Gods of Night
© 2008 David Mack
Since their introduction in “Q Who“, the Borg have remained the Federation’s greatest nemesis. They are remarkable villains not for their power or technological prowess, but for their soulnessness. The Borg embody passionless inhumanity: though they dominate nearly a quarter of the galaxy, their conquests have been achieved not through the zeal for power or glory. The Borg are ruthlessly pragmatic, acquiring and destroying species as needed to move forward towards their goal of perfection. Their every advance into the Federation sees fleets of starships destroyed — and every assault is more pointed, more dangerous than the last. As the Borg renew their goal of subduing the Federation, Captain Jean-Luc Picard fears in his bones that the coming battle is more than those who have come before: to him, the man who hears the Borg whispering in his thoughts at time, the coming conflict will be the last. The Borg are coming, and the Apocalypse is at hand.
Gods of Night is the first in a trilogy portraying this final, deadly grapple between the Federation and the Borg. It is the story of three crews: in the Alpha Quadrant, Captain Picard and the Enterprise-E serve as the Federation’s greatest weapon against the increasingly frequent Borg incursions into Federation space. In the far reaches of the Beta Quadrant, Captain Riker of the USS Titan is engaged in an extended mission of scientific exploration, but he and his crew have found a way to contribute to the war effort by investigating a mysterious dark solar system that seems to be projecting transwarp lanes across the whole of the Milky Way. In the Gamma Quadrant, Captain Ezri Dax of the USS Aventine is investigating the wreck of the NX-02 Columbia, an Earthship more than 200 years old. The Columbia is far from home: too far to have made it there on her own.
Mack weaves these three stories together into one grand fabric of peril and mystery, and tacks on a fourth — the story of the Columbia’s crew, who were crippled at the outset of a great war at the birth of the Federation between Earth and the Romulan Star Empire — for good measure. Despite the abundance of characters and minor substories, the novel remains impressively cohesive. Aside from history, scientific mysteries, and war, Mack gives time to personal issues. Picard is possessed by the war, Riker and Troi are struggling to have a child, and Dax is attempting to adjust to her new role as ship’s captain, haven taken over the Aventine when most of its senior staff perished in battle.
Destiny’s formidable hype is so far warranted, and Mack has my attention.
On the cover: Nicole de Boer as Captain Ezri Dax; Ada Maris’ ponytail as Captain Erika Hernandez’ ponytail.