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. Quimby

    Quimby Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Lost Souls - Discuss/Grade

    I would agree with this if not for the episode "I, Borg." Picard had his chance at revenge, at lashing out at the enemy that ravaged him and chose not to. He showed that he was a better man than that. I don't expect him to be a super hero but one of the defining characteristics of Picard is that he never betrays his core principles. The movies pushed that aside, so I suppose the novels are forced to follow suit, but I found it disappointing. I wanted to see him contribute to the solution somehow and instead he actively worked against it. Had anyone listened to him, the Borg would have won. That was my problem. He's not the kind of person to let events swirl around him and he do nothing and he shouldn't be the type of person who would let a race die just because they harmed him. He is better than that. Don't misunderstand, I really liked the books, this was just the sticking point I had with this one.
     
  2. ncc71877

    ncc71877 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Lost Souls - Discuss/Grade

    Well, this trilogy was just wonderful. I think it's a classic. Well done Mr. Mack. At several points in these books I would like, "I can't beleave that just happened." I read some of it at my aunts house on Thanksgiving, and I looked up from the page and said out loud in a hushed tone, "The Borg just destroyed Deneva." Which drew many looks from family members. I actually put the book down when the Borg where two minutes away from Vulcan. I was worried for all this planets, Andor, Vulcan, Qo'nos, I was afraid for them. And, the end was an amazing surprise.

    Just a wonderful job, David, thank you.
    ncc71877:borg:
     
  3. DWMarch

    DWMarch Captain Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Lost Souls - Discuss/Grade

    Wow, awesome book. I just got it today and started reading it at about 7pm. I had it finished by 1am.

    I might post a longer review later but I have to thank Mr. Mack for one scene in particular that I've been hoping for for a long time. It's the scene where President Bacco says (paraphrased): "I don't care what Picard has to do, he has my permission to do it. And he will be pardoned for it if it's really illegal." As a fan of 24, I've been wanting a president to say this to Jack Bauer for a long time. It was an excellent scene, a bit of common sense prevailing where no common sense has prevailed before.

    I'm also curious as to why Seven's skull didn't cave in when her other implants disappeared.

    The only aspect of the Borg as corrupted Celiar that didn't quite work for me was the involvement of humans in the process. Voyager said humans were designated Species 5618. But if two or three humans were the first drones, they should have been Species 2. I guess the Borg didn't start giving out Species designations right away.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Lost Souls - Discuss/Grade

    In "I, Borg," Picard was faced with only one Borg drone. The thing he feared was present, but to a limited, manageable degree that posed no immediate threat to himself, his crew, or his civilization. So he was able to damp down his initial, visceral fear response and keep it in check -- but just barely, and only because Guinan helped talk him out of it. In First Contact, he was faced with an ongoing invasion of his ship, his home, by his personal demons, so naturally that was more overwhelming, and his fear and rage toward the Borg reasserted themselves. Again, his initial impulse was to give into it, but again, he was talked out of it with help from Lily and his crew. In Destiny, he was faced with his greatest horror brought to life, a wholesale, unstoppable Borg onslaught against his entire civilization. Naturally that brought out his fears worse than ever, and once more, his initial impulse was to lash out and seek vengeance. And again, he was talked out of it by a member of his crew, Geordi this time.

    So I don't see any inconsistency. His behavior in all three cases fits the same pattern: an initial fear/vengeance response eventually giving way to the decision to do the right thing once his friends remind him of what he stands for. The only difference is the magnitude of the threat, which would naturally affect the intensity of his response.


    Yes, he is better than that, almost always. But he's not a one-dimensional character. We all have our complexities and weaknesses, and the Borg are his greatest weakness, because they broke him. They're the one enemy that ever beat him, that ever broke his spirit -- except Gul Madred, and that was just for a moment. The Borg broke him effortlessly, left him totally helpless, made him murder thousands. That's not something he can get over completely. It's a weak spot that never fully healed, because you can't fully heal from such a horrific violation. The Borg are his Kryptonite, the one thing that can make him less than the man he usually is. And because of that, he wasn't himself here.

