Spoilers Destiny: Lost Souls by David Mack Review Thread

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

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Grade Lost Souls

  1. Excellent

    72.5%
  2. Above Average

    18.5%
  3. Average

    6.9%
  4. Below Average

    1.1%
  5. Poor

    1.1%
  1. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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

    That caught my attention as well. It might be because the attacked Romulan sectors and worlds were low-population. It might also be because the terrifying superweapons that the Romulans have shown themselves ready to develop and use were used rather promiscuously against the Borg with some effect. ("No, stable main-sequence yellow dwarf stars don't naturally hyperflare ...")

    42 billion is 6% of 697.5 billion.

    So... Think about that. Six percent of the Federation exterminated in a matter of weeks. In point of fact, when Bacco asked about the death toll just prior to the Borg invasion fleet hitting its first targets, Admiral Akaar said that they had estimated the death toll to be around 30 billion -- meaning that slightly more people died in the 12 or so hours that that invasion fleet was active than died in all the weeks leading up to that. 3% of the Federation died in the course of twelve hours, and 6% in the course of just a couple of weeks.[/quote]

    If the Federation's information culture is anything like the early 21st century developed world's many of these holocausts would have ben broadcast live. Way back in 1994, in Peter David's The Siege, Bashir mentioned that in the last hours before the arrival of the first Borg cube the Earth was in a frenzy of fear. I remain as impressed as Bacco that the worlds of Sol system remained as calm and dignified as they did when faced with an overwhelming genocidal force, especially when they would have had access to the last broadcasts and communications from Deneva and who knows how many worlds.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2008
  2. Rat Boy

    Rat Boy Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    I wonder if this line of thinking will be followed up on in Full Circle, if perhaps the surviving members of Voyager's crew won't start to wonder if Future Admiral Janeway screwed the pooch and they start to think that perhaps another twenty years in the Delta Quadrant would have been better than what her actions wrought.
     
  3. David cgc

    David cgc Vice Admiral Premium Member

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

    I wonder if there might've been an element of apocalyptic burnout going on there. In the last decade and a half, Earth has seen three Borg invasions, a military coup, a long-running war, bombardment by the Breen, and probably a couple other things I'm forgetting both on-screen and off. They've probably got a complex by now, to such an extent that they can't really give a damn about yet another case of impending doom.
     
  4. Elemental

    Elemental Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    That was always my interpretation of Endgame - that those events led to the destruction of the Borg as we knew them, thus, somewhat justifying old-Janeway's actions. She referred to her plan as "dealing a crippling blow to the Collective". It's not her fault the books ended up going in a different direction ;)
     
  5. Elemental

    Elemental Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    You're quite right, the books were hyped like crazy, and deservedly so. However, massive destruction to the Federation has been a topic of fanboy conversation for years, so I just mean that in that respect, this wasn't really anything new to people's imaginations. Where Destiny really stands out to me in its originality is in the events surrounding the Columbia and her crew and the evolution of the Borg (both of which were handled marvelously). And I certainly don't mean this to say that the Borg invasion was not dramatic... just not entirely original.
    And I definitely look forward to all of them!

    Well, I don't know that I'd call bringing chaos to the order of the Federation any less gratuitous. Like the draw to most disaster movies, people get a kick out of seeing mass destruction. But obviously, the devil is in the details.


    Fair enough. It was just the first thing that popped into my mind that it seemed too convenient that TNG's two highest ranking crewmembers will both be having children at the same time of opposite sexes for this not to have been a thought. At least I see a lot of story potential there to be tapped into!


    I definitely enjoyed seeing it because it's one of those pieces of science that the TV series always neglected to explain - why does warp speed not result in relativistic time travel? As I thought about it after, I realized that for myself having studied physics, I knew exactly to what was being refered. However, I wonder if the average joe-Star Trek fan wouldn't have been left scratching their head in confusion.
     
  6. Marcus Porcius Cato

    Marcus Porcius Cato Commander Red Shirt

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

    with all this death and destruction, shouldn't retired officers like Sisko and Ross come back for a while (should only take a decades )
     
  7. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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

    We don't know what either one of them have been up to since leaving Starfleet. We especially don't know what Sisko's been up to between Fearful Symmetry and Destiny.
     
  8. Rowan Sjet

    Rowan Sjet Commodore Commodore

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

    Dealing a crippling blow to the Borg isn't the same as destroying them outright. They may have lost the Queen and the Unicomplex to the pathogen but we all know how adaptable the Borg are. Even if we ignore TrekLit, we see from the show that a Queen can be replaced, while some of the Borg ships proved resistant to the pathogen, meaning this resistance could then be spread to the rest of the Collective.

    As for the Transwarp Hub, it was basically the equivalent of losing a leg; you may not be able to run anywhere any more, but you can still hop about. You may even find a replacement (the subspace tunnels).
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    As Rowan Sjet says, a crippling blow isn't the same as a mortal blow. "Crippled" means seriously or permanently impaired, but still alive. So "Endgame" wasn't about destroying the Borg altogether, just greatly reducing their power and effectively eliminating them as a threat to the Federation for the foreseeable future -- or at least until some future story required them to become a threat again.


