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Half a decade after the Dominion War and more than a year after the rise and fall of Praetor Shinzon, the galaxy's greatest scourge returns to wreak havoc upon the Federation -- and this time its goal is nothing less than total annihilation.

Elsewhere, deep in the Gamma Quadrant, an ancient mystery is solved. One of Earth's first generation of starships, lost for centuries, has been found dead and empty on a desolate planet. But its discovery so far from home has raised disturbing questions, and the answers harken back to a struggle for survival that once tested a captain and her crew to the limits of their humanity.

From that terrifying flashpoint begins an apocalyptic odyssey that will reach across time and space to reveal the past, define the future, and show three captains -- Jean-Luc Picard of the U.S.S. Enterprise, TM William Riker of the U.S.S. Titan, and Ezri Dax of the U.S.S Aventine -- that some destinies are inescapable.

429 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published October 1, 2008

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About the author

David Mack

334 books612 followers
David Mack is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 36 novels of science-fiction, fantasy, and adventure, including the Star Trek Destiny and Cold Equations trilogies.

Beyond novels, Mack's writing credits span several media, including television (for produced episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), games, and comic books.

Follow him on Twitter @davidalanmack or like his Facebook page.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 262 reviews
Profile Image for Alejandro.
1,140 reviews3,569 followers
February 26, 2016
The Destiny of the Federation begins here!

This is the first novel in a “Star Trek” book trilogy named “Destiny”


The Federation has suffered more casualties from hostile action in the past five weeks than in all the previous wars of its history combined.

The Romulan War. The Cardassian War. The Dominion War. Even the Battle of Wolf 359.
None of those bloody conflicts of the Federation against opposite powers, combined, produced so many loses of lives as in the very first stage of a massive invasion of the Borg Collective.

Not only Starfleet vessels, but also whole Starbases, and even whole planets are suffering the rage of the Borg, that in an unexpected turn, instead of assimilating technology and species, they are just…

destroying everything!

Obliterating without any single show of mercy.

Starships’ debris, Starbases’ floating pieces, dead worlds, are the only remnants in the ruthless wake of multiple Borg cubes, suddenly appearing everywhere in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants.
And they are just warming up!


I’m required by regulations to remind you, Captain, that this is a really stupid thing to do.

This story is so big that four Starships, one of them even in a different time period, will be required to play pivotal roles with uncertain destinies, in a hopeless effort to avoid the extinction of the whole United Federation of Planets!


In the middle of Twenty-Second Century…

Under command of Captain Erika Hernandez, the Columbia was escorting a civilian convoy of space vessels in an Alpha Quadrant sector, when it suffered an insidious attack by Romulans, forcing them to play a costly ruse, leaving it without Warp Speed and Subspace Communications, and away of common used routes.

While changes are never permanent, change is.

In the late of the Twenty-Fourth Century…

The Columbia is discovered, by the USS Defiant, in a deserted planet of the Gamma Quadrant, without any clue of how it could reach such far away position. However, its mystery will have to wait since the Dominion War is about to begin.


Under command of Captain Ezri Dax, the Aventine is doing an investigation about the discovery of the Columbia, some years ago, and while the Federation is short of vessels due the newly rising of Borg hostilities, Ezri Dax asked for some time on the Columbia since maybe the explanation of how that vessel was able to reach such far away place can be something useful against the Borg, but they haven’t much time to perform the investigation.

Time is short, -- And the perfect is the enemy of the good.

The Columbia is empty, and it seems that it has been empty for a long, long time, however…

Aventine crewmembers are starting to die while exploring the empty vessel.


Under command of Captain William T. Riker, the Titan is on its deep exploration mission (considered being to be too far away of Federation space to be recalled in the newly Borg invasion), when it discovered something odd…

…a whole Planetary System under some kind of cloaking.


Under command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, the Enterprise-E has been the only Starfleet vessel really useful against Borg attacks, thanks to the advantage of being authorized to use the Top Secret Transphasic Torpedoes (technology from the future brought by the older Admiral Kathryn Janeway during the TV events of the Star Trek: Voyager finale “Endgame”), the only weapon that the Borg have been unable to be adapted against it, so far, but the Federation Council and Starfleet Command are worried that if that weapon is begining to use widely by the whole fleet, the Borg will find a way to counter it, so, the decision is that only the Enterprise-E would be authorized to use that futuristic vantage.

Therefore, the rest of the fleet is falling like flies without doing much difference against the Borg raids, only a few of them have been successful against the Borg but with costly sacrifices.

This is a clash of civilizations, -- and it will end when one of us falls.

Captain Picard knows that the Federation won’t be able to hold this bloody situation for much time. The Borg cubes are appearing deep in Federation territories without any early warning. The Borg are using something new to mobilize its cubes, and he had to find out what is, before it would be too late for everybody.

Profile Image for Jamie.
1,195 reviews114 followers
May 4, 2020
An epic, thrilling Trek story with crossover from every ST series except TOS. With frequently shifting narrative perspective between four ship crews, one of which occurs centuries earlier, there's a lot going on here, with a large cast of characters, many well known from the various series. The author provides a crew guide, listed by ship, as an appendix, which is of great help in keeping things straight early on.

