Destiny: Mere Mortals by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Julio Angel Ortiz, Oct 24, 2008.

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Grade "Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals"

  1. Excellent

    99 vote(s)
    78.0%
  2. Above Average

    15 vote(s)
    11.8%
  3. Average

    10 vote(s)
    7.9%
  4. Below Average

    1 vote(s)
    0.8%
  5. Poor

    2 vote(s)
    1.6%
  1. Cobalt Frost

    Cobalt Frost Captain Captain

    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

    CanNOT wait for the last part!!! This is some of the best Trek fic I've read... just REEEEAAALLLYY hoping the payoff is equal to the setup...
     
  2. casey

    casey Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

    One more thing that I forgot to add to my mini review is how I felt about the Borg invasion. It was absolutely chilling. 7,000 cubes! This is what I have been waiting for forever.

    Mere Mortals
    also had me thinking alot about the possibility of a connection between the Caeliar and the Borg, considering the obvious similarities to the gestalt.

    I could reasonably see one of the cities ending up in Delta quadrant a few thousand years in the past and somehow evolving into the Borg. I think this have been foreshadowed a bit when we came across the remnants of a massive destruction of the Borg at the end of the tunnel.

    Anyone else think this might be a possibility??
     
  3. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

    Found two typos in the sample of book three.

    He directed his next comments to Inyx, who had moved to Troi’s side and squatted low, opposite Tukov, to examine her.

    In this case, I used it to place Counselor Troiin a suspended state to halt the progression of her hemorrhage."

    Still one of the best damn stories I've ever read.
     
  4. Strider

    Strider Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

    What a cool book. I caught the references to the starships Saladin and T'Kumbra toward the end there. Guess it's probably curtains for Captain Solok and the Logicians:vulcan:. I'm also really liking this Captain Dax all the sudden. With everything going to hell, she basically told Picard that she was going to head straight into the worst of it and go after the Borg Queen and he can try and keep up. Pretty badass.
     
  5. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

    Well, Dave showed me all three novels before turning them in (as well as other folks), and in my case he particularly wanted my feedback on the Bacco stuff. He almost needn't have bothered -- I think I made all of three suggested changes to the Bacco-related material in the whole trilogy, all minor.
     
  6. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

    I've been wondering if we might learn about the origin of the Borg in Destiny since I finished Greater Than The Sum. The only reason I've been thinking that is that it's really the only big Borg question left at this point. And if these books do destroy the Borg, which is my other big theory about Destiny, then now would be the best time to do it.
     
  7. Defcon

    Defcon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

    Ah well, while we're at Typos in the Destiny books: I haven't even started GoN yet, but in the quote in front of the story by Bertolt Brecht "Krieg" should be written with a capital K. Although I'm not sure if it's really a typo or if it is written that way in the text David has, since I edited the same typo in the interview I had with him.
     
  8. Brendan Moody

    Brendan Moody Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

    That's been my theory since reading the end of Gods of Night. I look at it this way: we know that three Caeliar cities escaped the destruction of Erigol. Axion went on to found New Erigol. One of the others was the far distant civilization that caused the cataclysm in the first place. That leaves one unaccounted for. Either of the latter two could eventually have become the Borg.

    It's interesting to me that we haven't heard anything more about Mantilis, the city where only the six humans and twelve Caeliar survived. They ended up an unspecified distance into the past and about 60,000 light years from Erigol/the Azure Nebula- roughly the right distance, if my general understanding of the galactic map is correct, to be somewhere in eventual Borg territory. Think of it: only 18 survivors, and when last we see them they're about to crash into a planet. Just the kind of desperate circumstances that could lead to military modification of the gestalt, via MACO ideology, say? And then there's Kiona Thayer, the injured human woman. Given that the Caeliar don't look particularly human, it's interesting that the Borg queen does. If her injuries were bad enough, Thayer might need to be crudely introduced into the gestalt... and then...

    Well, I look forward to being proved wrong in a few weeks. :lol: Anyway, the back cover of Lost Souls says "But for those who, millennia ago, had no choice...this is the hour of their final, inescapable destiny." Which would suggest that we will be getting the alpha and omega of the Borg. Epic indeed.
     
  9. mcmac

    mcmac Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

    Of all the things we have to talk about - we're grousing about typos? :wtf:

    Brendan Moody - I had forgotten about the other city. Interesting and plausible theory.

