Destiny: Gods of Night by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by haubrija, Sep 19, 2008.

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Grade "Star Trek: Destiny: Gods of Night"

  1. Excellent

    69.7%
  2. Above Average

    22.6%
  3. Average

    5.2%
  4. Below Average

    1.3%
  5. Poor

    1.3%
  1. haubrija

    haubrija Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    At the suggestion of Rosalind in the other thread, I figured I'd start this new thread as my copy just arrived in my hands via Amazon. I'm gonna tear into it as soon as I get home and will post a review as soon as I finish it. Anyone else get their's yet?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2012
  2. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

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    Star Trek: Destiny: Gods of Night Discuss/Grade <Spoilers>

    It is now available at Borders stores in PA.
     
  3. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan "Down with this sort of thing!" Premium Member

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Gods of Night - Spoiler Thread

    Two threads opened on the same subject with in fifteen minutes of each other, so can the mods close one of them? (I personally suggest this one as the other thread has a funky little ratings poll as well)
     
  4. BryanSorensen

    BryanSorensen Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Gods of Night Discuss/Grade <Spoilers>

    wooohhooo! its about time and let the fun begin! I cant wait to read these!
     
  5. William Leisner

    William Leisner Scribbler Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Gods of Night Discuss/Grade <Spoilers>

    So, would the two people who already voted "excellent" like to expand on that here?

    (I'd ask the same of the one who voted failure, but I know how busy Keith is...)
     
  6. Rosalind

    Rosalind TrekLit's Dr Rose Mod Admiral

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    Grade "Star Trek: Destiny: Gods of Night"

    I've put a new poll on the top, so now we can see who voted what. :devil:
     
  7. Steve Roby

    Steve Roby Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Gods of Night - SPOILER Thread

    Quoting the review I just posted over at my Starfleet Library blog...

    Spoilers ahead.

    The concise review: wow.

    On to the more detailed commentary.

    Gods of Night is the first in a trilogy that features characters from Enterprise, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Titan. It's the culmination of the Borg storyline from several recent Next Generation novels, but it's much more than that.

    I've been trying to avoid finding out too much about Destiny before reading it, so I haven't read the excerpts online. I didn't want to have too many expectations of what was going to be in the story beyond big, earth-shattering, that sort of thing. But from the book back cover copy and the covers I did learn that Erika Hernandez and some mysterious aliens were involved. Oh, and this is also the big Borg invasion trilogy, and lots of characters are involved.

    But now I've read it. That stuff sounds big. But this is bigger.

    Gods of Night has four main alternating story threads. Captain Ezri Dax and the crew of her ship U.S.S. Aventine find the wreck of the Columbia... and something more. Erika Hernandez and the Columbia, back in the 22nd century (just as the Romulan War is about to begin, carrying on nicely from last month's novel Kobayashi Maru), survive an attack only to find themselves with a difficult choice that leads to a risky first contact. Titan, on a deep space exploration mission too far from the Federation to help directly in the Borg invasion, is on the verge of discovering something strange and unexpected. Picard and the Enterprise are about to be in the thick of things, as Picard is hearing the Borg again. Four storylines seems like enough to work with, so it's not terribly surprising that Voyager and Nan Bacco don't get too many pages in this book. At any rate, each of the four storylines advances significantly over the course of the book, and each one reaches an appropriate point for the pause between volumes.

    If I have a criticism, it's that a lot of the character development moments are given to Picard, Crusher, Riker, and Troi, four characters we already know pretty well. I'd like to learn more about what kind of person Ezri Dax has become, and more about Erika Hernandez, but there's plenty of time for that, with two more books to come.