As a standalone, the scope of the story would certainly be way too ambitious. As a trilogy however it promises to be absolutely epic. Action initially centers around conflict with the Borg, however the author introduces a new highly advanced and reclusive alien species and some intriguing cosmological mysteries with potentially catastrophic consequences for the Federation that promise to make the story much broader.

David Mack has a remarkable talent for capturing the spirit of ST and the dynamics and nuances of many of the key character relationships we have come to know and love. Great stuff, whether you're a fan of TNG, DS9, Voyager or, and especially, like me, all of them.
Profile Image for Jerry.
4,693 reviews62 followers
January 14, 2022
A different sort of space opera...but a good one. Can't wait to see where the story goes from here!
Profile Image for Gary.
167 reviews66 followers
February 8, 2016
One of the best star trek book out there to finally find out how the borg came to be
Profile Image for Sarah.
81 reviews
March 31, 2012
"So, uh, we got this joined Trill who's a bit bungled up in the brain, ya know what I'm saying?"

"Like a bit on the neurotic side?"

"Exactly. The the funny things is, she's a counselor. On a space station."

"On a space station?"

"Yeah, that's what I'm sayin'. What um I s'posed tu do with a neurotic counselor?"


::fingers snap::

"I got it! Make her a ship's captain. Make her totally unrecognizable. Problem solved. Bada-bing bada-boom."

"Ya think?"

"I ain't payin' ya to think. I'm payin' ya to write. Now shut up and churn us out some books."

Because we Trek fans are gullible enough to buy crappy books so long as it has the "Star Trek" logo on the cover.
Profile Image for James.
34 reviews7 followers
April 8, 2010
I wish Goodreads allowed me to give a 4-1/2 star rating. This book was almost perfect. I could not put it down and only had a few small complaints that would keep me from giving it a 5 star rating.

After reading a few of his books, I would say that Mack is one of the best Star Trek writers. He gives his stories a very human element and manages to make large casts very exciting. (I usually prefer smaller casts allowing you to focus on a few characters.)

In this book, he has an extremely large cast. Besides the Captains and crews of four starships, he also has scenes dealing with some of the other folks around the galaxy. He is telling a sweeping tale here that affects the entire Federation, so he tells you a bit about what is going on around the whole Federation.

The Borg are attacking again. Yeah, the Borg are over-used and honestly, I am sick to death of them. They haven't really been cool since "Best of Both Worlds." However, Mack does make them feel like a threat again. In fact, they feel like more of a threat even then when they were in "Best of Both Worlds." This fact almost kept me from reading the book, and did keep me from reading the TNG books that led up to this trilogy. I am just really bored of the Borg.

However, the book includes so much more. There are the personal stories as Picard deals with how the Borg affects him, Troi and Riker deal with trying to conceive a baby, Pazlar's dealing with being a low gravity person on a high gravity ship, etc., etc.. There is also the flashback tale of the USS Columbia (from the 22nd Century) making first contact with a powerful alien species. There are the mysterious deaths on the USS Aventine (Ezri Dax's ship). There is so much more than just the Borg....and it all ties together.

Speaking of Ezri, that is another thing that keeps this book from a 5 star rating. Like many folks on Goodreads, I just couldn't buy her as a Starship Captain. The last time we saw her in the show, she was still extremely unsure of herself and certainly did not seem like Captain material. Of course, she could grow, but the book never really tells us what changed her or demonstrates her as that strong of a leader.

Small complaints aside, this is a fantastic read that I couldn't put down. Then, it ends with a nice little cliffhanger. I'll be picking up book 2 as soon as I find a used copy. (I'm frugal, not cheap.) I can't wait to read the next book. 4 and a half stars!
Profile Image for Dan.
312 reviews
November 4, 2019
This is an incredibly strong start to the Destiny trilogy, both when I first read it years ago and in my most recent re-read. The action sequences are among the best in Star Trek, and the character moments work very well for the most part. I found the Columbia sequences to be equal parts heartbreaking and horrifying. It's clear from the very start that this is a very tightly-plotted story, with twists and turns that readers will not see coming. At the same time, the story is pure Star Trek through and through. If you haven't read Destiny yet, do yourself a favor and put it on your list immediately; this is Trek lit at its absolute finest, and the best is still yet to come.

Full review: https://www.treklit.com/2019/11/Desti...
Profile Image for Nate.
358 reviews8 followers
September 12, 2023
I don’t rate all books against each other but against my expectations and enjoyment of them.

