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Promises to be a great trilogy,
This review is from: Star Trek Destiny: Gods of Night (Mass Market Paperback)
Gods of Night is the first book in the Desting trilogy written by David Mack. The first point to make is that it can only be described as epic in scope, with converging storylines involving the crews of the Enterprise (Under Captain Picard), Titan (Captain Riker), Columbia (Captain Hernandez) and Aventine (Captain Dax).
To read a novel that so neatly intertwines characters from nearly all of the various Star Trek series is a privelidge. The trilogy is a statement of how mature the franschise has become and I congratulate the author on the vision and scope of what he is trying to achieve with this trilogy.
Gods of Night is set a number of months after the events of the film Nemesis. Readers would do well to read Resistance, Before Dishonour and Greater than the Sum before starting this trilogy as they chart the "evolution" of the borg during this time period. The books are of varying quality, but Chris Bennett's Greater than The Sum did a grand job of restoring my faith in recent Trek novels and teeing up what was to come in this trilogy. I would also strongly recommend that you read the first few Titan novels before embarking on this trilogy, the historical perspective is useful, but ultimately becoming acquainted with the diverse crew is a must.
So is Gods of Night any good? On the surface it promises a lot: All out war with the borg; the mystery of a missing starship; as well as the soap opera of the characters from four starships.
Having not read any David Mack novels before I didn't know what to expect. I was intrigued by the Columbia, Capt Hernandez storyline as I have recently enjoyed wading through Season 1-4 of Enterprise and the novels which follow. I have enjoyed where the Titan series was going, but have not been overimpressed with post Nemesis Next Generation novels.
Gods of Night was like a breath of fresh air. Characterisation across all series characters was good, consistent, the handling of Riker/Troi and Vale probably the highlight, the emotional response that the borg always cause in Picard was handled well.
The pace is spot on: the interweaving story arcs here had to be paced well, keeping the reader suitably entertained, with there being enough in book one to reward the reader. I would say the strongest story arc to come through from this book would be the historic events of what happened to Columbia, set in the time period prior to the first Romulan War (events which have been building in Kobyashi Maru) their first contact with the alien race the Caeliar is interesting. The exploration of pacifism ideals provides an interesting counterbalance to the all out war approach displayed by the borg. The crash investigation/haunted ship story arc involving Captain Dax's Aventine crew compliments Columbia's historic well: the author revealing a different piece of the jigsaw puzzle at the right rate.
Enterprise and its deeply troubled Captain is a bit more of the same really, with recent Next Generation novels considered, although I am sure this will develop and come through more strongly in Books 2 and 3. Not to say this is dull, a war of attrition with the borg is as grave a threat that the federation has faced and is certainly a page turner.
In summary 5 star entertainment: Escapism on an epic scale. A welcomed fresh approach/style to the Star Trek novel. Word of advice: order the whole trilogy at once. This author knows how to write a cliffhanger of an ending. You will not want to hang around waiting for book 2 to be delivered.