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. Defcon

    Defcon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    I haven't read Destiny yet either, but hasn't it been stated in GTTS that the torpedo most likely will only work once (or at least only temporary) because the Borg will adapt to it rather quick? So it would be unwise to use it to early, and I have to agree that the most successful sounding strategy would be to build as much torpedoes as possible and use them simultaneously in a real big clash against lot of cubes to not give them the chance to adapt to them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2008
  2. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    Because they work. And because the Borg have, at least to the end of Gods of Night, shown no ability to adapt to them. (I suspect, however, based on the fact that the Ranger's maneuver didn't work when the Excalibur attempted a repeat, that the Borg are beginning to adapt to transphasic weapons.)

    Picard's not stupid. He's probably as aware as anyone that overusing a weapon on the Borg is like using antibiotics on bacteria; eventually, they adapt to everything, and even the most powerful weapons will no longer work.

    However, in the short term, Picard recognizes from his long experience that throwing ships, armed with conventional weapons of phasers and photon or quantum torpedoes, up against the Borg is a suicidal tactic. Starfleet will lose ships and crews, and still the Borg progress further into Federation space. Picard's desire for more ships to be armed with transphasics is borne out of his wish to end the slaughter of Starfleet's ships and crews, which are not easily replaced.

    The sad truth is, and Picard recognizes this about two-thirds of the way into Gods of Night, the Borg have more resources at their disposal than the Federation. Even armed with transphasics, Starfleet will eventually fall to the force of nature that is the Borg, because there will come a point where the Borg simply overwhelm Starfleet's ships numerically.

    Transphasics are, at best, just a finger in the dike. The dam itself is cracked, and soon the water will break through.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    No, not just once. In fact, the reason transphasics are so effective is because they're just about the only weapon the Borg can't adapt to after only one or two uses. By their very nature, with the phase variations shifting randomly in each attack, they're difficult for the Borg to predict well enough to adapt to. So they probably have a longer "shelf life" than any other anti-Borg weapon. But as Allyn says, they're like antibiotics: eventually, the enemy will adapt, and the more heavily you use them, the sooner that happens.
     
  4. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Admiral

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

    Then why take the risk of the Enterprise using the transphasic torpedoes at all?

    If Starfleet really is expecting a massive attack, why not wait and churn them out to use on the Borg fleet all at once.
     
  5. Osquevel

    Osquevel Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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

    And risk losing half the Federation in the process? Since they know that it will take a longer period of time than the "one or two shots at most" of most traditional weaponry, it makes sense to deploy it in some small way to try and save what they can. The question then becomes whether to deploy it everywhere and try to stop everything that comes in, saving more worlds in the short term, but potentially losing the advantage in the long term when the next wave/full-on invasion comes.

    So is what you're saying that the Federation should cut its losses and fall back to the core worlds (Earth, Vulcan, Andor, Tellar, and maybe one or two others) and hold out until the Borg arrive en masse, and do as much damage as they can before these worlds too are wiped out?

    It seems to me that you'd want to put out what small fires you can, even using stopgap measures, in order to stall for enough time to devise some way of stopping the inferno.

    All that said, if I were in Starfleet Command, I'd have given the torpedoes to at least a handful of other ships -- the Enterprise can't be everywhere at once.
     
  6. William Leisner

    William Leisner Scribbler Rear Admiral

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

    Please, please, people, just don't respond. You know he's only going to keep moving the goalposts back and forth, hither and yon (and beyond yon) no matter what answer you give him...
     
  7. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Admiral

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

    Silly me.

    I always thought if a person bought and read a book they had a right to express opinions regarding it.
     
  8. PaulSimpson

    PaulSimpson Writer/Editor Captain

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

    A right? That's an interesting way of putting it....
     
  9. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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

    He's not saying you can't express your opinion, he's just telling us not to bother responding to you.
     
  10. wew

    wew Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    For starters right now intelligence about the Borg attacks seems a bit thin, without knowing how many ships they will send to the core worlds, it doesn't necessarily make sense to hold back.

    For example if the Borg choose to send 1000 ships to attack each core area, they would be overwhelmed.

    It appears what the Federation is doing is trying to buy time without losing to much space. So far most of the battle scenes show that the Borg's offensive weapons are working extremely well, if you recall they went through the 3 ships at Khitomer fairly quick, although they lost the cube, it cost the Federation another form of attack, which now is useless.

    As David Mack shows in the book, the Federation is now facing anti-matter shortages; plus probably a host of other shortages.

    In regards to Picard- think logically about it. Right now their only weapon which consistently works is the transphasic torpedo; if they don't use it, then what do they use? Borg ships can easily keep pace with and surpass the speed of Federation ships. How do they fight back if not with the weapons they have available. Only so many tactics exist.

    Dayton3, I suggest Ender's Game as the book for you. Much more focus on the military aspects of combat. In some ways your concepts of military tactics and strategy reminds me of a Specialist 4 in a military course I took at a joint operations facility- he focused on guns and bullets and things that go boom. Unfortunately, his primary plan he proposed involved shelling the enemy airfield from battleships stationed off the coast; while at the same time dropping airborne troops on to the airfield to sieze it and landing C-141's on the same airfield to unload supplies on the airfield which our navy would be hypothetically be bombing.
     