These Star Trek tie in books are hit or miss most of the time. This is one of the best ones. It’s a bit complicated with characters from different ships and timelines to keep track of but we’ll done. It’s the first book in a trilogy so there’s not much of an ending but it was good enough for me to continue the series.
Profile Image for Stephen Osborne.
Author 70 books136 followers
May 4, 2013
It's been a long, long time since I've read a Star Trek book, so I thought I'd just jump in and pick a spot to begin again. And it seems I chose well. The first book of the trilogy is well written and exciting, full of "character" moments as well as action. There are A LOT of characters, though. 631. I counted them. Luckily, Mack gives you tiny updates just in case you haven't read EVERY Star Trek book, or have forgotten key moments in the TV shows. And Ezri Dax has my favorite line, when told by another officer that she's, perhaps, not making the best judgement in wanting to lead a dangerous away mission. "Sam, what's the point of being a captain if I don't get to do something stupid once in a while?"
And I really didn't count all the characters. But there were 631.
Profile Image for Astrid.
281 reviews16 followers
January 9, 2022
Solange es um technische Sachen geht oder sogar um Actionszenen war es wirklich ein ordentliches Buch. Der Rest... hölzern. Für mich ein mittelmäßig geschriebener Fan Fiction, der davon lebt, dass es die Filme/Serien auch geschafft haben, Emotionen bei den Zuschauern hervorzurufen. Ich lass es dann mal bei Teil eins und werde die Folgeteile nicht lesen.
Profile Image for Denise.
485 reviews7 followers
December 18, 2016
If this was someone's fanfiction, I would say it's pretty good. But it's not.

The writing is problematic at parts. Most of the character interaction happens through teasing, which is boring and in some cases, odd. And then he takes two happy couples, and decides that the next logical step is babies. Fine, but both? And make one of them have very present-day Earth problems (miscarriages) with only present-day solutions? I don't remember Deanna ever even caring about having children, but now she's apparently completely unreasonable? And there could be a much more creative process here. Genetic manipulation, for one. It just feels tired, like he didn't know what to do next with a happy couple. The Time Traveler's Wife had the same problem.