    No, it's not a very flattering portrayal of the man. But it's human and it's believable. Even Jean-Luc Picard can't be heroic all the time. We all have lapses and failures. But Picard did come through at the end by retracting his misguided order. No, he didn't find the key to saving the day, but he did choose not to make it worse -- and, more importantly to his character arc here, he saved his soul.
     
  5. SeerSGB

    SeerSGB Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Lost Souls - Discuss/Grade

    Well the thing with "I Borg" is that Picard was in charge the whole way, and he basically had the luxury of saying "I'm better than this". And even then, the hope was that Hugh would serve as a virus and spread individuality through the collective. *

    In "Destiny" Picard's completely out of control, has been on the ass end of a ass kicking from the Borg repeatedly, and was completely helpless and out of control.






    * -- In hindsight, I wonder how much of Picard's "lets pretend to be Locutus" moment was pretend and how much was Locutus slipping back through.
     
  6. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Lost Souls - Discuss/Grade

    While it's fine to say that Picard "saved his soul," we as readers aren't privy to that, as Picard's epiphany occurs off-stage. Geordi has his throwdown with Picard, then later Worf tells Geordi that the order was rescinded, but we're never shown the moment where the lightbulb goes off in Picard's head. Geordi starting Picard down that path to self-realization wasn't quite enough for me. I'd have liked to see Picard fix the fractured demons of his psyche on the page, rather than be told about it after the fact. Delve into his mind, reboot his personality if need be (I thought that's why we kept going to the Ressikan flute, with that lifetime of memories being used to "reboot" Picard's personality), and fix Picard. As it's presented in Lost Souls, to my thinking, Picard's emotional growth was arbitrary rather than "human and believable." *shrug*
     
  7. Silversmok3

    Silversmok3 Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Lost Souls - Discuss/Grade

    As far as Picards reaction (and breakdown),I can hardly fault him for cracking under the stress of an enemy invasion of his home space.

    I doubt I'd be calm and cool either if an army decided to invade Chicago,doubly so if I was that enemy's POW. And even in that there's a chance to resist.I'm pretty shure no insurgency campeign would last long against Borg occupation.

    To shift gears,I believe the Mantilis situation was similarly bleak.Talk about screwed....
     
  8. fennrysha

    fennrysha Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Lost Souls - Discuss/Grade

    I enjoyed the trilogy as a whole. A couple issues though: A) it was clear in the first book that the Caeliar would come to the rescue and just make the Borg go away (either through displacement or other means). B) can someone explain why the first two borg suddenly had nanotubules? There could have been a chapter explaining why, after they were changed they suddenly had this particular adaption. It just seemed like an unexplained leap for me.
     
  9. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Lost Souls - Discuss/Grade

    Picard cracked? I have not gotten that far to read that.
     
  10. casey

    casey Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Lost Souls - Discuss/Grade

    I assume this is because they had to have some way to deliver the catoms/nanites, and this way was probably as efficient as any other.
     
  11. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Lost Souls - Discuss/Grade

    Geek question for someone who hasn't read the entire trilogy: what were the Sheliak, Tzenkethi, Miradorn, Jarada, Tamarians, or Dominion doing during the Borg invasion?
     
  12. Stephen!

    Stephen! Captain Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Lost Souls - Discuss/Grade

    Indirectly, it would seem that the Xindi were responsible for the creation of the Borg. If the Xindi hadn't attacked earth, Archer wouldn't have needed MACOs onboard Enterprise, and later recommending that Hernandez have some MACOs assigned to Columbia. So the events that led to MACOs becoming the first Borg would never happen.

    But then again, since the attack on Earth apparently never happened in the original timelime, the Borg probably shouldn't have existed in the first place .......
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Lost Souls - Discuss/Grade

    The Dominion would've been totally unaffected, since the Gamma Quadrant wasn't invaded. As for the others you mention, I know the Tzenkethi are mentioned in the trilogy and subsequent works, but I don't recall references to any of the other specific civilizations you mention. But a number of other, more prominent civilizations do play a role in Destiny and some of what follows.
     
