- Mass Market Paperback: 431 pages
- Publisher: Pocket Books/Star Trek; 1st Pocket Books Pbk. Ed edition (September 30, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781416551713
- ISBN-13: 978-1416551713
- ASIN: 1416551719
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 317 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #276,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Star Trek: Destiny: Gods of Night Mass Market Paperback – September 30, 2008
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About the Author
David Mack is the award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty novels of science fiction, fantasy, and adventure, including the Star Trek Destiny and Cold Equations trilogies. His writing credits span several media, including television (for episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), film, short fiction, and comic books. He resides in New York City.
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Have you ever wanted to know more about an antagonist or creature but you were scared that knowing would only ruin the mystery? Well here is a story that takes one of the best and most mysterious "villains" of all time and gives them a be-all-end-all story that they truly deserve.
This novel spans almost all of known federation history and brings it all together spectacularly. The ONLY criticism I would have is that as someone who hadn't read most of the relaunch novels when I first read this, it was very difficult for me to keep track of all the characters on all of the crews. Fortunately there is an index of all main characters in the back of the book that really came in handy. I am re-reading this series now as someone who dove headlong into the relaunch novels, and now that I know the crews and characters better I am just having a blast.
If you read just one piece of beta canon Star Trek in your life, please let it be this one.
PS: This is all three books in the trilogy in one volume, which makes it a tad unwieldy to carry around. I actually recommend picking up the individual novels if you can find them, or if you have a kindle, even better to read it on there. If not (or if you don't intend to carry it around much) then reading them in this format is better than not reading it at all.
If this is the best that the world of Star Trek books has to offer, I'll be giving the rest of them a hard pass.
It's a crossover story, so be prepared to be inundated by dozens of characters from several different branches of the franchise, none of whom are given enough to do in the plot. They vary between being redundant, irrelevant, or not at all like their past selves. But rest assured that all the female characters are beautiful, because Mack introduces every one of them with name, rank, description of their beauty, and one random trivia item about them. Even while they're in combat.
Also be prepared for half a dozen subplots concerning some of these minor characters. Most of the players aren't interesting and none of their backstories/subplots are, either.
Mack also ratchets up the violence and gore to surprising levels, given that Trek usually handles combat like 'shoot man with ray gun, man falls down.' Here we have people getting melted, impaled, ripped apart by high explosive rounds, disemboweled, etc. Seems to be played for shock value or as an attempt to demonstrate that the stakes are higher than they've ever been. But at the same time I didn't find the combat particularly gripping and the Hirogen attack was pretty clearly included because at that point in the narrative it had been a while since anybody had been stabbed, garroted, or shot.
It seemed to me that only Captain Hernandez's story is worth telling here. She's the key to the whole thing and the rest of the characters really only exist to find her and place her where she needs to be to resolve the plot. The whole tale tends to plod along but there were a few parts of her story that really grabbed my attention; unfortunately by trying to cram everybody into one big super-story it all falls out of focus. The deeper into the series I progressed, the more sections I tended to just skim.
The tension nearing the conclusion where the Federation leadership is watching the unstoppable Borg armada bearing down on their core worlds did grab me, although as per Star Trek rules the ending was abrupt, too clean, and not really caused by anything our heroes did. By that point all but one of the characters were spectators.
How could it have been better? I'd say chop the whole thing in half and lose all the cutesy cameos and irrelevant soap-opera stuff, for starters. Tighten the focus on the actual plot. Then you have two different stories you can tell: Hernandez's story, or the story of a starship crew fighting desperately against overwhelming odds to save the Federation (although Trek has done a pretty good job over the years of really limiting what you can do with the Borg since they're straight up better/faster/smarter/tougher than everybody else).
It's fan fiction, written to satisfy rabid fans who want more content. You'll get all the references you want and all the 'just realign the deflector array to emit a chroniton pulse' solutions that you expect. If you're not a Trek fan, or you're thinking like I was that maybe the books are worth checking out, go read something better.
This could and should have been 2 books.