I also really, really didn't like who he turned Dr. Beverly Crusher into. I didn't recognize her.
Profile Image for Daniel Kukwa.
4,115 reviews92 followers
February 29, 2012
It's relentless, warp speed plotting -- aside from the Riker/Troi prengancy issue, there isn't a lot of room for character development...and I find the Columbia crew to be rather cliched much of the time, especially the typically hard-nosed MACOs. But all that aside, this is EPIC plotting on a grand scale...and considering the juggling of characters, planets, and battles that occurs in this novel, you have to give David Mack credit for keeping all the balls in the air, and never once letting one of them fall to the ground. It's certainly a breathless beginning to the "Destiny" trilogy...let's see where it goes from here.
Profile Image for Drew Widney.
67 reviews1 follower
October 9, 2017
Love the premise of the final showdown between the federation and the Borg. But the author just has way too many perspectives. There are way too many ships with their unique situations and each ship have large crews and it just becomes a jumbled mess. Committing to finishing the trilogy but damn, not some of Trek's best literature.
157 reviews2 followers
January 24, 2016
Star Trek: Destiny: Gods of Night by David Mack "Destiny" is set more than a year after the events of ST: Nemesis. It builds upon the TNG-relaunch novels, the Titan-series and various other familiar characters - but don't worry, Destiny is quite a good point to get back into Trek without prior knowledge of the mentioned book-series.Given the split nature of the book that's jumping from one stage to the other, I'm going to follow those jumps in my review.
The Federation is at war with the Borg, and the Enterprise is the only ship with weapons that stand a real chance at destroying the cubes. Fear of the Borg adapting, though, stays Starfleet's hand in distributing the transphasic torpedos, based on plans from future-Janeway, to the rest of the fleet. The result is watching while other ships try and mostly fail to defend those planets the Enterprise can't reach in time. And Picard is shocked to find that the Borg, this time, have but one single goal: the annihilation of the Federation.Having read none of the TNG-relaunch books, I was a bit surprised to read that Picard apparently was retransformed into Locutus - but other than that, this plotline is rather unremarkable. Of course, there's the usual angsting about the Borg, Picard's relationship with them bordering either on obsession or on defeat, but it's nothing that we haven't seen before in TNG. Getting a glimpse of Worf as First Officer wasn't as dreadful as I would have thought since I can't stand him, or rather what has been done to his character in DS9. Discovering that Beverly and Picard finally tied the knot and are even expecting their first child was on the other hand a nice touch - and kind of a couterpoint to Riker and Troi's dilemma. But I very much enjoyed their delight and comfortable relationship which is quite as I expected it, to be honest, as is Beverly's support of Picard even though she's worried about his state of mind. It's interesting to see how much has changed on the Enterprise, yet how much still stays the same. Granted, the main protagonists are still the same and the focus wasn't so much on the new characters around, but the setting on Enterprise-E still resonated well with me, somehow like coming to visit an old friend one hasn't seen in a long time.TitanWhile the actual battle against the Borg centers around the Enterprise, Titan gets unusual readings about possible transwarp-conduits. Their explorations are overshadowed by the personal tragedy of Troi's again failed pregnancy.This is actually the most thought-provoking plot-thread. Troi and Riker's second attempt at a child fails when Ree diagnoses the child non-viable (but the pregnancy itself's still intact) and recommends (read: urges) Troi to abort the fetus - better even, to let him perform a hysterectomy to prevent any further pregnancies. Troi wants to hear nothing about abortion, miscarriage or hysterectomy, Riker falls into despair, and Ree later on threatens to force Deanna to submit to the operation, or to be called unfit for duty... Well, so far, so good.Mack walks a fine line, alluding to the ongoing debate about prenatal diagnostics and the pro-life vs. pro-choice conflict. But in my opinion, the whole discussion is more of an academic one since the fetus isn't viable, it will die before birth, there won't be a child born (at least at this point in the story - there are species far more advanced than the Federation who could still intervene...) - and that's the spinning point. The whole dilemma would feel more real if there were at least a chance that Deanna could carry full term and deliver a child, albeit perhaps a child with defects. Then we'd really face the choice of pro-life vs. pro-choice.It's more the surrounding events that turn this tragic development into something I wouldn't have expected as such in Trek. Granted, the miscarriage could happen at the most inconvenient time, but practically forcing Deanna to submit to an abortion - if not by an actual order then at least by pressuring her into a decision she isn't ready yet? I get that Ree doesn't actually understand what a pregnancy involves, the investment of hope and love, the bond that's forged between parents, and mothers in particular, and the child that's growing in their womb. And of course, the suggestion of an abortion seems sound in this case where there's no hope of a successful pregnancy. On the other hand, he isn't able to treat Deanna properly, he just doesn't get the whole picture - and thus, should have relinquished her care to another doctor on Titan, one who's perhaps better suited to deal with mammal pregnancies.The other thing I don't quite understand is the haste to perform the abortion. Just the fact that the fetus won't live for much longer doesn't necessarily pose a risk to Deanna. The imminent danger is a miscarriage, accompanied by heavy bleeding... but why should Deanna be at risk of a ruptured uterus? Granted, she could face serious complications had the fetus already died and been left in her womb (i.e. infection) - but that's not the case, at least as far as I understood Ree's explanations. He just reiterated the fact that it wasn't viable - not that it was dead already. This is perhaps the worst diagnosis Ree could give her, especially coupled with the fact that due her first pregnancy and exposure to the radiation Ian exhibited she likely will never be able to bear a healthy child. Deanna needs time to come to terms with not only the loss of this child, but also the idea that her dream of a child won't ever be realized. Actually, I find it appalling that no one is willing to grant her that time of grief and to say good-bye to this child...I won't really start about the total hysterectomy... This is just a ridiculous notion because it's not her womb that causes the problems. Potentially she'd be able to carry a child to term - just not a child created from her own DNA. It's only her ovaries that are damaged and at risk of developing cancer due to the radiation after all. Even nowadays there are so many possibilities with IVF, why should there be less in the 24th century? Again, I don't think Ree quite grasps the ramifications of his suggestions. On the other hand, doctors have always been quick in suggesting hysterectomies, and the idea that such a procedure, even "only" the removal of the womb, leaving the ovaries in place, seriously disturbs the feeling of self-worth and the self-image of a woman has emerged only in recent years - and still it's not acted upon often enough. In this case, as a preventive measure Ree should have suggested an ovarectomy, a hysterectomy seems a bit of an overkill...But it's not just Ree that bothers me - it's Vale as well. Her attitude to go behind Riker's back and collaborate with Ree, sorry but that's taking the duty as First Officer a bit too far. Of course, Riker's distracted, that's the problem with having your spouse on the same ship, but in no way did he seem incapable of carrying out his duties in such a fashion that warrants such a move by Vale. Perhaps she, too, didn't quite get what was happening. To her it just seemed as if Deanna went against the rational solution in dismissing Ree's treatment. But she didn't really pause to think beyond