    I just finished reading the novel and it's left me speechless. Really excellent work.
     
  10. Julio Angel Ortiz

    Julio Angel Ortiz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

    I hadn't thought about the Borg Queen angle, but everything else is what I've been thinking since the end of Gods of Night. Like you said, when they said the distance, I did a mental note, thought "that was oddly specific," and then thought "ooh, what if this *is* the origin of the Borg..." They could be the "Lost Souls" the final book is referring to.
     
  11. casey

    casey Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

    [/quote]

    I hadn't thought about the Borg Queen angle, but everything else is what I've been thinking since the end of Gods of Night. Like you said, when they said the distance, I did a mental note, thought "that was oddly specific," and then thought "ooh, what if this *is* the origin of the Borg..." They could be the "Lost Souls" the final book is referring to.[/quote]

    I had completely forgotten about that very specific distance being mentioned, but that does make perfect sense.

    This has me wondering even more about who it was warning the enterprise (I think it was the enterprise) away, and let them live because they weren't borg.
    Perhaps the Caeliar made the MACOs into Borg unintentionally, and then had to fight back--although that would be against their nature.

    Thinking about it, this whole Borg quest for perfection could be descended from the Caeliar desire to find someone more advaned than they.

    Ah, I love speculating, even if I am completely off.

    And if we are wrong, I am sure it is entertaining for David Mack to see our speculating and know how ridiculously wrong we are!
     
  12. Julio Angel Ortiz

    Julio Angel Ortiz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

    That's part of the fun. ;) I'm still holding on to the theory that, despite the subspace tunnels being collapsed in Mere Mortals, they'll find a way back and that Voyager's new mission that they're "uniquely qualified for" (oh noes!!!1, Pocket Books Catalog information! :evil:) is them exploring the subspace tunnels, unlocking their mysteries and journeying not only to far-flung sections of the galaxy, but to far-flung areas of the universe (the two tidbits David Mack threw out there are just too good to have been throwaways). Stargate meets Star Trek FTW. :devil:

    But, either way, I can't wait for the last book of this trilogy.
     
  13. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

    While that would be a cool new mission for Voyager. I'm thinking the Luna class would be better suited to that kind of long distance exploration.
     
  14. Julio Angel Ortiz

    Julio Angel Ortiz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

    Hey, it is just wanton speculation. :techman:
     
  15. casey

    casey Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

    I am glad am not the only one who enjoys wild speculation :)
     
  16. Julio Angel Ortiz

    Julio Angel Ortiz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

    I'll take it over "ZOMG why is the B0rg back AGAIN??? Why are there homosexuals in Star Trek fiction and why isn't it more military FTW!!111! oh noes."

    I mean, I'm just saying... :rommie:
     
  17. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

    Again Mack hits it out of the park. I cannot wait to see how it ends!
     
  18. casey

    casey Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

    Haha. Well, I did think for a moment that we were going to get some homosexuality amongst the crew of the Columbia. . . Not that I would have complained. . . :)

    This book was the first mention of "taking care of it oneself" that I remember in Star Trek, come to think of it.
     
  19. Steve Roby

    Steve Roby Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

    Some comments I posted on my blog the other day:

    Wow continued.

    In my comments on Gods of Night I made a few guesses about what might be coming. I was wrong about a couple of things, most notably that the flashbacks were mostly over and done with, and that Voyager might have more of a role in this one. But we do get to know Erika Hernandez a lot better in this book, as her storyline becomes almost entirely about her and how she copes with isolation, loss, aging, and her change into a new form of life. She continues to be a sympathetic character, trying to find the right thing to do and trying to keep from giving in to despair or madness. The longer she stays there, and the more she learns about the Caeliar, the more humanlike their behaviour seems to be. There are petty and paranoid leaders, but there are also characters like Inyx, who demonstrate compassion, friendship, and scientific curiosity. (It's not unusual in stories about long-lived beings from alien civilizations to portray them as having abandoned their interest in progress and science, becoming decadent over the millennia.)

    The other storylines progress quite well, though David Mack's not going to lose that Angel of Death tag by writing books like this. It's good to see things coming together, as the Caeliar and the subspace tunnels in the Azure Nebula turn out to be connected. The glimpses of what was at the other side of the tunnels were intriguing. The ancient galaxy with stars hidden behind shells had me expecting something very bad. Worf was right to ask whether they really wanted to get the attention of the builders of those shells. (Are they the Caeliar who went far back in time?)

