Spoilers TNG: Collateral Damage by David Mack Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by tomswift2002, Oct 2, 2019.

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Rate TNG: Colateral Damage

  1. Outstanding

    37.5%
  2. Above Average

    44.6%
  3. Average

    12.5%
  4. Below Average

    3.6%
  5. Poor

    1.8%
  1. Smiley

    Smiley Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    They had some interesting parts in Seven Deadly Sins and Fortunes of War.
     
  2. dstyer

    dstyer Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    @David Mack

    pg. 197 ... "Upper and lower flurmen" ?!

    :guffaw::whistle:
     
  3. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    It's there for those who appreciate it. Those who don't can just zoom on by….
     
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  4. Paul755

    Paul755 Captain Captain

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    got this for my birthday and I’m almost done reading it...I love that...

    the author named characters (and in some cases gave them the traits) of characters from the tv show Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Engineers Holt and Jeffords as well as the strike team members Peralta, Santiago, Diaz and Boyle.
     
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  5. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

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    Well, I just finished this book and I have to say that as the ultimate book for the entire novelverse (at least for the TNG storyline) that it did a pretty good job laying to rest the Star Trek Expanded Universe. It's very similar to how I felt about Troy Denning's Crucible that was the "final" Legends book.

    The fact that it deals with Captain Picard's hearing regarding his role in the overthrow of a sitting Federation President, the fall of Section 31, the Borg's decimation of worlds, and the fallout of so much else done in the novels meant that it was an excellent tie-in for the entirety of the continuity. We also have Naomi Wildman as an adult that gives a sense of just how much time has passed in the setting.

    I haven't always been 100% behind the changes made in the novels but I appreciated the bold vision and dedication behind the author's works. Like the New Jedi Order and Legacy of the Force, they were not willing to leave Star Trek unchanged and these changes accumulated in wild and amazing ways.

    I also never thought I'd say this but I also love the Outrageous Okona in this book. The flirtacious roguish spy is 100% awesome in this book and I would have loved to have seen him get his own series here. Making him a spy for Starfleet Intelligence was a brilliant idea. I also felt the juxtaposition of the "evil" Section 31 with regular Starfleet Intelligence as well as Federation rulebreaking was an interesting narrative choice. Section 31 is gone but aside from getting rid of CONTROL, the same ethos of "the ends justify the means' hasn't gone anywhere. It's inherent to espionage and spy work and will continue on even though the criminal conspiracy has vanished.

    I wish we'd gotten more on Nechayev and Jellico as I hope both of them get acquitted like Picard given that I'm fond of both Admirals. Hell, I wasn't that fond of what happened to Admiral Ross in Available Light (and fully believe his assassin was part of a S31 plot rather than an aggreived widow). Did I like the handling of Louvois? Not really. Not because of her behavior or outrage at Picard's doing but the fact that she made her judgements lacking large amounts of evidence and shoddy research. Bluntly, I wish someone had called her out not on her self-righteousness or conflict of interests but her incompetence. As they said in PHOENIX WRIGHT, the purpose of the antagonistic legal system is to arrive at the truth.

    Kudos also for the treatment of Nausicaans. No race is a bunch of thugs and pirates completely and it's nice to see them treated with respect as well as sympathy. Was it justice that such an unrepentant band of murderers got a happy ending? Maybe not, but that's the kind of moral ambiguity Star Trek deals with and forgiveness is better than wrath.

    I always wanted to see the novelverse deal with the Romulan supernova (and kind of hoped it would destroy the Typhon Pact) but as the final page on an amazing decades-long journey, this was not at all bad. Thank you, David Mack for making such an awesome ending.
     
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  6. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Collateral Damage was not the end of the Novelverse, we've at least two more left, Voyager: To Lose the Earth, and a David Mack novel featuring Data and Lal.
     
  7. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

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    I was thinking of it as the end for the TNG section. Voyager is fine but I admit I didn't keep up with it nearly as well as I did the other novel lines. Also, it seemed to primarily wrap up the "main" storylines of the novelverse with their Presidential overthrows, Borg invasion, and Section 31 aftermaths.

    I'm sure the final Voyager novel will be great but I don't think it'll deal with so many preexisting plots the way Collateral Damage did.
     
  8. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    Also, "To Lose the Earth" is set several years in the past relative to "Collateral Damage."
     
  9. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Turns out I might have been mistaken and the Data and Lal book might not be a definite thing. But, if it is I'm pretty sure it'll probably be a TNG book.
     
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  10. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

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    I will say, SECTION 31 WILL RETURN!

    So it can be destroyed...again...in the 25th century.

    :)
     
  11. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm only up to Chapter 3, and the shifts in perspective and tense when we change narrators is already kind of getting on my nerves. I don't mind so much going from first to third person with the different characters, but adding the shift from past tense to present tense on top of that is really bugging me.
     
  12. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I didn't bother me once I realized it signified the way the narrating character does not think of himself as having a future and doesn't let himself think of the past; he lives in an eternal middle, his life rudderless and desperate, so narrating his life in present tense makes sense from a character POV.
     
  13. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    It was, admittedly, a literary style experiment, one inspired by the work of my acquaintance Seth Dickinson. I can understand if it doesn't work for every reader. I thought it was interesting and worth trying. I'm just glad my editors were willing to give me the freedom to try something like this.
     
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  14. jaime

    jaime Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I found it fun. It’s not every day you get a metal gear solid pastiche in a Star Trek novel.
     
  15. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    Sorry, you've lost me. I've never played MGS — can you explain this reference to me?
     
  16. jaime

    jaime Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Naomi Wildman bares comparisons to Mei Ling, amongst other bits that I don’t recall too exactly. Some bits were more Bond than Snake, but I also remember feeling some similarities to Guns of the Patriots. I felt it was in keeping with your earlier Terminator gags in other books.
     
  17. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    Ah. It's a pretty old trope: the "man in the van," or Q working with Bond, etc. Tech support and field agent. I didn't think of it as any kind of series-specific homage.
     
  18. jaime

    jaime Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Oh I definitely got the bond thing too. If you ever see/play MGS you will see it and probably laugh. Admittedly, Kojima went to the Bond well, and Mei Ling is in some ways an updated always-on moneypenny.
     
  19. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I didn't get a Bond vibe at all. Okuna is the exact opposite of Bond in a lot of ways -- he's not coded as English, he's constantly getting his ass kicked, there's no sense of glamor, he's not hanging out at classy exotic locales, there's no coded nostalgia for colonialism, and the one woman he hits on rejects him until he apologizes for not respecting her feelings.
     
  20. jaime

    jaime Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Erm. I think he ended up with a lady friend shall we see. I also don’t necessarily agree with your reading on Bond. For a start, Bond isn’t English. ;)