the mere physical... because does she really think that Riker and Troi would be back to normal as soon as the "parasite"'s removed?!? And what about removing Deanna from duty till the termination of the pregnancy?!? Why that? Just because of a risk of miscarriage? I mean, come on, then you would have to remove any pregnant officer from duty, because there's always a risk of some complication... At least the compromise between Deanna and Ree, that she's unwittingly brought about, buys some time... hopefully not for the introduction of some kind of deus-ex-machina solution that circumvents all mentioned conflicts and dilemmas. And I'm not dismissing the Troi's position in the chain of command. On her decision doesn't solely rest her own well-being, but that of those who could be trapped with her when she goes down due to a possible spontaneous abortion. I understand that Ree has to serve both as Troi's personal physician and the CMO of the ship, it's just the *way* he goes about that with absolutely no sympathy, no consideration at all for Deanna's pain, that's making this situation so difficult to tolerate for me. Is his recommendation of an abortion medically sound? You bet it is. And I'd say given a bit of time to herself without any outside pressure, Deanna would have agreed - and quite soon too.I could sympathize with both Riker and Troi very well. Troi's denial and anger at herself, Riker and the baby was palpable - as was Riker's helplessness. He just doesn't know how to deal with the situation, he's just human after all. Still, he supports Troi's decisions although he doesn't really understand them. Given that Troi feels everything he feels, his not understanding her is bound to cause a rift - and I'm looking forward whether the two are able to overcome this tragedy with their relationship intact. (On the other hand, Beverly's being isolated on the Enterprise did cause me to think about Deanna's transfering back to the Enterprise. There are after all quite a few other counselors on Titan, but none worth mentioning on the Enterprise... Granted, having to witness a successful pregnancy wouldn't really improve Deanna's state of mind, I guess.)Other than that, I enjoyed reading about Keru facing his Borg demons and his friendship with Torvig. I'm not sure, though, what to think about Pazlar's being able to project herself anywhere in the ship - but not actually having to go anywhere herself. It's well meant by Ra-Havreii, I'm sure, but she's got to be careful not to isolate herself even further.Aventine / ColumbiaEzri Dax, commanding the Aventine, in the mean time investigates the relics of the starship Columbia found on some remote planet in the Gamma-Quadrant, hoping to find clues as to what happened more than 200 years ago. The ship might just hold the key to solving the mystery of the Borg's random appearances and the origin of the conduits so similar to the Borg transwarp conduits that were found near attack sites. But then, members of her away-team are killed in a gruesome way by an unknown entity that just might have found its way aboard the Aventine.Ezri's plot is a rather straight forward fact finding mission. It's interesting to see her in command and removed from DS9 - but what happened to some members of her crew just didn't touch me as much as it probably should have. They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and frankly, I simply sympathized with the perpetrator who's been practically kidnapped and left alone after the whole crew of the Columbia died a sudden and horrible death... not that that justifies murder but still...I welcome, though, the return of Simon Tarses. I understand he appeared in some DS9-relaunch books (I think so at least), but since I haven't read any of the more recent ones, I must have missed that... His dry "You're standing in my blood" had me in stitches, however... medical humour, I guess.After an attack supposedly by Romulans, the Columbia limps to a relatively nearby planet - only to become stranded there when the Caeliar refuse to let the landing party leave or even establish contact with the ship or Earth in order to stay hidden from the rest of the galaxy. An escape attempt leads to tragic and unforseen consequences.I wasn't terribly fond of Hernandez or the introduction of the Columbia in "Enterprise", especially the way Tucker used to skip ships just to escape his relationship problems with T'Pol. But with time this plot thread grew on me. It reminded me of Voyager's plight, being far from home, knowing that during your absence life continued and that you may no longer be part of that life once you return. And in this case, it's not just distance that prevents a joyful reunion, but also a planet's inhabitants that while polite and self-claimed pacifists still hold the ship and its crew prisoner. And the dilemma is that I also understand their motivation. Ordinarily they would simply send a ship that comes too close to their planet into the unknown regions of space, sometimes even whole planets - but this time they took the risk of getting to know the landing party, given the poor state of the Columbia... with dire results, because humans just don't like to be put in a cage, even a gilded one, and not all humans share their pacifist attitude but stop at nothing to escape. And that's perhaps the most interesting part of this plot thread. While Hernandez and most of her senior crew share the goal of getting home, they find that not all ends justify the means, unlike the rest of the landing party. While I can't condone the actions of Foyle and his minions, going behind Hernandez, threatening to kill her, torturing a crewmember in order to get the Caeliar to comply with his wishes, at least both positions were fleshed out properly. I'm very curious to see how this story line will continue - and how it will shape the future we all know, especially the emergence of the Borg.Honorable mentions go to Calhoun and his Excalibur that once again make the impossible possible and defeat a Borg cube without having to sacrifice themselves (like other ships did, and in doing so forced the Klingons to enter into the conflict... think Narendra III). I'd really like to read more about him - but I'm afraid I've outgrown Peter David's writing style, and reading the most recent NF-books felt more like a chore than a joyful occasion. Perhaps in the not so distant future other authors will be able to pick up the reins here... Well, one can hope after all. And change can happen as we've witnessed recently...On another note, Mack even managed to include little tidbits about Voyager's crew in the recitation of the havoc the Borg wreak upon the Federation. Not only did Janeway apparently die in an earlier book (not that I particularly regret that!), but Paris and Torres' marriage suffers serious problems which caused another rift in Tom's relationship with his father. At least, Owen Paris tried to mend the fences in his final message to his son - although Tom now appeared as lost and embittered as at the beginning of Voyager's season 1. And Seven of Nine is asked to help in the conflict by the President of the Federation herself...While this book didn't have me gnawing at my fingernails in suspense it's a very good setup to a trilogy that will, hopefully, deal with the Borg once and for all. When they first appeared in Trek, they were technologically so advanced that one could hardly imagine the Federation winning in an all-out war. Add to that the threat of assimilation, and you get the ultimate enemy - not just aiming to kill you, but to deprive you of your very essence of being. Could it get any scarier? But all this was slowly destroyed during the course of Voyager. We have crewmembers who let themselves be assmiliated without any negative effects, we have Borg that no longer act as a real collective but have definite leaders (starting with First Contact)... They were just explored to death, losing what was making them so unique. Perhaps it's best to let them go out with a bang - and I hope this trilogy will deliver that bang.
Destiny: Gods of Night gets a definite thumbs-up. I'm already looking forward to part 2, hoping it will bring all the plot-threads together - I for one would love to see a reunion of Titan and Enterprise's crews...
review originally written in 2008
Profile Image for Hex.
38 reviews2 followers
September 13, 2023
This almost ended up as a DNF and part of me still wishes it had.