  11. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Admiral

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

    I read Enders Game more than a decade ago.
     
  12. JAG

    JAG Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    Well, I finished the book and I want more!

    Dave,
    This was a thoroughly enjoyable read. You gave us a great story and left most people wanting more. Great job.

    There was so much I enjoyed, the interweaving of the stories was truly well done and felt natural.

    I actually got very uncomfortable at the scenes with Deanna and Will and Dr. Ree. It read so real to me as a father and a husband. Thanks for that.
     
  13. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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

    ^ Thanks for your comments, JAG. I'm glad you enjoyed Gods of Night; here's hoping that Mere Mortals and Lost Souls live up to (or exceed) your expectations, as well.
     
  14. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    I just finished reading the book and thought it was well writen showing the different Starship crews and the mystery unfolding about the Columbia and the Calriean's. The battle with the borg was showing what a really desperate situation the federation is in. The sickbay scenes with Dr. Ree and Will & Deanna were painful to read. So sad.I just read the new excerpt for Mere Mortals I can't wait to see what happens next. Thanks David for a terrific book.
     
  15. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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

    ^ Gracias. Glad you liked it!
     
  16. JAG

    JAG Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    You are quite welcome. I have no doubts about meeting or exceeding my expectations based on the sample of Mere Mortals on Trekweb.
     
  17. Sto-Vo-Kory

    Sto-Vo-Kory Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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

    I finished GoN this weekend and I really enjoyed it. The weaving of the storylines was done very effectively, holding the audience's interests in each of the various crews. I want to give the author specific praise on his tight focus during the book. In an event trilogy such as this, the tendency is to "go big" with the scope and POV -- throwing in everything including an exploding kitchen sink. Instead, the reader of this book is given a limited perspective, often only seeing epic moments through the lens of one character.

    The story of Owen Paris, the bridge scene on the Ranger, the Columbia's engineer and his moments with the Caeliar scientists -- these are all intimately told story beats that are all happening within scenes of massive-scale destruction. The novel is richer because we, the audience, are "with" these characters -- experiencing what they experience -- instead of purely witnessing the destruction from "outside." The character moments of this book, in post after post on this thread, are the most fondly remembered sections of the story for most readers in this forum. This is no accident and deserves to be noted as a fine bit of business on Mr. Mack's part.

    I would also like to note a certain style choice in this book. In the past, some tie-in fiction writers (they need not be named) have ruthlessly killed trees for the express purpose of churning out page after page of ponderous, uninsightful internal monologues. These passages serve little in the way of exposition or story value; they're just poor attempts at characterization done with little to no sub-text.
    In "Gods of Night," the author uses action and dialogue to reveal character for great effect.

    Example: the scene with Geordi walking through the torpedo factory/bay and then talking with Crusher. Here he is, inspecting the building process (presumably during his off-shift time), walking through the makeshift factory and his thoughts are full of sympathy for the monotonous tasks of the workers there Everything that he says about them could feasibly be said about himself -- the weariness, the endless call to arms of the war effort, the drudgery of it all -- but his primary concern is for others, not himself. He then talks to Beverly and she comments on how he's the only member of the "old guard" left that she can talk to still. He gives her a sounding board for her situation but what really struck me was how lonely he must now be. He's without his best friend (Data), most of his poker buddies, even Reg. His every free moment is spent on the war effort and it's not hard to imagine him coming to the end of his rope sooner rather than later. All of this information can be sussed out from from what's being said and done in this scene, but no where is it expressly written out. What's happening between the lines and left to the reader's intuition is much more powerful an experience than the author having Geordi come in, think "Boy, I sure am lonely and strained" and tell Beverly that very same sentiment in dialogue a few pages later.

    This is just one scene that I'm referring to but "Gods of Night" is full of story moments just like this that reveal character and nuance much more clearly and honestly than spoon-feeding straight-forward text to the reader ever could. Good style choice on the author's part, in my opinion.
     
  18. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

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

    Agreed. Also sad: mere moments after I read that part of the story my cousin called and told me that she (my cousin) was having a miscarriage.
     
  19. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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

    Sto-Vo-Kory, thanks for your kind comments. I think the technical term for what you were praising with regard to some of the character moments (particularly La Forge) is "subtext" — the unspoken emotions and motivations behind what a character says and does. And your suspicions about Geordi might be borne out by upcoming events in the trilogy.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I look forward to your comments on books two and three.
     
  20. Osquevel

    Osquevel Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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

    Having just finished these scenes, I would have to agree. The Owen Paris death scene is another high-ranking favorite scene for its sheer dramatic tension and realism. Here's a man who we've known to be a complete hard-ass fumbling around like an idiot, essentially (Mack uses words to this effect, iirc). The scene on the Ranger, too, with the crewmen who couldn't bring himself to push the red button; we don't see that enough...

    That said, contrast that with the description of Tom Paris, where he practically says "look how lonely and depressed I am." One isn't better than the other, but the fact that both are present, and (I haven't quite gotten to the scene you mention yet, hence) (theoretically) work also speak volumes about Mack's ability to craft a powerful story.

    The more I read, the more this is become one one of my favorite Trek books of all time!