  14. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Lost Souls - Discuss/Grade

    Who says there was an original timeline? The attack on Earth, the events of ST:FC, were a predestination paradox. They *always* happened. Certainly can't prove otherwise, can we?
     
  15. Silversmok3

    Silversmok3 Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Lost Souls - Discuss/Grade

    Actually,no.

    No disrespect,but Columbia's mission before its incapacitation was convoy escort.There woulda been MACO's on that ship anyway,Xindi or timeline to pot.

    But your post does remind me of something. The NX-02 Columbia now ranks above Homer's Odesseus as the most-B.S.-trialsome- struggle to get home story in human history .

    Scratch that,galacic history.

    Kinda humbling to think this all started with a broken starship .
     
  16. William Leisner

    William Leisner Scribbler Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Lost Souls - Discuss/Grade

    IIRC, the MACOs got assigned aboard Enterprise because their mission was shifting from exploratory to military. But presumably the attacks along the Romulan frontier would still have occurred, Xindi or no, and that could have been cause enough to assign MACOs to all UESPA ships.
     
  17. Pudding

    Pudding Captain Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Lost Souls - Discuss/Grade

    What a rush! I don't think I've been that sucked into a Trek novel series since Mission Gamma. David, thanks for writing such a brilliant trilogy. Were I a faster reader I'd have done it all in one sitting, but when I wasn't sleeping or eating, I couldn't put it down.

    A couple of thoughts -- now that we have a slipstream drive that's been proven stable in Starfleet's hands, how will this be followed up on in future novels? Will it remain a Vesta-class only technology for the time being, or will we start seeing other ships retrofitted as well? President Bacco did say that she planned to have the Luna-class missions continue, so are there any plans to extend even beyond that now that the technology is there (once the fleet is rebuilt and disaster cleanup is under control, of course)?

    Speaking of the fleet being rebuilt, I don't remember Destiny quantifying exactly what the Starfleet toll was, with regard to ships and crew lost, though we did get to see a number of scenes where individual ships and crews made the ultimate sacrifice. What kind of scale are we talking about (compared to, say, Wolf 359 or The Dominion War), or was this intentionally left vague for a future book to address? Or did I just miss it? :p
     
  18. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Lost Souls - Discuss/Grade

    It may be that the Borg are simply an evolutionary endpoint and that, if that evolutionary niche isn't filled, then someone else will evolve to fill it. It's possible that, in the post-Enterprise iteration of the timeline this is the origin of the Borg, while in past and future iterations the Borg origin is different. Or, to borrow an Asimovian concept, there's a "line of maximum probability," and certain events are fated to happen, barring massive changes to the timeline.

    There's also the possibility that the degredation of the Caeliar of Mantilis is a red herring. In this view, the Borg predated 4500 BCE (Probe, Vendetta, and New Worlds, New Civilizations all make references to Borg incidents hundreds of thousands, even millions, of years in the past, for example). The encounter between the degraded Caeliar, which had already taken on Borg-like qualities, and the Borg-proper may have made the Borg far more dangerous than they had been previously.

    On the third hand, there's also the existence of the Borg in the Mirror Universe, per Greg Cox's novel, to consider. Would the Borg share the same origin in the Mirror Universe that they do in the "normal" universe? Would the Caeliar allow the morally-suspect crew of the Mirror Columbia to even get close to Erigol? As the Borg exist in the Mirror Universe, their origins may differ.

    Do I think any of these are right? Not really; I just like spitballing ideas. :)
     
  19. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Lost Souls - Discuss/Grade

    It will be followed up on in future novels. To find out how, you'll just have to read 'em. :D


    The draft I have on my hard drive that Dave sent me to look at (I don't actually have the book yet) has President Bacco saying that more than forty percent of Starfleet was destroyed.
     
  20. JAG

    JAG Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Lost Souls - Discuss/Grade

    That is what it said.