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. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 1: Gods of Night - (SPOILERS)

    If you want to do space science in the Federation, there's probably no better place to do it than the Enterprise. To all indications, Starfleet is the most advanced research facility in the UFP.

    Besides, it's not just her. She could presumably have her family aboard the Enterprise if she wanted. But her husband refuses to leave his job at the university and go into space with her. You ask why she doesn't make the sacrifice for the sake of family unity -- but you should also ask why he doesn't.
     
  2. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 1: Gods of Night - (SPOILERS)

    You're welcome to that feeling, of course, but I don't think it's supported by evidence. And second officer was always Data's position on board, and it was repeatedly stated as thus.


    Have you read the S.C.E. series? If so, did you have the same problem with Captain Gold, who has had many many more kids during a long career in Starfleet? And, as Christopher pointed out, Vicenzo and the kids could've come onto the Big E, but Vicenzo didn't want to give up his career, either.

    It is my considered opinion that if Miranda was a male character, nobody would even be commenting on "leaving the kids behind." And in fact nobody has ever said that about David Gold, who left his wife to raise a lot more children than Miranda Kadohata did her husband. But because she's a woman, it becomes an issue -- which, to be honest, is why I set up the character the way I did, to challenge the expectations. (She first appeared in Q & A, and the character was my creation.)
     
  3. Kirr

    Kirr Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 1: Gods of Night - (SPOILERS)

    Maybe. I'd argue that Titan is probably the best place to explore strange new worlds - but I suspect there is plenty of high science going on even close to earth.

    You're right - and I did ask this question in one of my previous posts. Perhaps he should have. Perhaps more of a compromise should have been reached. Again, this actually comes across to me as MORE of a marriage problem (and I don't buy the 'her career came before her marriage or kids' - well then perhaps she should have thought about that before she went and got married and HAD kids) and perhaps it should be looked at in future books of this series. I know I'm not content with the way it is being portrayed right now.

    I haven't read S.C.E. - so, I'm afraid I can't comment, except to say, that I don't think I'd have been in favor of it there anymore than I am here. Christopher gave examples of other Trek characters 'devoted' to their work (Kirk and Spock were used) - but as I recall in all those cases, they weren't married and leaving behind kids. I'll be honest, as a dad, I find this idea crazy for anyone to contemplate who actually is a parent. You think your career defines you, you think lots of other things are important - and then you have kids and discover that they're not.

    Nope, not true. I would quit my job tomorrow to stay home with my kids if I could. I spent many years in school and have a very nice career, and I'd give it all up to spend more time at home with them. I do have to work, but I'm also there every night, every morning, every weekend, and anytime they need me. So if thats the same choice that David Gold made (career over all else), I'd not like him for much the same reason as Miranda.

    But hey, perhaps I'm the only one who thinks you should actually be with the person you married, and raise the kids you had together. And sometimes you've got to live with the consequences of those choices (one way or the other) and I applaud - I think it was you KRAD, but perhaps it was Christopher - whoever wrote the scenes where Miranda's five year old is angry at her for leaving. Very realistic. Now fast forward a few years to when she essentially feels like her parents were divorced. Or her siblings barely know their mother (heck, even at 5-years-old the daughter barely knows her) - what kind of a presence will Miranda be in their lives? These aren't just rhetorical questions - they're questions the character should be asking herself.

    For what it's worth, I appreciate the feedback from both of you, and I hope that I'm in no way offending. I'm trying to provide insight into why I feel the way I do about this character, and perhaps in some small way that will effect future appearances by her.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2009
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 1: Gods of Night - (SPOILERS)

    ^^You're certainly entitled to approach your family in your own way, but it's kind of excessive to assume that any family that's divided is somehow that way because one or both of its parents are deadbeats. What about military families? What about people who get married and have kids and then go off to serve in distant countries to make sure their spouses and kids remain safe? Are they bad parents in your eyes?
     
  5. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 1: Gods of Night - (SPOILERS)

    Exactly.

    And it's important to keep in mind that in the Federation's political culture, exploration and scientific research are regarded as being as instrumental to national defense and integrity as combat capacity is. There's a reason that Starfleet performs both national defense and exploratory functions: Because it is predicated on the idea that you need both to preserve the Federation.

