Star Trek: A Singular Destiny – A Review
Good day, everyone! Today, I will return to the world of Star Trek novels and talk about the epilogue to the epic Star Trek: Destiny crossover, A Singular Destiny by Keith R. A. DeCandido. Though he has written many Star Trek novels at this point, this is the first by DeCandido that I have read, and I must say that I enjoy his subdued, even casual writing style when compared with other capable Star Trek authors. That said, this post will include some mild spoilers for the novel and storylines that follow it.
A Singular Destiny begins in the months following the events of Destiny, which saw a Borg invasion fleet of over seven thousand cubes lay waste to worlds across the Alpha and Beta Quadrants, including Vulcan, Andor, Deneva, and Qo’Nos. Generally, the story concerns itself with laying out the logistics of rebuilding efforts and the problems that arise—such as when crucial mines at Capella and Maxia Zeta are sabotaged by a mysterious power that has arisen from the fires of the invasion.
The novel introduces as its protagonist Professor Sonek Pran, a one-quarter human, one-quarter Vulcan, one-quarter Bajoran, and one-quarter Betazoid history professor living on Mars. Pran is a former advisor to past Federation presidents, and is called upon once again by President Nanietta Bacco in the Federation’s time of need. He is an apt speaker and possesses connections with diplomats and intellectuals across the Federation and its allies. Also, he plays the banjo like a boss. In Sonek Pran, DeCandido has given his readers a Star Trek bard to love and emulate, and this is no exaggeration—he is a wonderful and unique character. Pran is assigned by President Bacco to Captain Ezri Dax’s USS Aventine to participate in peace talks between the two halves of the fractured Romulan Empire. Basically, one half controls all the Romulan food-producing worlds and the other half is starving.
Though this is the central plot (and though it diverges sharply as tensions build across the Quadrant), there are many side stories and snippets of stories threaded throughout the book. Many asides between chapters are either political press releases or small glimpses of the horrors common people have suffered during the Borg invasion. One that I cannot get out of my mind is a suicide note from a man from Deneva who was off world on a pleasure excursion on Risa when the Borg burned nearly the entire surface of his homeworld to nothing, murdering his entire family in the process. Who says Star Trek can’t be dark and horrifying when it needs to be? Other smaller plotlines in the novel include attempts to repair and upgrade a sabotaged topaline mine on Capella necessary for building artificial habitats for refugees, and military actions against a race called the Kinshaya by Klingon General Klag, protagonist of DeCandido’s IKS Gorkon novels (which I must now read).
And the cover image of A Singular Destiny itself is quite descriptive of its content—all the snippets of stories you are given, all the discoveries Sonek Pran, Captain Dax, General Klag, and the other characters make eventually fit together to fill in a picture of a new common threat born of desperation, fear, and anger—a new political entity that will harass the Federation and Klingon Empire for years to come.
Be sure to pick up Keith R. A. DeCandido’s A Singular Destiny after you check out David Mack’s Star Trek: Destiny trilogy. These Star Trek novels are rather impressive these days and have certainly come into their own, almost completely disregarding everything that has happened in film and television since Star Trek: Nemesis, and make strides to correct these outings’ poorly contrived mistakes. You will not be disappointed with these books. Let me know what you think in the comments below!