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August 15th, 2012

26 of 52

Lost Souls (Star Trek: Destiny, #3)Lost Souls by David Mack

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm not sure whether this book was actually better than the first two in the series, or if by this point I was too invested in "what's going to happen" to be able to judge. But I found myself picking it up at times I normally wouldn't, and read it in less than half the time of the second, which I did in 1/10 the time of volume one.

It's hard to say anything about the "why" without falling prey to the gods of "spoil," which I'm reluctant to do. I still find Picard, Riker, Troi, and Crusher tedious. I still find Ezri Dax beyond annoying. The book didn't have enough Klingons, or Chakotay, or Vulcans to make me happy, though it did increase my appreciation of the Andorians. The book blurb says, in part, "The soldiers of Armageddon are on the march, laying waste to worlds in their passage." Those soldiers are the Borg, en masse, rampaging through the Alpha Quadrant. No race escapes with a whole skin. No one. If you don't like your Star Trek dark, don't go here.

But this is Star Trek--and the adventures continue after this book, after all.

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27 of 52

American GodsAmerican Gods by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have friends who worship Neil Gaiman. Before this, the only one of his works I had read was Good Omens, the book he wrote with Terry Pratchett. And I must confess I hadn't picked that up on my own--a friend handed it to me and said "You want to read this."

So I did, and I loved it. Most of the things I disliked about Pratchett were missing, and there was a...layer...that was very different that I ascribed to probably being Gaiman.

For years I'd been hearing about American Gods, and, finally, this summer, decided to "bite the bullet." Or, maybe, the bullet bit me.

I'm torn between a 4 and 5 star rating on this. Given how my mind is whirling because of the book, given how immersed I became in Shadow's experience, I'm leaning toward a 5. But I saw so many of the "big reveals" coming chapters in advance (perhaps because I'm fairly widely versed in the sacred literatures and figures of many world religions), some moments that were clearly supposed to be "revelatory" didn't pull it off. So, the leaning towards a four. And though I doubt it's the case, I was constantly asking myself how many times Gaiman saw "Who Mourns for Adonais," which was one of my favorite episodes of Star Trek. So much of this book reminded me of that incredibly sad episode.

Apollo: I would have cherished you, cared for you. I would have loved you as a father loves his children. Did I ask so much?
Capt. Kirk: We've outgrown you. You asked for something we can no longer give.
[Later, after they've destroyed Apollo, and he has "spread himself on the wind"]
Dr. McCoy: I wish we hadn't had to do this.
Capt. Kirk: So do I. They gave us so much ... Would it have hurt us, I wonder, just to have gathered a few laurel leaves?

I may never read Gaiman again. I'm not sure I want to hear his voice doing anything other than the two works of his I know now. I'm fairly certain that like War from Good Omens, Shadow, and Wednesday, and Mr. Nancy, and Zorya Polunochnaya will stay with me forever. Gaiman makes my head hurt--in all the best ways.

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