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Star Trek: The Next Generation: A Singular Destiny (英語) マスマーケット – 2009/1/27
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The Shape of Things to Come
The cataclysmic events of Star Trek: Destiny have devastated known space. Worlds have fallen. Lives have been destroyed. And in the uneasy weeks that follow, the survivors of the holocaust continue to be tested to the limits of their endurance.
But strange and mysterious occurrences are destabilizing the galaxy's battle-weary Allies even further. In the Federation, efforts to replenish diminished resources and give succor to millions of evacuees are thwarted at every turn. On the borders of the battered Klingon Empire, the devious Kinshaya sense weakness -- and opportunity. In Romulan space, the already-fractured empire is dangerously close to civil war.
As events undermining the quadrant's attempts to heal itself become increasingly widespread, one man begins to understand what is truly unfolding. Sonek Pran -- teacher, diplomat, and sometime adviser to the Federation President -- perceives a pattern in the seeming randomness. And as each new piece of evidence falls into place, a disturbing picture encompassing half the galaxy begins to take shape...revealing a challenge to the Federation and its allies utterly unlike anything they have faced before.
Keith R.A. DeCandido was born and raised in New York City to a family of librarians. He has written over two dozen novels, as well as short stories, nonfiction, eBooks, and comic books, most of them in various media universes, among them Star Trek, World of Warcraft, Starcraft, Marvel Comics, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Serenity, Resident Evil, Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda, Farscape, Xena, and Doctor Who. His original novel Dragon Precinct was published in 2004, and he's also edited several anthologies, among them the award-nominated Imaginings and two Star Trek anthologies. Keith is also a musician, having played percussion for the bands the Don't Quit Your Day Job Players, the Boogie Knights, and the Randy Bandits, as well as several solo acts. In what he laughingly calls his spare time, Keith follows the New York Yankees and practices kenshikai karate. He still lives in New York City with his girlfriend and two insane cats.
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We're presented with the character of Sonek Pran whom I felt suffered from the same flaw as many of the new characters introduced in the novels who are mixing and interacting with established characters - he's written to be more 'common' and human, coming off as a bit annoying and obnoxious in an attempt to make him more relatable and contrasting in comparison to characters we're familiar with. We get a lot of his life story, and character development, in this novel. Frankly, there's so much on him and his mission that the rest of the novel suffers and feels disjointed and haphazardly pieced together. The Aventine and Captain Dax also are in the spotlight. Unlike their appearance in the 'Destiny' novels, they seem a bit flat and dull in this novel. Without much setup, it feels forced that the author (and powers that be) attempt to make the readers care and feel emotionally invested in the Aventine crew and Pran without much setup.
What keeps this novel afloat is the mystery that doesn't come together and get fleshed out until the final pages of the novel. While the path to this big revelation is pretty sedate and slow, the final conclusion is worth reading the novel. It's the consequences of the the 'Destiny' trilogy realized and revealed; and it definitely setups a change in the 'Star Trek' universe that makes future novels potentially very exciting and different.
In all, the novel as a whole was just average. I felt that DeCandido has written better novels and too much of the novel felt like filler and fluff rather than true substance until the final pages. I found my mind wondering and attention adrift until things began to piece together and be revealed in the last 70 or so pages.
What I didn't realize when I bought a Trek book was how little of the Trek world I knew or had an interest in would be involved. How many ships and crews do we know from TNG, Voyager and DS9? Not to mention the characters created in TNG and DS9's post-series relaunch novels, the new series of Titan books, the Klingon Empire IKS books? I get that the point of the first post-Destiny book had to get through to the reader the broad range and depth of the Federation-wide devastation and lay out the new political landscape, but this could have been done far more effectively with more well-known characters, in addition to the lesser-known ebook SCE characters and the Federation president and staff.
Maybe I'm not a very good fan because I can't make myself care about the Core of Engineers, or an aging banjo-playing Mary Sue professor from Mars.
The storyline is pretty simple. Former adviser is called back into service of the President of the Federation. As he goes about his mission, he notices a number of events that lead him to a unexpected discovery, which will affect both the Federation and the Klingons. Although anticlimatic (due to my expectations), I was also pleased because it was a more realistic scenario for the Star Trek universe.
The reason I wrote "The wrong road" in the review title is that I strongly disliked the Borg story arc. To me, this book and it's final revelations could have been released without it. There was no need to kill off Janeway, to write about supercubes which could absorb starships, or to have 7000 cubes destroy worlds. That was simply too far out and unnecessary.
The galaxy is a big place. There are so many unexplored worlds and powers that they could have achieved a similar situation without the Borg. In fact, they already did, with the Dominion War. And the end result in this book would have been just as relevant.
In any case, we are now at a point where the we can get back to normal....maybe. Only time will tell.
The book is incredibly disjointed trying to tell every single story that happens, with over 100 characters. That might be okay, if the stories told were interesting or well written... they are not. The author is horrible, can't paint a picture with words, and takes themes which might be interesting and just makes them boring.
This book is not worth it, and the author should be ashamed he even wrote this into the Star Trek series.
While a vast majority of the novel is political dealings and conversations, A Singular Destiny is extremely fascinating. And while there isn't a lot of action, the story is never slow.
Sonek Pran is an absorbing character, with a diverse background. As the central character in the story, he is the one to discover the great mystery and is integral in several negotiations. He is complex and is by far the most enjoyable new character to the Trek universe that I've read in a while.
Be sure to have read the Destiny trilogy before picking this one up. But make to pick this one up as well, since A Singular Destiny will be paving the way for big things to come in the Star Trek universe. I, for one, am extremely excited to see where it leads.