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. Stephen!

    Stephen! Captain Captain

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

    Since we're on the subject of such minor things, one thing I was wondering is why the Defiant is always referred to as "Defiant" but never, "the Defiant"

    Since it happens with other ships, "the Enterprise", "the Aventine", "the Columbia" etc

    Maybe I just notice obscure things ....
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    In general, I think proper naval parlance is to use no article before a ship's name, and you see that reflected in later Trek shows -- it's always "Voyager" rather than "the Voyager," and NX-01 is called "Enterprise" rather than "the Enterprise." But in the books, both tend to be used, and I think it's often a matter of what sounds better in context, what flows better. For instance, Riker's ship is just called "Titan," which I think sounds better than "the Titan" and is easier to say, without too many t/th sounds too close together.

    Although I do recall the Defiant being routinely referenced with an article in the show itself, so I'm not sure what you're referring to here.
     
  3. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

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

    Apologies for this slight derailment of the thread, but..................


    Cool. :) Just remember that her appearances in both The Brave and the Bold and Captain's Glory are very very brief, and her role in Epiphany is fairly small. However, her role in Remembrance... is more substantial, including a flashback to her serving on the U.S.S. O'Keefe as a newly promoted junior-grade lieutenant.


    If you read the A Time to... series, that would be the finale, A Time for War, a Time for Peace. Articles picks up where that book left off. For that matter, the Destiny trilogy picks up about a month after Articles ends....


    Weird. You can always get the individual eBooks in the Aftermath omnibus (Aftermath, Ishtar Rising Book 1, Ishtar Rising Book 2, Buying Time, Collective Hindsight Book 1, Collective Hindsight Book 2, The Demon Book 1, and The Demon Book 2).
     
  4. Stephen!

    Stephen! Captain Captain

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

    Something I was wondering about that. How come "A Time for War/A Time for Peace was single, rather than being spread across two books, like the others? Or is that just how it was and there wasn't any particular reason?
     
  5. Brendan Moody

    Brendan Moody Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    It was originally planned as two books, but (among other reasons I'm sure KRAD will go into) it was felt that a one-volume finale would be more dramatic, and Articles of the Federation was developed as a way of using some of the ideas that would have gone into the duology.
     
  6. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

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

    Brendan's answer is correct: when the series was compressed from 12 to 9 books, it was decided to do the finale as one book rather than two separate ones, to make it more of a grand finale.
     
  7. Romulan_spy

    Romulan_spy Commodore Commodore

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

    I loved "Mere Mortals". I really liked the diplomacy parts with Pres. Bacco. Having all the major powers forced to work together made the book more epic by illustrating that the Borg are a threat to the entire Alpha Quadrant. And, having an armada of hundreds of ships from all major powers really drove this point home very effectively for me.

    I really loved the scenes where Picard hears the Borg Queen. It was a great way to show the threat of the Borg without really using them a lot. And the Queen's words were just so creepy when she says "until then ... dream of my embrace."

    I especially loved the flashbacks with Hernandez. It was just incredibly emotional to see this woman gradually be more and more alone and realize her captivity will never end. The scene after the Change really got me when Hernandez realizes what she has done and that her friend was right. A line that I thought was especially good was when she sees the petrified wood: "Once I might have cried, she realized. Now I don't know if I remember how."

    I am really looking forward to Lost Souls. But I am a little nervous about how it can end. The ending with the 7000 Borg cubes was awesome but doesn't it make things impossible to resolve without "cheating"? I mean, the good guys have to win but how can they win against so many Borg without some sort of technobabble/Deus Ex Machina/Time Travel solution? I am guessing that the Caeliar will probably be convinced to intervene. They certainly have the power to destroy all the Borg ships. Part of me almost wishes for a real surprise where the Federation doesn't win. What if the Federation is forced to evacuate every possible world to another galaxy? That would certainly shake things up.
     
  8. casey

    casey Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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

    I entirely expect a Deus Ex Machina solution involving the Caeliar, but in David Mack's hands I think it will be incredible. I am not worried at all. And even with such a solution I think it is clear that there are still going to be major consequences--not like your standard reset button in an episode where everything is back to normal next week.
     