    Speaking of Hernandez, I'm glad to see her getting a major part in this epic, because she made more of a positive impression on me in her brief appearances on Enterprise than Archer ever did. It's also a refreshing change to see a big crossover story that involves Enterprise rather than the original series. I was never a huge fan of Enterprise as a TV series, but it's part of Star Trek now, and shouldn't be ignored or retconned out of existence. It should be used in new and interesting ways, and using Hernandez is a good way to do that. She did get a fair amount of screen time in the new Enterprise novel Kobayashi Maru, in scenes leading up to the beginning of her storyline here, but she wasn't given much characterization beyond thinking warm and fuzzy thoughts about Archer. Here, she's much more central to the story, and though it would be dramatically overstating things to say that the trilogy will stand or fall on her characterization, the amount of attention she's getting means she has to develop a few dimensions beyond what we saw on TV. Over the course of three long books, I think Mack will be able to pull that off. Not all of Hernandez's crew get as much characterization as I might like, but there's a huge cast already. Foyle and Pemberton at least get their moments, and I wouldn't be surprised to see some "Foyle was right" posts online. I don't think he was, and any moral ambiguity that might have been there early on dissipated pretty quickly as the situation escalated and he kept making things worse, but I'm sure he'll have his defenders. (Don't anticipate yours truly offering names 3.)

    Continuing with the Hernandez storyline, I really liked the big old-fashioned space opera/adventure feel of it, with its mysterious and powerful aliens, and the huge, scientifically advanced alien cities. It helps that this is a 22nd century Earth Starfleet crew having this particular adventure, with their lower level of Treknology, because too often in Star Trek alien cultures are either at the Federation level of tech or so far beyond it that don't need bodies, or cities, they're just energy beings or beings that dump the characters into an Earthlike environment because the humans couldn't understand the aliens' usual environment. The Caeliar world has a good, old-fashioned SF alien feel about it, and it's fun to find a big exploration and adventure story as part of what so many people think will be a Borg overdose.

    The Ezri Dax storyline is a change of pace, with its mystery/thriller elements. What happened to Columbia? What happened to the dead Aventine crew members? What managed to get aboard the Aventine? It's good to see that a lot of this was wrapped up in the first book, so readers get some resolution at the end of the first book even as other storylines carry on.

    The Enterprise and Titan storylines have a lot of good compare-and-contrast things going on, as the ongoing threads from their respective book series continue here. The shipper paradise of Picard and Crusher and Riker and Troi becoming married couples with plans for families is looking a lot less like paradise now, with Troi's emotional problems relating to her inability to have a viable child and Picard's distraction due to his enhanced connection to the Borg. Both relationships seem to be in very uncomfortable places, though part of me wonders if the Caeliar's reverence for life and high tech may have some role to play in Troi's situation. (Well, if Janeway's not coming back, there should be some kind of light out of the darkness.)

    The Enterprise is in the somewhat predictable situation of engaging the Borg directly, making use of Picard's knowledge and connection to them, but I'm glad we're not seeing the foolhardy risktaking of Resistance or the over-the-top Borg attack sequences of Before Dishonor. The focus on the impact of the devastation being done is more effective than an attempt to recreate a flashy visual effects extravaganza in print. More appropriate, as well; the Borg have raised the stakes, and this isn't about gosh-wow explosions, it's about how far they're going to get, and how our heroes will be able to stop them -- assuming they do.

    Titan has its own kind of despair to deal with, the intimate personal despair of Riker and Troi over her miscarrying, and the crew's frustration over being too far from Federation space to be able to help against the Borg. But their exploratory mission may be about to pay off in a way they couldn't have predicted. I think a case could be made that it's conveniently coincidental that the Aventine and Titan missions are both connecting to the Caeliar at roughly the same time, but that's not something I'm going to worry about. This is fiction, and in fiction, we usually expect separate storylines to converge at some point.

    In conclusion... I liked that all four storylines had distinctly different tones, that only one dealt directly with the Borg, and that some things were resolved (setting up others, no doubt). I like the fact that the continuity established in different Trek book series can be drawn on and built on in an event like this, which feels a lot less contrived than some of the crossover events of the past.

    Also, though I'd like to see more character work in certain places, this is nonetheless a very strongly character-oriented story so far, and not simply about interchangeable cogs in a big space war. I don't really know yet where "destiny" fits in here -- is it Picard's destiny to be changed forever by the Borg? is it Hernandez's destiny to be something more than human and fight the Borg? Is it the Borg's destiny to be eliminated or change beyond recognition? Is every major character going to have their lives change drastically as a result of the events of this trilogy? Too early to tell. But I'm looking forward to finding out.

    (Yeah, I know this is a spoiler thread, but it's a long post.)