    Well, it is kind of a coincidence, I think. Riker and Troi starting a family was a thread I introduced in Orion's Hounds on impulse (or rather, because it seemed the story was taking me in that direction) and that Marco and subsequent authors chose to elaborate on. Picard and Crusher starting a family was a thread Margaret chose to pursue. So the impetus comes from different sources, although I assume Marco and Margaret coordinated their efforts to some extent, or at least kept each other in the loop.

    What makes things even more coincidental is that Beverly and Deanna got pregnant within two weeks of each other. According to Dave's estimates, Deanna got pregnant (the second time) around December 2, 2380, and according to my calculations, Beverly got pregnant around December 11, 2380, give or take. We definitely didn't plan it that way, and I was surprised when I realized how close the dates were.

    Of course, the gestation period of a 3/4 human, 1/4 Betazoid child being carried by a half-human, half-Betazoid mother won't necessarily be the same as the gestation period of a full human. For what it's worth, Betazoid pregnancies are typically 10 months long. But hybrids in Trek tend to develop at unpredictable rates.



    Well, it's time dilation, not time travel. And there's no reason why warp travel would cause time dilation, because it isn't conventional motion. Time dilation is a consequence of the Special Theory of Relativity, which applies only to the limited case of unaccelerated motion through flat spacetime. For something like warp drive, which involves distorting spacetime, you need to apply the General Theory of Relativity. That's a broader theory, so the rules that apply in the particular case of the Special Theory don't always apply.

    Put another way, a ship in warp isn't really moving through space; it's sitting still in the pocket of space it occupies, but the geometry of space around it is being changed so that pocket of space effectively moves to a different part of the universe. It's a totally different situation from the one that produces time dilation.
     
  10. Elemental

    Elemental Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    Yes I realize this. I don't blame them for not wanting to rule out all possibilties of ever bringing them back.

    K... is this something that was ever referred to in any of the series? I know explanations such as this have been given in other shows and movies but never Star Trek. Maybe the novels made this clear because they love to clarify incongruities but I doubt it was mentioned in the series, same as there was no explanation for why we hear sound in space.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    The shows never addressed time dilation one way or the other, unless you count "Timescape." I'm just offering the real-science explanation for why warp drive wouldn't have time dilation.

    As for sound in space, I've always just treated that as dramatic license. When there's incidental music playing in a scene, you don't assume the characters are actually hearing that music, do you? ;) It's an "unreal" sound that's added for the audience's benefit. I assume the same is true of sound effects in space.
     
  12. Elemental

    Elemental Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    Ya, I always think of the sound effects as something you would hear if you were at the very source of the sound.

    Since "warp speed" doesn't exist, offering THE real-science explanation for it is entirely speculation... but you're right, that's what I go with as well as far as the shows are concerned.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    Not speculation; theoretical prediction. As Miguel Alcubierre showed in 1994, a spacetime metric which functions equivalently to a "warp drive" can be derived from the equations of General Relativity. It is an actual theoretical possibility that physicists have been studying for over a decade, although the practical obstacles to achieving it may be insurmountable. The power of theory is that it lets you predict or extrapolate things beyond what's been observed. If you know the equations that govern motion, time, mass, and energy in situations that have been measured, if you've experimentally verified those equations, then you can apply those same equations to situations that haven't yet been experienced and calculate with a high degree of confidence what would happen in those situations. Calculation is not speculation.
     
  14. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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

    That's not what I meant at all. I also realize now there are actually alot of people from no-Federation member planets in Starfleet.
     
  15. Elemental

    Elemental Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    I know, I've heard these theories too. There`s theories about parallel universes, transporters, and all that too.
     
  16. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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

    - Genocidal invaders are coming here again? Honey, will you pass me the checklist?

    - Sure! Don't worry, I put the last messages to friends in the message queue, you just have to look over them to make sure I sent the right drafts.

    - Thanks. Say, do you know where the basket is, you know, the one for the final picnic? We need to grab a spot before everyone else gets there and it's going to be crowdedn...
     
  17. mug

    mug Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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

    I don't know what the spoiler rules are right now for this thread, so I'll play it safe:

    Even though there obviously couldn't be much interaction with DS9 characters in this series due to the publishing timelines not matching up, I felt that having Ezri be a point character made up for this lack. I've always been a Dax fan, though. I also liked Ezri's brazen attitude and confidence, especially in contrast to Picard and Riker's more weatherworn countenances. I think the characterization of what Ezri would be like as a captain at this point is spot on. She's very young, but also a joined Trill and most importantly, a Dax.