  9. The Grim Ghost

    The Grim Ghost Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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

    I picked this up last night and tore through it in just a few hours. Great work David! I loved the 1st book, and this one just blew it away.

    In no particular order here are a few of my thoughts:

    Black Galaxy and Children of the Storm..aahh, this is why I read Trek.

    I somehow missed that Paris was XO on Voyager now. I like it.

    Geordi has a new possible love interest? Yes!

    Everything involving Bacco, her staff and the ambassadors was just great. Garak was done perfectly.

    Troi..wow, she really has no business being on active duty. Riker is a flipping fool to have allowed her to be participating in this mission. She is in intense physical pain and seems really out of it mentally as well. So obsessed with keeping a baby that has NO CHANCE of living? While it is killing her as well? Every heard of adoption, Troi?
    As a Misfits fan, one of the last scenes of the book made me think "Troi's got something to say..Ree ate her baby today" But we don't know if that is what is really happening, since he is biting her chest.. Perhaps he is just trying to injure her to force the Caleir to act? Or is it somehow part of an escape attempt that we aren't in on? ARRGH, what a painful cliffhanger to wait on!

    The sequences that focused on Erika are the best in the book. Just wow. I have a lot invested in this character now.

    The Seven/Jellico sequence..this is my one major problem. David, I hope you have a good explanation for this. Unless something is going on that we don't know about, Seven is MASSIVELY out of character here. I just don't see her pulling something like that under any circumstance, not even to try and shock everyone into action. Just..no. That didn't work for me at all. It was nice to see that prick Jellico squirm though.

    The Hirogen! At first I thought it was strange, but it led into one of the tightest most exciting Trek action sequences I have ever read. Geez, this was tense! I loved every page of it!

    I had a SLIGHTLY easier time dealing with Ezri in this one.

    Over 7000 Cubes eh? Well the Borg are definitely through playing around.

    9 out of 10 from me. I seriously can't wait for the finale.
     
  10. Marie1

    Marie1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    Then maybe I will too... something about her is... irksome to me.


    On the Troi side- I know she wants kids (tho I have trouble identifying with her since I'm the least maternal person ever). And I understand someone, especially a Betazoid, becomes attached to the living person growing in their body that they created, who depends on them. But if natural pregnancy isn't possible, do Betazoids have a problem with adoption or using another woman's eggs? I know its not "the same"- I guess it would depend on if you wanted "your own" kids. But the Dominion did take over Betazed a few years prior, you'd think they'd be orphans. I understand there'd be an emotional toll- and I sympathize- despite not being a fan of Troi, her reaction just seems... insanely severe. So am I missing something to do with Betazoid culture in understand this part of the novel? Or a maternal instinct or two? ;)
     
  11. Julio Angel Ortiz

    Julio Angel Ortiz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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

    Fixed. :bolian:
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    Deanna's reaction isn't based on an intellectual appraisal of what her hypothetical options are. Remember, she was pregnant before, and she miscarried. She lost a baby that she loved, a baby that was literally part of her. That was devastating -- the pain, the grief, the regret, the guilt. Now she faces having to go through that horrible psychological ordeal a second time within the same year. Is it really so surprising that she'd be unwilling, maybe even unable, to voluntarily agree to subject herself to that?

    If she'd been told before the second pregnancy that miscarriage was a certainty, I'm sure she would've been able to process it intellectually and seek other options such as adoption. But in the book, the baby is alive, there inside her. Other options just aren't on the table for her at that point, because she can't even consider other options unless she accepts the sacrifice of this baby. And that's just too traumatic a step for her to take.
     
  13. Marie1

    Marie1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    No, you're right, its not. TBH- if I was in her position, dealing with a conceived child, I would do the same thing- hold on to all hope for the child as long as possible, as long as it lived.

