22 JanStar Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals 2/52

I will admit it proudly: I’m a Trekkie.

Not the kind that can speak Klingon, or give you a minute retelling of every single episode starting from the Cage. But I definitely consider myself a fan, as I participate in a written Star Trek RPG on a regular basis, own several seasons on DVD, and attended my first Star Trek Convention last summer.

Surprisingly, I haven’t read that many Star Trek books in my lifetime. The number is perhaps less than one dozen. When I’d first started reading Trek books, I’d found a few I’d enjoyed (Genesis Wave, Corps of Engineers, Crucible). But then I had a string of awful ones, and that was it. The only Star Trek novels I could face were from Star Trek: Enterprise, my favourite of the five television series.

Then this past fall I decided I’d look into Trek novels again. A new series was being released by David Mack: Typhon Pact. Ordering the book from work I eagerly awaited it, feeling a fresh start would be for the best.

When it finally arrived and I dove into it I realized…. I had to go back and read some other ones first so that I could bring myself up to date. The instory time line had progressed a fair amount from where I had left it after Star Trek: Nemesis. Crap.

Not wanting to go back to right to where I’d left it, I went back a few years to 2008. David Mack had written another series, Star Trek: Destiny, of which I’d picked up the first book from a thrift store. Star Trek: Destiny: Gods of Night had been sitting on my shelf for at least a year. When I’d initially bought it I’d tried reading it, but ultimately being burned out of Trek books, I’d maybe gotten a chapter or two in before giving up on it.

Was I ever pleasantly surprised at the end of last year when I started Gods of Night again (it was book #53). I practically devoured the book! Then I eagerly awaited for the second one to come in.

Star Trek: Destiny: Mere Mortals by David Mack is an experience and a half.

The series weaves in characters from all four of the modern-day Trek television series, with Picard, Riker, and Dax and their crews playing central roles throughout the books. In the past I’ve found when I read books that focus on established characters from the TV series that I can’t take them seriously. It always feels like I’m reading halfhearted attempts at the characters I’ve come to love, or cheesy one shots or special appearances just to tie the book in to canon. You have to understand, I write Trek stories on a daily basis with some high caliber writers, so I guess you can say I hold Trek canon on a higher level than other books I read.

I found that the author managed to stay true to the characters, despite several years having passed since their last appearance on TV or film. I can logically picture how these characters have matured, so to speak – for example, how Ezri Dax really comes into her own as a Fleet officer and commanding officer.

The story centers on a pending invasion of the Federation by the Borg. However the Borg have changed their tactics. Rather than simply assimilating the cultures and people they come across, they simply annihilate them. This means Starfleet needs to change their tactics as well and come up with a way to one-up against a species that doesn’t care how many losses they themselves take.

Meanwhile trying to find solutions, an old United Earth Space Probe Agency / pre-Federation Starfleet starship is discovered, the Columbia, NX-02. As I said earlier, I’m a big Enteprise fan, so to see some love from the Trek universe being given to Enterprise made me really happy.

I’ll admit, I’ve found the storyline to be a bit predictable, so it’s difficult for me to review book 2 in the series without giving away too much of the plot. That said, I’m eagerly awaiting for book 3!!

If you’re at all interested in Star Trek I’d recommend picking up this series. It’s quite addictive, so be warned!!

I give this book four stars out of five.

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