    It was ironic that the big epic battle for the Enterprise and the Aventine in this book turns out to involve the Hirogen rather than the Borg. But it's a very different kind of fight than they would have had with the Borg, and allows for a more suspenseful shipboard battle (and the EVA element was a nice touch). Two ships slugging away at each other are never as interesting as two characters slugging away at each other.

    Speaking of Voyager (well, by way of the Hirogen), I'm not sure what's going on with Seven of Nine in this story. She doesn't seem to be entirely herself. I don't think it's just me, because her scene with Jellico was picked for the inside-the-front-cover excerpt. Is there something going on with her? Will that have some kind of payoff in the third book, or is it tied in with something in Kirsten Beyer's books, or am I making too much out of it?

    Speaking of acting in an unusual manner, Deanna Troi seems to have gone off the deep end in this one. Her reactions seem to be purely emotional. She's always been a strongly emotional character but she's rarely seemed self-destructively stupid. At least we're given the impression that she's hiding her situation successfully from most of the Titan crew members with her, so the reader can't get too frustrated with the other characters not acting on a problem they don't know about. Doctor Ree's solution is certainly unexpected, though. I thought after the first book that Caeliar tech might offer some magical solution for Troi's problem, but the revelation that Hernandez's continued existence is based on catoms and requires staying near the Caeliar (or does it? she'll find out soon enough) made that seem less likely. Ree's intervention makes it seem even less likely, though it'll presumably force Troi to accept Caeliar medical help. I'd be very surprised if Ree has ended up killing the patient in order to save her.

    Where the first book offered a variety of story types in its alternating sections, this one has two main stories playing out: the ever more violent struggle of the Federation to survive the Borg attack, and Hernandez's much quieter struggle to cope with her polite incarceration among the Caeliar. The Titan storyline this time seems to be more about putting pieces in place and building up to the meeting with the Caeliar, though it had its share of good character moments, building Ra-Havreii and Melora Pazlar's characters in particular. I liked the fact that a seemingly sensible high tech solution to Pazlar's problems is actually rooted in Ra-Havreii's psychological and emotional issues.

    Hernandez's story is much smaller and more intimate than the Borg epic, but the emotional weight is often much stronger. I can't imagine what it'd be like to experience something like a Borg invasion, but being alone in a place you don't want to be, watching people close to you die, those kinds of things anyone should be able to relate to. And given how complete Hernandez's isolation is, and how long it lasts, those emotional stakes keep getting raised. And meanwhile, though Nan Bacco et al back on Earth don't get many scenes, they're good ones. Using the Ferengi to get the Breen onside as mercenaries was a nice touch, not that it ultimately made much difference at the nebula.

    The line I never thought I'd see in a Star Trek book: "I want a hard shag, and I don't care who knows it!" (And the ferret line on the previous page.) Funny and unexpected but also very real, considering the circumstances.

    All in all the second book doesn't look like it'll feel like a case of middle volume syndrome when the trilogy's complete; a lot happens, and some things are resolved (the story of Hernandez's last several hundred years, the failed attempt to block the Borg at the nebula). There's a lot of intimate drama and all-out action, and certainly no shortage of suspense. The intensity increased from first book to second, and will doubtless do the same in the third. And though we've been warned and shown that everything is wide open now that the 24th century is almost the exclusive property of the books, I have a strong feeling that the third book will have several "I can't believe they did that without a reset button" moments. I don't even want to try to predict what's going to happen next, because I just don't know how far David Mack et al. are willing to go.

    In summary: this trilogy combines everything that's great about the last few years' worth of Star Trek novels: Titan's sense of wonder; TNG's political intrigues; DS9's example of creating new characters alongside familiar faces, who quickly become as essential to the stories in their own right as the old stalwarts; SCE's focus on building and developing new characters and making drastic changes in their lives, or ending them; and the wide open possibilities of a Star Trek no longer constrained by what might happen in next week's TV episode. It's a mature and powerful work that would surprise the hell out of people who are dismissive of Star Trek novels, if they'd give it a chance.
     
  20. Stephen!

    Stephen! Captain Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals - SPOILER Thread

    I suppose in some ways, the Dominion were lucky that they lost the war for the Alpha Quadrant. If they had won, they'd have to be dealing with this right now. Unless the Dominion could actually mount a sufficient defence against them.