    Thanks for tweaking my thoughts there- I wasn't reading deeply enough into the specific child, the second one that she's about to lose. I was thinking too hard about the end result- to have a child and their efforts. This is why I like these forums... :)
     
  14. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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

    For anyone who's interested their is an excerpt for Lost Souls on the official Simon & Schuster Star Trek page that has the explanation for why Ree bit Troi.
     
  15. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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

    I thought he just wanted some cellular peptide cake.
     
  16. Marie1

    Marie1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    Thanks!

    This just gets more and more interesting...
     
  17. The Grim Ghost

    The Grim Ghost Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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

    But she was specifically told by her Doctor that there was no hope at all AND that it would mean her death...
     
  18. MHJH

    MHJH Lieutenant Red Shirt

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

    Another wonderful book from David Mack, who I'm beginning to think couldn't write a bad one if he tried. The second book in a trilogy seems to be one of the hardest things to master in modern literary forms, but Mack pulled it off quite well, advancing the story line, but not too much, continuing the character growth he'd already begun, and generally setting up all the pins he's got to savagely knock them down in the next book. Good, good stuff.

    I did have a couple of minor quibbles with the book, nothing that hasn't been covered in the thread before though. The Hernandez portions were, at times, deathly slow and ponderous, but I'd imagine that that was completely intentional. Hernandez's slow surrender and acceptance of her captivity almost had to be a result of fear, indoctrination, and yes, boredom, to make any sense, and when she finally begged Inyx to save her from death itself, I completely bought it. To write the "Stockholming" of one of the first Starfleet captains, someone who we'd normally be accustomed to thinking of as above such things, had to be a job of work, but even though I didn't necessarily enjoy the ride, the payoff in Erika's characterization was absolutely worth it.

    I have to admit that the Hirogen sequence didn't really work for me either. At the end of the book, I was waiting for the next big reveal, and instead we were back playing "Die Hard" on the Enterprise again. I get that it was necessary for dramatic structure to delay The Enterprise and Aventine somehow, but this particular conceit just didn't play the way I would've liked it to. Sorry. The one great thing to come out of the sequence though was the Rigelian Chelon crewmember who poisoned the Hirogen Alpha. I reread the first three Vanguard books recently, and was quite taken with the scene where Jetanien threatens the Tholians and Klingons with his stress hormones, but I couldn't ever decide whether he was supposed to be full of shit or not. Thanks for answering that question. The statement by the Tholian ambassador about the "sins of the Taurus Reach" was quite welcome too, and I'd love to see some 24th century fallout from Vanguard once the storyline in the 23rd has revealed enough of itself to make that feasible.

    Speaking of ambassadors, seeing Garak was absolutely priceless. He's finally found his true calling, lying for a living, and making Cardassia stronger for it. Good for him. All of the stuff with Bacco and her diplomatic entreaties was absolutely brilliant. I was concerned about anyone but KRAD playing with those characters, but after seeing the way Mack wrote them, I've decided the Trek book I now most want to see is an AOTF sequel where KRAD and Mack alternate chapters, each attempting to outdo and build on what the other has done. The competition might kill both of them, but we'd get a political novel that could never be topped.

    What else.....Riker's decision to abandon his wife and crew to the Caeliar, Seven's attempts to salvage humanity by whatever means necessary, Ree's attempts to save Deanna's life against her will, the destruction of the combined fleet with literal brute force.....It's all just great. I'm not speculating at all about what's going to happen, 'cause I'm just enjoying the ride waaaay too much. Count me in for Lost Souls and all that comes after it.
     
  19. copaz

    copaz Cadet Newbie

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

    Dear All,

    I am a new poster here at the BBS..I have a general question about the crisis currently unfolding in this series..Will we find out what other characters such as Sisko, Kira, Spock, Saavik and Akaar are doing during the crisis?

    Thanks
     
  20. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

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

    Akaar appears in the Destiny trilogy, and he has a supporting role in A Singular Destiny as well.

    We won't be seeing Kira or Sisko, as that would constitute a spoiler for the post-finale DS9 fiction, which is still four years behind where Destiny is in the timeline.

    As for Spock and Saavik -- good question. :evil:
     

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