    So going off on a ship to be an explorer is, in the eyes of Federation culture, as valid an act of national service as going off on a ship to engage in combat.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 1: Gods of Night - (SPOILERS)

    ^^Not to mention that the Enterprise is a defensive vessel as well as an exploratory one, so it's not just an analogy; part of Kadohata's job is protecting her civilization, including her family.
     
  7. Claudia

    Claudia Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 1: Gods of Night - (SPOILERS)

    And even if her husband had agreed to follow Kadohata aboard ENT, one could argue that having young children on a ship in times of war (and the Borg invasion(s) count as such) is questionable at best, even if the ships themselves may be designed for this... and you can't always evacuate them before an attack. I know I'd be exceedingly distracted if any children of mine were in our quarters (or whereever on the ship) and I couldn't be with them... I think even more so than if they weren't around on the ship at all.

    Also, I didn't get the impression that the Ent-E was a family-ship like the D was, it's much smaller after all... Would it even have been possible for her family to stay on Enterprise, or would have Kadohata had to transfer to another ship in order to have her family with her?

    Another question about Gold: Isn't he much older, therefore isn't his situation quite a bit different to Kadohata's? (Unless the SCE specifically mentioned that he either *now* has young children while serving as captain, or that he continued serving in the past even when his children were younger - and of course, it would be interesting, if there were any "family" ships around by the time his children were at the age of Kadohata's.)
     
  8. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 1: Gods of Night - (SPOILERS)

    Gold was serving in Starfleet throughout his life as his wife was raising the kids back home.
     
  9. Kirr

    Kirr Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 1: Gods of Night - (SPOILERS)

    You're kidding me right. Christopher, I'd really like you to find where I'm accusing any parent of being a 'deadbeat'. I will say that this military argument can go one of two ways - first is, yes, the person who chooses to be in the military does make that choice - and I wouldn't do it if I had young children personally, but there ya go. I'm not really certain how I feel about other people who choose that - but ultimately, my feelings about that are really not at all relevant to a discussion about a Starfleet officer who HAS a choice (unlike someone in the military) to bring their family along, or choose a different posting. She's got LOTS of alternate choices, and to make it seem otherwise is a disservice. And since you seem to hold no problem asking about how I choose to approach my family, I suppose I can ask if you even have kids, something I would think might give some more insight into how difficult it might be to leave them behind.

    See, this argument doesn't really work for me when the Captain and his wife and future child will all be remaining with the Enterprise I'm sure. And no one is 'safe' anywhere - it's all relative. Yes, staying home is safer than being on a starship. But what if the base where her family live is attacked while she's away, relatively safer in her starship with it's defenses against the Borg.

    Ultimately, I feel I've completely derailed this topic, which was not my intention. I gave my reasons for not liking Miranda, I already knew the reasons the authors feel she's made the 'right' choice, as it's clear from the portrayal, and the answers have only reinforced that. I think there were other choices here, and so I find I've got a problem with her. Doesn't stop me from reading, or enjoying, the stories you've presented.

    And as I said at the beginning, I loved Destiny book 1 and look forward to talking about book 2.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 1: Gods of Night - (SPOILERS)

    Not in so many words, but you seem to be saying that anyone who doesn't make the same choice you made is a bad parent and worthy of your disapproval and dislike.

    Yes, that's exactly my point. She has choices, and she and her husband didn't make the same choice you would have. That doesn't make it wrong.

    That's completely uncalled for. I "asked" no such thing. I explicitly said you were free to make whatever choice you wanted about your own family, and if you claim otherwise, it's a lie. And your rude question about my personal life is irrelevant to my point, which is that regardless of your or my experience, it's not our place to judge. Different people have the right to make different choices.
     
  11. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 1: Gods of Night - (SPOILERS)

    Who's to say that these questions won't be addressed as the series goes forward? It strikes me that the character of Miranda was introduced with probably these very issues in mind.
     
