Tuesday, October 27, 2009

BookNotes: "Star Trek: Destiny"

For related discussions,etc, see Discussion in Abukoff Books and Curios

Folks, this is a new feature for Fantasy Trek, specifically to encourage discussion, as well as linking to another project of mine, called Abukoff Books and Curios. I'll be discussing, from time to time, Trek or other sci fi books and other products, such as movie/DVD news and game news. In the first round, I'm talking about the Star Trek: Destiny series.

I've just finished reading the recent crop of Trek books, so I'll just comment in a bit of a general sense. I read the TNG era "Destiny" trilogy when they came out, without having read any of the books leading up to them,
and I was pretty impressed. Oh, I knew that Riker was captain of the Titan, but that was pretty much it. I'd heard that Janeway had been killed off, but I wasn't really thinking about that. So I was surprised to find Chakotay commanding Voyager. I like Chakotay, even as Captain, but why did someone feel the need to kill off Janeway? Though I suppose if Lucas can sanction Chewbacca getting killed...
Anyway, I was pretty happy with Destiny. David Mack did a decent job of rendering the characters. I just have a few complaints. I didn't read the book where Ezri Dax got command of the Aventine, but I don't think I've ever known a character less deserving of commanding the most advanced ship in the fleet. I always thought that Ezri Dax was a stunningly weak character to follow in Jadzia's footsteps, and while I think that David Mack wrote her well, I truly dislike her as A) a starship captain, and B) captain of such a ship. Battlefield promotions I get, but not keeping that ship. And I don't have a problem with women captains. The female Romulan Commander from TOS "The Enterprise Incident", Kathryn Janeway, Erika Hernandez... no, I just don't believe in Captain Ezri Dax of the USS Aventine.

Speaking of Captain Erika Hernandez, I know that everyone seems to take an image from the "Ships of the Line" calendar as definitive proof that NX-02 crashed, but I like the ship and the captain, and I think it's kind of rotten what they did to them. I won't go into lots of detail, but her ship gets mutinied (if that's a word) out from under her, and the character is relegated to what is essentially imprisonment for the bulk of the series.
Granted, she plays a major role in saving the day at the end, but at that point she really isn't Erika Hernandez. She's more like someone who used to be Erika Hernandez. A big let down. But the rest of the series was pretty good. I will also say that the Borg seem to be gone, finally. Good thing or bad thing I don't know. (And an intentional return to the Delta Quad to confirm that the Borg are gone seems to be upcoming in a planned book). But that sort of leads to Post-Destiny books. I've read "Full Circle", "Losing the Peace", and "A Singular Destiny", and I have to say that while "Full Circle" was a fascinating and personal story of Chakotay dealing with the loss of Janeway, the other two books, while interesting, were also less interesting for their content than they are for the foreshadowing of a future threat to be encountered in a miniseries about "The Typhon Pact". While "A Singular Destiny" moved very quickly, was interesting, and advances
the story in a unique fashion, I simply found it quite light, and not entirely satisfying. And "Losing the Peace" had essentially the same problem. I like the picture that was shown of the unprecedented refugee problem, and the characters were well drawn, but I found it, in the end, unsatisfying. Good story, interesting and fast moving, but light weight. Unsatisfying. I'm looking forward to the Typhon Pact books. Unless, of course, it's just going to be another war/soap opera series that is eventually unsatisfying. Next time, I'll talk about the recent "Enterprise" Relaunch series, which just gave us the most detailed look we've ever had at the Earth/Romulan War. And of course all comments are welcome.

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