    There's been lots of discussion in this thread about the treatment Picard's character got in book three, and I think it was a brave and interesting choice to have nearly two decades of baggage with the Borg catch up to him. But then, I like it when characters are, you know, human, with frailties and flaws, and not artificially perfect hero constructs. Dax may be hundreds of years old, but Ezri's only been in the command track and a captain for a very short proportion of that time. The weight of the world(s) hasn't been on her shoulders the way it has on Picard's for all this time. Forget the external pressures of command -- the Borg have psychologically violated Picard more than once. When the Borg are about to destroy the entire known universe, I think it's only natural he's going to slip off his game a little. But he's got his old Number One and a new iconoclast captain to pick up the slack, and I don't see anything wrong with that.

    Speaking of Number One, I've really grown fond of the Titan characters, so it was nice to have a chance to see them in between Titan novels. One moment I really liked was between Keru and Torvig, when Torvig realizes the true depravity of the Borg when compared to his own cybernetic enhancements, and he asks Keru to never let assimilation happen to him. I get a kick out of the relationship between this huge security chief and this tiny, wacky alien dude. Also this book gave us a bit of Dr. Ree, who is probably my favourite Titan character. He's just so awesome.

    The one characterization that didn't sit as well with me was Bacco. I'm not saying it was bad or completely off-base, but somehow her quips just seemed a little too flip sometimes. Obviously, KRAD had a go over on the draft so I'm sure he signed off on the characterization and all and I'm probably the only one who didn't enjoy the Bacco sequences as much. I'm just throwing that out there. I did like how Bacco was all, "Just let Picard do whatever the hell he wants, it's not like anyone here on Earth is going to figure out what to do better than him." That was very Bacco to me -- she's always been a common-sense type of politician who doesn't let her ego stand in the way of getting things done. You can picture previous presidents, especially Zife, wanting a much more micro-managerial approach.

    The chapters with the Columbia crew and Caeliar crash-landed on the polar mountain -- very well executed. Heartbreaking, overall. The absolute hostility of the environment on the humans and the inexorable withering of the Caeliar was difficult to watch. Upthread someone said that Sedín wasn't to blame for what happened in that cave at the end, but I'm not sure I agree. Could not the dying Caeliar have prevented their "dehumanizing" by disincorporating themselves sooner? Then again, we learned in the book that the Caeliar didn't really consider the issue of mortality when they made the Change to catom-based existence, not allowing for reproduction. It stands to reason they never considered what would happen in a scenario where they lacked a power source to maintain their existence. So maybe it wasn't Sedín's fault after all.

    I think the most significant achievement of the Destiny trilogy is that these books made the Borg terrifying again! It really was a return to the feeling you got watching "The Best of Both Worlds."






     
  18. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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

    Hm. For the most part, I thought Mack nailed Bacco -- especially at the very end, where, trying to get the seemingly non-responsive Seven of Nine to talk after the Caeliar's absorption of the Borg, he says, "Seven? It's Nan." Just that shift to her first name -- it's a subtle thing, but it's vintage Bacco.

    The only thing I didn't like, though...

    I can't help but think that Bacco very fundamentally failed the people of the Federation in one respect: Visibility.

    At a crisis like that, Bacco should have made certain that she was visible to the public. Unless she made any speeches "off-screen," so to speak, I would say that she failed in a key aspect of her job. Especially at the very end, where she refrained from making one final address to the Federation -- "Why ruin a perfectly good apocalypse?" I don't know if it was out of character, but I felt it was a fundamental failure on her part as President. Even if extermination is inevitable, she had a duty to provide leadership and reassurance to the people of the Federation -- if not reassurance that they would be safe, then, at least, reassurance that the Federation did everything it could and would not be forgotten by the rest of the galaxy.

    That's my only complaint.

    (Oh, and I noticed that presidential security seems to be falling under the jurisdiction of a civilian agency rather than Starfleet Security as in Articles.)
     
  19. Baerbel Haddrell

    Baerbel Haddrell Commodore Commodore

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

    I am sure that giving a speech when you expect Earth to be destroyed in a few hours or even much less would do more harm than good. Of course the Federation did all they could, there is no need to spell that out. And with doom around the corner, I think people wouldn`t care much about reassurances and what the rest of the galaxy would remember after they are dead. All it would do is reminding them that they will most likely be dead very soon. I am sure, not everyone would take such an announcement well, to put it mildly.

    I was very impressed with how Bacco dealt with the crisis.
     
  20. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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

    Hm. No. Disagree. Totally disagree. It's the obligation of a national leader to be visible and reassuring in times of crisis, even if such reassurance is only abstract and not functional. I would consider a leader facing the end of his people who fails to make a farewell address -- who fails, in essence, to grant his/her society a forum through which their grief and pain can be expressed, even if vicariously through the leader -- to have failed in a prime duty.

    ETA:

    Interesting side-note:

    If Section 31 has any brains at all, they'll plant a story that Min Zife died in the Borg invasion. That way, they won't have to find a way to account for him or impersonate him the next time someone goes looking for the former president and can't find him.