Destiny: Lost Souls by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by nx1701g, Nov 16, 2008.

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Grade Lost Souls

  1. Excellent

    72.1%
  2. Above Average

    19.1%
  3. Average

    7.1%
  4. Below Average

    0.5%
  5. Poor

    1.1%
  1. Dimesdan

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

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    They are Assimilated and in turn freed :borg:
     
  2. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    David Mack: I salute you. This is an incredible achievement, and a phenomenal trilogy. Since much of the general praise has been said, here are a few specific observations/questions:

    1) To me, this is primarily Hernandez's trilogy, and I must give you a particular kudos on her emotional journey. I think her sections of book 2 might be my favorite material in the entire series, nearly bringing me to tears a couple of times. I'm wondering about the relationship between Inyx and her, though - most of the series felt intricately plotted and detailed, like clockwork (in a good way! Very fitting with the title "Destiny") but the moment where he asked her to live because he was being selfish, and she told him it made him more human, seemed spontaneous and entirely joyful. Was that outlined, or did that relationship grow more as you wrote it? Either way; genius, and I dearly hope we see the return of that pair. One of my favorite relationships in Trek history.

    2) I don't know why, but I adore Lonnoc Kedair. Damn nifty to bring the Takarans back, and turn that into such a compelling character (she felt it her calling to defend them, etc) and breakdown in book 3. I'm really hoping we get to see the Aventine in a more central role in a future series, almost entirely just for her. Don't get me wrong, the rest of the Aventine crew was outstanding, but something about Kedair really grabbed me.

    3) My only real complaint with the whole series is that our captains have very little agency in the climax; Ezri decides to get Hernandez on the scout ship, but aside from that one action, there's very little that Ezri, Riker, or Picard actually do in the third book. Which makes some sense with Picard, I suppose, though I would've liked to see him realizing that Geordi was right happen on-screen, so to speak, but Riker really seemed to just wander around until Troi showed up. Did you see some significance to that - Destiny, it's out of our hands, something like that - that I missed, or did you just feel most of the arcs for the Titan crew that you were interested in happened in earlier books/with the Caeliar?

    4) Finally, I'm not a writer and I don't think I can specifically explain what I mean, but somewhere between A Time To Kill/Heal (which I read just a couple books before starting Destiny) and Destiny, your style has matured noticeably for the better. The prose seemed mostly invisible in the Kill/Heal pair, moving the action along beautifully but not really drawing attention to itself, but in this book there were several passages I came across that I had to re-read just to savor the language (particularly in the 5 planet attack sequence and, of course, the very end). Just wanted to say I noticed, and I'm very impressed.

    5) And, finally, thank you for ending on such a stirring statement of fundamental optimism. I used to read a lot more sci-fi than I do now, but lately most of what I've found has seemed either resigned or fearful of the future. Such a powerfully hopeful end to such a terrifying villain was something I didn't expect, and deeply appreciate.

    I really didn't think you could top Reap The Whirlwind but... damn.
     
  3. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    Thanks, very kind of you to say.

    Good question. You are correct — in a very real sense, the trilogy is about Hernandez's journey more than it's about the other characters' roles. That was an intentional bit of misdirection on my part.

    As for her friendship with Inyx, the broad strokes of it were planned in advance, but that specific interaction was one that occurred to me as I was writing the scene. The texture of their relationship (and also of Inyx's connection with Sedín) developed organically during the writing process.

    I enjoyed creating that character, and not just because I cast the role with Lena Headey while I was writing. As for seeing more of Kedair and the Aventine crew, be sure to pick up Keith DeCandido's new book, A Singular Destiny.

    No, you're right about that. It is one of the principal flaws of the entire trilogy, and I was aware of it even at the outline stage.

    Much as I sought more directly active roles for the commanding officers, the story demanded something else from me and from them. I've heard some good suggestions about how the Dax storyline might have been improved, and I wish I'd thought of them.

    As for Riker's and Picard's stories, I eventually concluded that part of what the trilogy is "about" is learning to accept that we are sometimes at the mercy of events and forces beyond ourselves. To the extent that it works, I take the credit; to the extent that it fails, I accept the blame.

    Gracias, most appreciated. I hope you'll check out my first original novel, The Calling, when it comes out in July. I just turned in the copy-edited manuscript to my editor today, and I think it has shaped up nicely on many levels.

    That was the idea that I felt made the trilogy worth doing: The notion that the key to victory and survival for the Federation lay not in its ability to work violence, but in the nobility of its ideals; and that compassion and healing are more powerful engines for positive change than brute force.

    Well, it's hardly a fair fight, is it? I mean, three books against one… :) … but I'm grateful for your generous praise.
     
  4. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    I think it works pretty well for Picard, though I think making that point more explicit might've helped (Picard prepping the thalaron weapon anyway, attempting to seize the moment, then giving up at the last minute to the uncertain possibilities of the more optimistic Caeliar option), but I don't see how Riker really got a character arc out of it. Aside from that vague bit about his faith in Troi always being richly rewarded, I just didn't feel like there was that much there.

    It actually seemed like that happened a lot, that Titan's arcs in general were all wrapping up character arcs from prior Titan adventures, and that the crew wasn't as important to or invested in the rest of the story as the other two crews. I liked most of the character arcs, but they were pretty divorced from the rest of the story.

    But like I said, that's one of a very few complaints with the trilogy, and with the characters themselves written so well and the trilogy overall so good, it's certainly forgivable.