  12. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 1: Gods of Night - (SPOILERS)

    Ok, just one comment here, when you use Picards-Crushers you have to remember that they are both officers who have been serving on the ship together, and I have a feeling that if it were the same with Miranda and Vicenzo (I think that's how you spell his name, the books are in the other room and I don't feeling like going all the way in their to look) were both in Starfleet there's a good chance he'd be on the ship too.
    Oh, and given what's been happening recently I just want to say that it's nice to see someone who can actually enjoy the books even though he doesn't like one of the decisions made in them.
     
  13. William Leisner

    William Leisner Scribbler Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 1: Gods of Night - (SPOILERS)

    I think you give the authors far too much credit...
     
  14. Ktrek

    Ktrek Captain Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 1: Gods of Night - (SPOILERS)

    I can kind of see where Kirr is coming from. The issue is somewhat of a moral issue and one of personal character. Miranda's decision to abandon her family to pursue her career speaks little as to her moral character. It says that she is willing to have babies but not take up the appropriate responsibility in regards to them. She could have resigned her commission but she puts career above family and that is what I think Kirr was saying.

    I too think it's a bad choice and even if it was a male character I would say it's a bad choice. Having children is something that requires personal sacrifice. You can't just choose when you're going to be there for them and when you are not. I don't see the comparison to the military as valid either because military are not deployed for years. Months yes but a Starfleet vessel could be years out and yet she chose this. I personally cannot understand any mother who would do such a thing to their child. It seems cruel and unusual to both the husband left behind and the children he now has to raise alone. She might as well not even be married to him. With all the statistics there are that show children being raised in single parent households contribute to more crimes than any other demographic I cannot see how a Star Trek author can in all good conscience support such a position and say it's OK.

    Kevin
     
  15. William Leisner

    William Leisner Scribbler Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 1: Gods of Night - (SPOILERS)

    And what planet do you live on? :wtf:

    Of course military personnel can be stationed away from their home base for years at a time. Even in peacetime, US soldiers could do a year in Germany, followed by a year in Korea, followed by a year someplace else. Not to mention the fact that peace can turn to war in an instant, and regardless of the length of deployment, the military parent might never come home.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 1: Gods of Night - (SPOILERS)

    That's ridiculous. She didn't "abandon" her family. She communicates with them over subspace every chance she gets. She visits home every chance she gets. She took quite a few months off duty for maternity leave -- including not only the pregnancy itself, but time thereafter to bond with her new babies. She and her husband mutually agreed that they were okay with this arrangement, and they both work as hard as they can to make it work for themselves and for their kids. That's anything but abandonment.

    As Bill pointed out, that is categorically untrue.

    Once again: this was Vicenzo's idea as much as hers. Miranda loves her kids and would happily have them and her husband aboard the Enterprise with her, but Vicenzo refuses to leave his university work. Why isn't he just as much to blame for this separation? Why are you pinning it all on Miranda when it was a mutual decision?

    Oh, that is ridiculous. For your information, I lived in a single-parent household from the age of seven onward, and I've never committed any infraction more serious than jaywalking. Statistics can be twisted to support any line of bull, and you're twisting this one way past the breaking point. The argument you're making here is ludicrous -- especially when applied to the 24th-century Federation where crime is virtually nonexistent.

    If there is any correlation between single parenting and crime, it's that the children of single parents are often neglected because society forces those parents to work extra-hard to support their family, leaving them no time for their children. With no need for money in the 24th century, Vicenzo can spend plenty of time with his children. You're also forgetting that this isn't a "single-parent household." Miranda talks to her kids over subspace on a daily basis. She's involved with their lives very actively, even if she's not physically there. These kids are not starved for attention, and they're not going to grow up to be juvenile delinquents in a society that has a crime rate bordering on zero.
     
  17. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 1: Gods of Night - (SPOILERS)

    Ok, as a child of a (mostly) single-parent household, I find that statement a little insulting. I have never commited and crime, and I have a sister who has also never commited a crime (as far as I know) and who is now working as a doctor. So I don't see exactly what bad thing you think the authors are supporting.
     
  18. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 1: Gods of Night - (SPOILERS)

    Ditto.