    Ob$quote: This is how to do a Star Trek crossover. With epic scope, intensity, and raw emotion, Gods of Night is a powerful beginning to a story that looks likely to have real consequences for the Star Trek universe. Not to be missed.
     
  8. Species7582

    Species7582 TrekBBS Lurker Premium Member

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Gods of Night - SPOILER Thread

    ^ what Steve Roby said
     
  9. Reanok

    Reanok Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Gods of Night - SPOILER Thread

    Thanks for the review Steve. I can't wait to get these books. Reading those excerpts online made me even more curious as to what's going to happen with this miniseries. What happens to the characters and the consquences they'll have to deal with.
     
  10. flandry84

    flandry84 Captain Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Gods of Night - SPOILER Thread

    Troi? Emotional problems?
    That's me then.:(
     
  11. Aatrek

    Aatrek Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Gods of Night - SPOILER Thread

    Quick question: how much fictional time has passed between "Fearful Symmetry" (the last DS9 book) and "Gods of Night?"

    I assume there will still be a number of DS9 books to catch the timeline up to 'Destiny' over the next few... years?
     
  12. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Gods of Night - SPOILER Thread

    Four years. FS is in early 2377 and Destiny is in early 2381.

    Yuppurs. :)
     
  13. Steve Roby

    Steve Roby Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Gods of Night - SPOILER Thread

    Troi's problems are just one part of one of four storylines. Are you really going to let that stop you from reading this?
     
  14. flandry84

    flandry84 Captain Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Gods of Night - SPOILER Thread

    How many books do you buy intending to skip certain parts?
    I could type a list of adjetives to describe my feelings on Deanna Troi,but all I will say is that she is ...a drag.
    TBH,my disenchantment with most of current Treklit means that probably,yes,I will sit this one out.
    I mean no disrespect to the authors/producers,but that iis how it is.
     
  15. Steve Roby

    Steve Roby Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Gods of Night - SPOILER Thread

    Your loss.
     
  16. tenmei

    tenmei Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Gods of Night - SPOILER Thread

    Ordered my copy today from bookdepository. Good stuff. Should arrive to entertain me through week two of teaching practice.
     
  17. startrekfiero

    startrekfiero Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Gods of Night - SPOILER Thread

    Ok, so this is a trilogy which of course means there are three Destiny books in total, correct?
    Obviously the first book Gods of Night is now available but has anyone seen, read or reviewed either of the next two books yet?
     
  18. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Gods of Night - SPOILER Thread

    Correct. Your grasp of the obvious is impressive and inspiring. ;)

    Advance copies of all three books (in page-proof form) were provided to several readers/reviewers: Robert Lyons at TrekMovie.com; Jeff Ayers at TrekWeb.com; Paul Simpson at Star Trek Magazine; Steve Roby; and the eponymous reviewer of SciFiChick.com.

    So far, reviews have been posted only for book one; to minimize the risk of spoilers for readers who acquire the book later than others, reviews of the later books in the trilogy, Mere Mortals and Lost Souls, are being held back until October and November, respectively.

    However, the initial feedback that I've heard via my editor is that more than a few of these individuals, having now read the entire trilogy, are even more laudatory in their reviews of the latter volumes than of the first, which so far has received a glowing critical response.

    Will the readership at large enjoy them as much or more? That remains to be seen. And, as with all such matters, readers' reactions will be entirely subjective. What one loves another will despise.

    As Billy Pilgrim would say, "So it goes." :)
     
  19. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Gods of Night - SPOILER Thread

    The three books are being released in successive months. Mere Mortals will be out in about a month or so, with Lost Souls eight weeks from now.

    I haven't seen any reviews of the books, though I do know that some people have read them.....

    :angel:
     
  20. startrekfiero

    startrekfiero Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Gods of Night - SPOILER Thread

    Yup, I know the time frame of the release of each book, I just wanted to know if any reviews of the other two books had been done yet and if so where and by who.
    And the article on the Destiny book Gods of Night in the Star Trek Magazine wasn't even really a review but more of a large overview of what the book was about including two pages from chapter 7.
    Is there a more in depth review of at least the first book that can be found anywhere?