    How Judeo-Christian is the mythology? I'm not at all religious, and at first glance the gimmick seems kinda off-putting; is it very much associated with religious notions, or would you classify it as a more Whedon-like universe that uses the same imagery, but as more of a broad-spectrum fantasy?

    Yeah, but it was a really good one... :)
     
  5. RonG

    RonG Captain Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    I think one of the many refreshing plot points (intentional or not) in the Destiny trilogy was that our heroes did not save the day by their lonesome selves.

    Sure, everyone had a part to play (including reaching personal insights, i.e. Picard), but it truly was a story about the Trek universe with all the ships, cultures and supporting characters dealing with the Borg threat...

    Maybe it's just me, but I found the entire approach and execution to be top notch :bolian:
     
  6. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    Huh. I actually hadn't thought of it quite that way before.

    Instead of a crossover trilogy about three captains, if I just think about it as a story about the whole Star Trek universe with varying emphases on certain important players, it actually makes a lot of sense. Like, lots of people have mentioned that this is Trek's Lord Of The Rings, and that seemed like a misnomer to me as a lot of our characters experienced a lot, but didn't really DO much. But this isn't a heroic quest, it's just a Big Damn Event that happens, and everyone gets caught up in it.

    May sound like kinda a dumb realization, but actually that helps me appreciate it further. Context really is important I guess...
     
  7. DGCatAniSiri

    DGCatAniSiri Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    That was really how I viewed it from the time that I read the first book - I mean if it were just a trio of Captains involved in the crossover, then the three of them would have been separated from their crews. And with the inclusion of various other POVs - the Bacco administration, Admiral Paris, the doomed ship at Khitomer I can't remember right now, and various others as the worlds are devastated - it really, to me, anyway, comes across not as a tale about these captains or this or that ship but the entire Star Trek universe, or at least the entire Federation.
     
  8. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    Now I wanna go back and re-read the whole thing again, thinking about it this way :lol:
     
  9. DGCatAniSiri

    DGCatAniSiri Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    This is a bad thing? ;)
     
  10. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    The religious elements are deliberately minimized; it's meant to be more of a Stephen King–style approach to the story, or perhaps like a Dean Koontz type of supernatural thriller. This is not the Left Behind series or a Jack Chick gospel tract.
     
  11. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    Then I'll definitely check it out. Still doesn't quite sound like my kind of novel, but you've certainly gained my confidence :)
     
  12. RonG

    RonG Captain Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    well then, by all means :techman: I just finished Lost Souls for the second time - it still rocks!:cool:
     
  13. SicOne

    SicOne Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    What? Humanity is assimilated and then freed? Like, humanity as a whole, or humanity as in the crews of the Enterprise-E, Titan, and Aventine?
     
  14. Dimesdan

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

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    You asked what happened to the Borg. So I told you. Of course for the context of how they were assimilated and then freed, you'll just have to read the book :bolian:
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    ^^I don't think that's an accurate characterization of what happened to the Borg anyway.
     
  16. Dimesdan

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

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    Maybe so, but from what was written within the book and from what Hernandez says to Picard on page 387, thats the impression I got

    Now I could be completely off base with what I originally said, but given the above quote and the way Hernandez had previously described the collective, they were freed and in a way were assimilated into the Calier culture.
     
  17. Silversmok3

    Silversmok3 Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    Well, there ya go.
    The designers of the Prometheus and Defiant class ships, if they're alive, are out of a job.

    Sarcasm aside, what's Starfleet going to do with all those 'gunships' built to fight a finished enemy?
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    Mission Gamma already showed the Defiant getting refitted for science missions. There are options.

    And of course, just because the Borg are gone doesn't mean the UFP can beat all its swords into plowshares. While a return to a primarily scientific, diplomatic, and support role for Starfleet is much to be hoped for, it doesn't hurt to keep some powerful ships around in reserve, just in case.
     
  19. captcalhoun

    captcalhoun Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    yeah, cuz the Dominion are still out there and they're going to come back, like in every second fan-fic or PBEM RPG...
     
  20. TrekAlliance92

    TrekAlliance92 Captain Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    I just finished reading this trilogy the other day. It's a very good trilogy over all, and I put it up there (but just below) the superlative Reeves-Stevens novels, Eugenics Wars and some of the excellent stand-alone novels such as Chain of Attack, Rogue Saucer, Death of a Neutron Star and some of the New Earth novels.

    * I enjoyed the action throughout the various novels. Very well-written and glad to see Endgame's borg-bustin' tech followed up on.
    * Dax and Riker (I haven't read any Titan novels) make good Captains, and Tuvok on Riker's crew? Pretty cool.
    * The trials and adventures of Erika Hernandez and her crew were quite fascinating and compelling. I liked how she maintained her humanity and optimism throughout and ended up crucial in saving the Federation.
    * I have to ask...what in the world was the point of the Troi-pregnancy-angst subplot? It really went nowhere, but thankfully, it was given a nice solution at the end, which kept it from being completely useless, IMO.
    * I thought that the novel would end with the return of Janeway after her surprising death in the mostly-excellent Before Dishonour, or perhaps the Ceiliar displacing the Borg (or the entire Federation!) to another location. Liberating the Borg was pretty cool.
    * Hopefully, the Federation will be rebuilt really quickly and subsequent novels will either pick up where Voyager/Nemesis left off.
     

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