    Speaking as someone who went from being raised in a poor, single-parent household in a low-income, high-crime neighborhood to do well in school and intern in the Ohio State Senate and United States Senate, and who has never been involved in crime or drugs or anything of the sort:

    Thanks for insulting my upbringing and my mother's parenting skills, Ktrek! Just love it when people who don't know me stand in judgment of my family! :)
     
  19. Jean-Luc Picard

    Jean-Luc Picard Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 1: Gods of Night - (SPOILERS)

    I can see both sides of the argument, but in the end, it comes down to personal opinion and choice, both within the story and without. For me, it's just a facet of Kadohata's character, and helps to flesh her out as a realistic crew member; it's easy to lose human situations in amongst the phasers and starships, so I think KRAD did a good job in applying a different dynamic. If Kadohata is going to be criticised for that, however, then her husband Vicenzo must also come under scrutiny. He chose to remain with his career too, and his is arguably far less important than his wife's.

    Still, no matter how humanizing Kadohata's situation is, I don't think it can be translated as literally into the real world as it has been in this thread. Statistical probabilities on single-parent families don't fit into an advanced future society, and they shouldn't; I'm all for reflection of issues in entertainment and fiction, but anything so blatant would just be heavy-handed and rob it of its sense of escapism. When it comes down to it, Kadohata is a subtle representation of reality and nothing more.

    Back to the book: Hernandez and her team's arrival at Erigol has been really interesting so far, and Inyx is intriguing. The Enterprise storyline has really heated up, with the attack on Korvat and Paris' death; I also thought that the Ranger's kamikaze strike was really inventive and a blast to read. I'm liking the screentime that Pazlar is getting too, as well as Tuvok. The scene with Troi learning the truth behind her miscarriages was a nice throwback to "The Child".
     
  20. Kirr

    Kirr Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 1: Gods of Night - (SPOILERS)

    [SIZE=2]
    I think this cuts right to the heart of the matter, so I’m going to add my last thoughts based on this. I’ve written what I have to explain the reasons I feel the way I do – and perhaps that was the wrong track to take. Let me simply things.

    If the intention was to create an unsympathetic character - congratulations, you’ve succeeded. Ignor me and move on.

    If the intention was collectively to create a sympathetic character in Miranda, so far, for me personally, it has been a failure. Doesn’t mean the writing’s been poor, doesn’t mean I have to agree with her choice, doesn’t mean you have to change her decision or that I may ever like her. I do not find her sympathetic. An interesting character, whom I don’t really like.

    And if the intention is to convince me on a message board of why I’m wrong, in gamer lingo, epic fail, you’ve completely missed the point.

    I know its in vogue to say ‘it’s just one idiot on the internet’ – and again, if you feel you’ve done everything in your power to make Miranda a sympathetic character and the fault lies with me – great, your job here is done. But it seems to me where there’s one, there might be more people reading her character this way.

    What I have tried to do is give some examples of ways in which the authors might find ways to improve this character. Frankly, I don’t think these suggestions would hurt even if you are a reader who is completely sold on the idea of Miranda. I’m talking about seeing her and her husband talk about this decision some more. I don’t really feel like I’ve seen him say he wouldn’t join her – but even if I’m forgetting that scene from a particular novel, if these novels are meant to stand alone, there’s no harm in revisiting these things in later novels (besides, in real life, these kinds of discussions come up over and over again, with hurt feelings, and unresolved issues). Would it hurt to have her husband ask the same questions I have (‘what’s your goal Miranda?’). Perhaps he’s totally on-board with this decision, but the children aren’t.

    You could argue, ‘maybe these things are going on behind the scenes’ – well, that doesn’t really help. I’m not ‘seeing’ those discussions, so to me, everyone is a-ok with the situation. And maybe they all are, and if so, it’s unrealistic to me, but whatever.

    I’ll give you another example of how this discussion could be brought up in terms of a novel (and actually create character growth for another character who could use it) – it might be interesting to have a character on the Enterprise who knows about Miranda’s decision, and doesn’t agree with it. Doesn’t mean the character in question (let’s say Geordi, who fits this bill well since he’s got unresolved abandonment issues, and has been reluctant to become friends with Miranda ‘because she took over Data’s spot’ – but what if there’s something a little deeper there) would be disrespectful to Miranda, it might not even prevent them from being friends – but not everyone has to agree with Miranda’s decision, and right now, there’s no sense of conflict here.

    But all that’s just one idiot’s opinion on the internet. Now I’m going to play with my kids.
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