cardassian ambassador came as a complete shock to me. What a delightful surprise that was. Watching the political ballet unfold was a real treat.

I really enjoyed Book 1 of Destiny... and it had a pretty great cliffhanger, with the crew of Titan running into Erika... but it had nothing on this one. 7,400. That's... scary. That's really scary. I can't wait to find out what happens next.
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Old October 26 2008, 05:06 AM   #8
Ferd Burfel
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Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

The more I rethink them the less they bother me. Maybe I was just eager to finish the book and they slowed me down a bit. A reflection of me being too busy to enjoy it fully. My apologies to Mr. Mack for wasting good storytelling on the likes of me! Erika is a good character and I now feel like Mack's writing is the definitive word on her, not the actress' portrayal. I just felt at times there were too many flashbacks, but as I said it seems to keep growing on me as I think about it more.
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Old October 26 2008, 06:24 AM   #9
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Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

Bennyrex and Ferd Burfel, thanks for your comments. I'm glad that Mere Mortals worked for you both, and I hope that I don't let you down with Lost Souls.
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Old October 26 2008, 05:44 PM   #10
James Swallow
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Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

David Mack wrote: View Post
I hope that I don't let you down with Lost Souls.
I just finished it last night. You got no worries there.
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Old October 26 2008, 07:09 PM   #11
bennyrex
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Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

James Swallow wrote: View Post
David Mack wrote: View Post
I hope that I don't let you down with Lost Souls.
I just finished it last night. You got no worries there.

So this is what jealousy feels like... interesting...
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Old October 26 2008, 09:17 PM   #12
Chi'pok
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Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

just literally bought my copy 30 minutes ago. about to start. David, I'm confident I will love it!

I already like the teaser right after the cover with Seven and Jellico...

more thoughts after I'm done...

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Old October 26 2008, 10:28 PM   #13
casey
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Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

I finally was able to get it yesterday at Barnes and Noble. I sat down and read half of it in the store because I didn't want to wait. Then I got home and finished it.

Very good.

I particularly enjoyed the Erica Hernandez storyline. I had expected Destiny to be action packed and full of battles, but was pleasantly surprised to find such a touching personal examination of the experience of the four exiles.

I hated the last scene with Troi! And I mean hate in a good way. Ending the book with Troi being bitten by the Dr.! Frustrating because I wanted to know what was going on and why he did that.

The only thing that I had trouble with was the Hirogen scene. Now, I thought it was exceptionally well written, but it did seem kind of jarring and out of place, like I was just waiting for it to be over so I could get back to the action. I am going to keep and open mind though, because it could have some relevance in Lost Souls. And at any rate, it was not a major problem for me, just a little bit of slow down to the pace. It certainly wasn't enough to change my overall rating of the book, which is as high as it gets.

Yet another job well done!!

Now if I could only figure out who to bribe to get Lost Souls now!!
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Old October 26 2008, 10:45 PM   #14
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Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

Hirogen?! Ok, I'm intrigued now. Now, I just need to find the time to finish GoN.
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Old October 27 2008, 01:19 AM   #15
Ferd Burfel
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Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

Indeed sir, finish it up and get to the next one.

I keep thinking about the novels separately and find nit picky stuff... but then I thought about it as one story (duh) and it's fantastic and no nit picky stuff. I stopped thinking of it as two books and when I think about it as one (and ultimately three) it's so much better. Thanks again for a great book David!
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