The first 40% of the book can easily be ignored: nothing of note happens, just a lot of dialogue about virtually nothing and some subplots that aren't really subplots. But they keep lingering around anyway.

There are multiple POV's and a lot of them seem totally random. It's as if the author is replaying a Star Trek tv show scene in his head and then tries to convert it to paper.

On top of that, a lot of characters get introduced to you, and I really mean A LOT. The author gives you their their name, which makes you think these characters are important, so you'll make an effort to remember their names. Then another is introduced, and another, and another, ad infinitum. And then, most of them are never heard of again or only play a very minor role in the grand scheme of things.. It's totally confusing and makes for a very unpleasant and convoluted read.

Which reminds me: most characters are only defined by their name, and perhaps the color of their hair or skin. That's it. No personality, nothing.

When the story finally gets going, it is mildly interesting but more in a "it has potential" kind of way as opposed to actually delivering on it.

The characters most of us will probably know and like, feel off for the most part.

The events playing out on the Columbia are easily the best. The part about the MACO however, is the most inane thing I've read in a long while.

Lastly, the author seemingly has an obsession with using synonyms for adjectives, which became very annoying to read, very fast.

This just barely gets 2/5 stars.
Profile Image for Rui.
2 reviews
July 17, 2023
Gods of Night is an absolute gem that had me completely hooked from start to finish. David Mack's storytelling is nothing short of extraordinary, and he effortlessly transports readers into the heart of the Star Trek universe. The characters came alive in ways that made me emotionally invested in their journeys, and the intricate plot kept me on the edge of my seat, eagerly turning the pages. Looking forward to reading the next two books.
Profile Image for Tyler.
Author 3 books15 followers
March 19, 2018
I’ve been waiting for this day for years: finally embarking on the journey into the great unknown (for me) of Star Trek post-A Time To... fiction, really starting with the Destiny Trilogy.
This is a solid opener to the trilogy, and I’m not exactly sure what the overarching story will be, but I’m enjoying the journey so far!
Profile Image for David.
2,559 reviews81 followers
July 6, 2019
Star Trek: Destiny, a trilogy of novels by David Mack is widely regarded by Star Trek fans as the height of Star Trek prose fiction. Unfortunately, my reading of Star Trek: Voyager - Full Circle first spoiled my reading of this book as Full Circle revealed the ending of Destiny. Still, it is a great read and one I've enjoyed nonetheless.
Profile Image for Maurice Jr..
Author 8 books36 followers
December 3, 2022

I understand that this is the first of a trilogy. I can't wait to see how the other two books turn out, because this one is great!

Newly promoted Captain Ezri Dax of the USS Aventine is assigned to follow up on a mystery she never got to solve as Jadzia Dax: the crash of the starship Columbia 200 years ago on a planet light years from her last reported location that they never could have reached given their level of technology. Their exploration reveals a potential subspace tunnel that the Borg might be using for their attacks on the Federation- and a potential menace to their ship and crew.

Captain Picard and the Enterprise find themselves embroiled in battle after battle with Borg cubes. As the only ship in the fleet with transphasic torpedoes, they are the best hope to save worlds closest to their location from Borg attack. They're also on the trail of a transwarp system the Borg may be using as they hammer world after world in their quest to destroy the Federation.

While deep in uncharted space, Captain Riker and the Titan detect triquantum waves, a telltale sign of Borg transwarp conduits. As they move to investigate, Riker also has his wife's health to worry about. Deanna is pregnant, but the pregnancy is in danger and threatens Deanna's health as well.

As the three starships unknowingly investigate the same phenomenon, they move toward resolving the mystery of the Columbia. Over 200 years ago, a Romulan sneak attack left the Columbia crippled with no warp drive, no communications and no way to repair either system. They managed to limp to the nearest inhabited planet where they meet a reclusive race, the Caeliar. It stuns them to learn that the Caeliar have the technology to repair their ship and send them back home, but will not do so to protect their privacy.

Captain Erika Hernandez and her crew want to escape, but realize that the Caeliar have the power to transport the Earth into another galaxy and will do so if any of the Columbia crew were to reach home and tell anyone of their existence. Some of them don't agree with their captain's decision to stay there for the rest of their lives to protect the Earth and launch a plan to get free. They are emboldened by the knowledge that the Caeliar's technology can send them back in time- they think that if they do this, they never would have been there and therefore, cause no danger to the Earth. Unfortunately, their plan coincides with a ruthless attack from a civilization the Caeliar reached out to in peace. Instead of just dropping the dampening field, the two pronged attack causes their system's star to go nova. The Caeliar opened subspace apertures to escape, and Columbia was able to use one of them to escape, leaving behind twelve of their crew (Captain Hernandez, most of the senior officers and their security team).

Two plus centuries later, Dax and the Aventine crew learn that some of the Columbia crew forced the Caeliar into dropping the dampening field around their planet so they could beam back up. Two of them and a Caeliar prisoner beamed up, but only the Caeliar survived their transit through the subspace aperture. Deprived of energy, it accidentally killed three Aventine crew members before stealing a shuttlecraft in an attempt to reach home. Aventine followed it back through the aperture and found the star system devastated by the long ago supernova. Before they could investigate, they receive a distress call- from the Enterprise.

The Titan traces the triquantum waves to New Erigol, home of the surviving Caeliar- and a surprisingly youthful Captain Erika Hernandez. Heck of a cliffhanger- can't wait for the next book! :-)
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Thursday Simpson.
Author 3 books13 followers
July 18, 2022
I liked the storyline from this book a lot. I've been really looking forward to reading the Destiny novels for a few years now. In some ways, it seems like Destiny is kind of the original intent for Star Trek Picard. Not in the sense of like, "Oh, let's make Destiny into a show,"

But more as the first major Star Trek universe storyline event taking place after Nemesis.

To be completely candid, there are a couple concerns I have with this book. I don't like the way the author wrote Jean Luc. It's not that there aren't or can't be cold and fearful sides to him. However, the Jean Luc written in this novel is a little too cold and distant and checked out to be believeable. There are moments, especially in the first season, where Jean Luc does seem more like a cold hearted military commander. But his character changes, especially after his first embrace by the Borg.

And because his embraces by the Borg seem to be the primary reason for his coldness and distance in this novel, I don't know. I'm not entirely sold.

I think Star Trek Picard does a much better job of creating a nuance and depth around and within Jean Luc. Which is very much enhanced by the novels that work around the new series.

This author does do a great job setting up the Destiny storyline. Dax is well written. Geordi is well written. Worf and Dr. Crusher are well written.

However, I am also concerned with Deanna's pregnancy narrative. To put it bluntly, it feels like anti abortion propaganda. It is possible that this is because I read the novel in the aftermath of Roe v. Wade's overturning.

But that pregnancy narrative feels somewhat out of place.

Other than that. This novel moves at a good pace. The plot develops well and in a timely and enjoyable manner.

Another issue I have with this book is that it is a little too, "United States Army in Space," if that makes sense.

That is one of my broader issues with Star Trek in general. It is hard to get behind and root for characters threatening each other with court marshals and other military centric language.

There are episodes or novels that are less like this than others. One could argue that such military centric language and ethos is appropriate, given the plots of this novel. And perhaps they are. But it's not exactly super endearing or engrossing for me.

Again, Star Trek Picard does an excellent job of telling stories that do not exactly revel in the formal military nature of Starfleet or galactic conflicts or whatever else.

All in all, I really enjoyed this novel. It was good and I'm glad I read it and am very much looking forward to reading the rest of the trilogy.
Profile Image for Zoidberg.
223 reviews
July 14, 2009
It's been a while since I visited the Star Trek novel universe. My biggest beef and the reason why I stopped was because at the end of every novel, it felt like there was a giant reset button that was pressed, and none of the characters would remember any of the events in the novel within the regular continuity of the series. Apparently that's been left behind, and I quite enjoy that point.

The book picks up with Captain Ezri Dax commanding her very own starship (how cute!! Last time I saw her she was frolicking around Deep Space Nine's Promenade with her boyfriend Bashir) Now she has some authority and knows how to take charge, apparently. I assumed that must have happened in some previous novel, because in the last season of Deep Space Nine she was mostly a gutless whiner (except that time she made out with mirror-universe Kira -- yowza!). Then the book jumps to Riker's ship, where him and Troi are having problems conceiving a kid, giving Troi a reason to mope around the ship and Riker an excuse to wimp out on command decisions. We also pay a visit to the Enterprise, where Picard and Crusher are going to have a kid. The big threat though, is the BORG! Yes, they're back with another badly-hatched techno scheme to ruin the Federation -- again. The Borg, the series' best villains, were overused in the days of Voyager, and there should be a ban placed on using them for the next few years. Oh, and there's some other captain on some old ship back in Archer's time doing some stuff, but none of that crap really matters because the Enterprise series was the reason the Star Trek franchise self-destructed.

I stopped reading at the point where I found out that Picard and Crusher were going to have a kid. I always wanted the two of them to get together during the series, but Picard with a kid?! That's way to much of a stretch for me. I closed the book up and decided maybe I should check out New Frontier or some other Star Trek series that doesn't involve the characters from any of the TV shows.

I had high hopes and really wanted to get back into the Star Trek novels, but alas, it's not to be.
Profile Image for Terence.
1,168 reviews394 followers
November 9, 2010
David Mack continues to show his strength as a ST author – fast paced adventures, good characterizations, well described space battles. The only complaint I would have in this first book of the Star Trek Destiny trilogy is that there’re too many dramatis personae – we’re following the crews of four starships, Enterprise, Titan, Aventine and Columbia. While Mack ably distinguishes most of his people, he still can’t develop them enough to make you care overmuch about them. Often he’s saved by the fact that half of the crews are already familiar to Trekkies from the TV shows and other novels.

In a personal aside, I’ve never been as interested in the post-TOS crews (Picard excepted) as with the original crew. And I’ve never liked where the canonical Star Trek went/is going. For example, Picard and Crusher get married? And they're having a son? WTF?! (pardon my French) I know there’s supposed to be a history and a certain amount of sexual tension between the two (and Picard has lost what little family he ever had*) but Jean-Luc in a domestic setting is just wrong . Then there’s Riker. I never liked Riker (even after he got the beard) so his and Counselor Troi’s domestic travails don’t engage me.

However, despite what I consider flawed material, I still think Mack does a good job with it, and I can continue to recommend his work without guilt. (Though, alas, there’s no Vulcan/Klingon lesbian sex** in this trilogy…. At least not yet.)

* See the movie ST: Generations***

** See my reviews of the Star Trek Vanguard series.

*** On second thought, don’t watch Generations, take my word that he’s lost his family. But, on third thought, Generations also gives us a glimpse of just how wrong a domesticated Picard is. No, on fourth thought, continue to trust me and don’t subject yourself to the movie.
Profile Image for Chris.
33 reviews9 followers
May 29, 2012
I found this virtually unreadable.

I recently re-read The Entropy Effect, by Vonda Macintyre, which I first read around the age of 10. Now that's a pretty decent book. It's well written. The prose and dialogue are good. The characters are well rounded, whether they're original Trek characters or Macintyre's inventions - she deftly fleshes out characters like Flynn and Hunter better than Voyager managed in an entire series. You actually want to turn the page in order to find out what happens next.

Similarly, early Star Trek novelizations were by Alan Dean Foster and James Blish, both excellent writers.

So out of curiosity I dipped into contemporary Star Trek novels, and since I liked Deep Space Nine and Ezri Dax had a lot of potential, I tried out Gods of Night. The plot, for what it's worth, involves the wreck of the Columbia (from the Enterprise series), Ezri Daz, Will Riker, Captain Picard and some Borg.

Gods of Night is utter bilge. Dreadful, turgid writing. Endless dialogue between characters whose sole distinguishing features are their names. Prose that makes the eyeballs bleed. The most interesting events are told, not shown, and told very poorly at that. Moments that should be exciting struggle off the page, groaning under the weight of tedium.

I could write better fanfic than this, and I can't write for toffee. Pretty soon a computer could churn out something like this, and it still wouldn't pass the Turing test. It's quite possible there are still decent Star Trek books out there, but Gods of Night definitely isn't one of them and it certainly doesn't inspire me to seek them out: it really is unreadable.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Michael.
1,231 reviews115 followers
July 9, 2009
The first in a trilogy of novels set in the post "Nemesis" "Trek" universe, "Destiny: Gods of Night" is one of the more entertaining and page-turning "Trek" novels I've read in a while. Credit a lot of that to author David Mack who in the course of the novel juggles at least four separate plot threads over several different eras of "Trek" history. If you've been wondering why the last Enterprise novel was advertised as part of the previous books in the series leading up to this, you'll find out why here.

The threat for the books is that the Borg are back and this time they're not taking any prisoners. The Enterprise is caught in a quandary--they've got a new weapon capable of taking out the Borg with one shot. But Starfleet is hesitant to use it too much for fear the Borg will adapt too quickly. As the Borg begin to send multiple ships to attack various Federation outposts and worlds, the crews of the Enterprise, the Titan and the ship commanded by newly-captained Ezri Dax must find a way to stem the tide and figure out how the Borg are so quickly infiltrating Federation space.

The novel does have one rather predictable point, related to events in the past with the starship Columbia. However, it does lead to the novel leaving off at an interesting crossroads, guaranteeing you'll come back for the second installment.
Profile Image for Tanya Turner.
82 reviews1 follower
February 28, 2018
Review for the whole 'Destiny' trilogy.

I read a lot of Star Trek books and tend to rate them internally, so 5* for what I think is a good Trek novel, doesn’t mean it is necessarily a good novel for anyone who isn't a fan. These three books are 1* Trek novels for a reason entirely related to the story, not the quality of the writing. I like Trek when it deals with a whole range of alien cultures, and does not put humankind at the centre of the universe. These novels are absolutely guilty of putting humanity at the centre of every problem, not just as the species resolving the issue but as the species who cause the issue, even when it originates in a different quarter of space. As even the is due to human error I really can't recommend these books.

As I say, its a reason specific to my enjoyment of Trek, but it means I read these books with increasing frustration and couldn't recommend them even to another fan. This is no reflection on David Mack, whose work I have read and enjoyed in the past, but this time, it didn't work for me.
Profile Image for Jenny T.
838 reviews40 followers
January 9, 2013
This is the first new Star Trek novel I've read in at least 10 years, possibly longer, but I didn't want to miss the Federation's final epic battle with the Borg. This is Book One in the Destiny Trilogy, and it mainly sets things up for the next two books and introduces the players, many of whom were new to me: Will Riker and the Titan, Picard and the Enterprise-E, Ezri Dax and the Aventine, and Erika Hernandez and the Columbia. There were a LOT of names to learn, but a convenient chart in the back proved invaluable, and I really LIKE some of the new crew.

The writing is excellent, and a lot of time is spent on character. Also, there are BIG happenings happening -- and the Federation has come a long way since last I visited. Looking forward to the rest of the trilogy, then possibly expanding my horizons into the current universe of Star Trek novels.

Profile Image for John.
Author 24 books80 followers
January 7, 2017
I try to shy away from Star Trek books, since most are just so poorly written, but I tried my luck and was richly rewarded!

This entire trilogy is just awesome! It's Trek at it's best. Besides the typical trek writing, my other fear was "Oh great, another book about the borg, the Enterprise narrowly escaping and saving the day" but was pleasantly surprised that that wasn't the case (well of course to some degree it was LOL), and along the way, huge things happened that were just awesome.

If you're a sci fi fan, but leery of Trek books, give this series a shot, it's a good read!
Profile Image for Fiona.
530 reviews65 followers
October 27, 2015
It took a while to fit all the strings together but towards the end of the book everything turned out to be connected and I am really excited to read what's happening the the next 2 books.
Hint: Don't read/finish the book if you don't have the next one right at hand because it's a mayor cliffhanger.
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