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Engines of Destiny (Star Trek (Unnumbered Paperback)) Mass Market Paperback

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Star Trek
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671037021
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671037024
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 2.3 x 16.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #763,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Inside This Book

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First Sentence
HER NAME, at this particular juncture, was Guinan, and her silent scream reverberated throughout Time, a despairing echo she could never escape. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa120f5dc) out of 5 stars 24 reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fc781a4) out of 5 stars A Wrinkle in Space/Time March 9 2005
By Jason C. Garza - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was a bit reticent when I first read about the story behind this formerly "lost" book; I mean, really, how could one man become such a catalyst as to cause the Borg to be "everywhere" (to paraphrase the TNG episode "Parallels")? I was expecting a Kirk/Picard narrative, and I was grateful when my expectations were quickly proven wrong. DeWeese has written a thought-provoking, temporal-shifting, character-driven novel that builds upon the notion of the Borg in first contact; that they are indeed a force to be reckoned with, not some laughable nuiscance pillaging the Delta Quadrant.

At the heart of the story are Guinan, Scotty, and Sarek; it was these three characters with whom I thought DeWeese developed extremely well. Guinan must wrestle with the knowledge that repairing the timeline will restore the Federation (and Earth)--but cost her her homeworld of El Auria, which was overlooked by the Borg on their conquest of Earth. It was a rare treat to see two Guinans in one universe, and even though some of Guinan's mystique is explained in the epilogue, it did more to further develop her character and raise many more questions

Scotty was a bit broken at the beginning (it was, though, nice to meet Ensign Frankling) but he did come to the fore and live up to his title of miracle worker. "Engines..." sets the stage for Scotty to head up the SCE and make an even greater difference to Starfleet.

Sarek and the Romulans were, in my opinion, not in the novel as much as they could have been; I would have loved to have seen more of Koval and the always tragic Commander Tal.

The crew of "Enterprise" was not terribly drawn-out in terms of characterization and we saw only a few of them briefly, but this was a strength of the novel; we know plenty about these characters, and as such can see their reactions and actions in our minds, not needing it spelled out.

At its heart, "Engines of Destiny" was a novel about coming to terms with the past and mistakes, and, ultimately, what it takes to be human.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fc7cf00) out of 5 stars Not as bad as fanfic... WORSE. June 8 2008
By SLWatson - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
All right. I'll be right up front -- you won't find all that many people who love Scott more than I do. My childhood icon. In as such, in the many years that I've been rather starved for any reading material that gives him even a decent cameo, I decided to give this book a shot. Indeed, I reviewed it on my own blog and the world shall breathe a sigh of relief that I'm making even an attempt at tact here.

This book is just terrible. The characterizations are so bad that I spent a good deal of time with my jaw dropped, wondering where Mister DeWeese is getting his characterizations. I can only conclude that, in his drive to worship Jim Kirk and fanboy a crossover, he somehow completely missed the notion that characters aren't puppets that you can reduce to a handful of (not even accurate) traits. Not only did Scotty seem utterly out of character, but everyone else did, too. The plot, if you could call it that, was less thought-out than even some of the most mediocre fanfiction on the web... and there is a considerable amount of that.

I could likely write as many words on why this novel reeks of amateurism and a lack of even the most fundamental principles of storytelling, as the novel itself actually has.

There is something rather irritating about reducing an intelligent (if not humanly flawed) character to little more than a whining parody of himself. DeWeese not only did it, but did it within a handful of pages. I would call this ability to turn Montgomery Scott into little more than a painful puppet admirable, but it's not. Instead of writing a story about a man who, at least throughout all visible canon, had a rather pragmatic view on death (see ST:II and Generations), Scotty suddenly becomes obsessed with the notion of saving Jim Kirk. Well, heck, if you're going to write about him time-travelling to save anyone, don't you think his own nephew would get first consideration?

Alas, no. Instead of the solemn, rather realistic 'Aye' Scott gives in Generations, suddenly he's all in pieces. I could even maybe stand that notion, if some real effort would have been given to getting into the man's head and really showing (rather than telling, assuming or just badly writing past it) how he got to this point. The sheer emotional and psychological ramifications of Scott's life, given canon, are fodder for whole novels of their own where he could be given a chance to shine as an individual instead of just a plot point. Therefore, the notion that this... entirely sub-quality book makes print is rather galling.

Gene DeWeese's book could perhaps be used (or the crumpled pages could) to package Christmas presents.

But that's about all it's good for.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa056c654) out of 5 stars Borg, Time Travel, Kirk ... "Engines" March 14 2005
By Antoine D. Reid - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's hard to review this book without giving away too much of the plot. I'll start by saying the back cover text is a little off. While the plot does involve Scotty attempting to save Kirk from his death on the Enterprise-B, it is not the focus of the book.

One of my few complaints about the book is that DeWeese sets up this interesting situation; what if Kirk hadn't died on the Enterprise-B as seen in "Star Trek Generations"? Kirk doesn't do anything worth mentioning in the plot. He interacts a bit with Picard who appears to look down on Kirk and is jealous because the old Enterprise captain has a close relationship with his crewmen, enough for one of them to want to travel back in time to save him from death. I find that to be a little hard to believe given "Generations" and Picard's willingness to work with Kirk without much complaint. Scotty gets them into the plot only to be reduced to a small role at the end.

Given that main flaw, the book is really about Guinan. She acts as the threat that Picard has to deal with. She leads them into the "alternate universe" that the back cover speaks of. She then holds a secret as to why they are there. The author digs into the character of Guinan, offering an interesting new and fresh look at her. I wish he had gotten more into her, describing her past, perhaps dealing with her life before leaving her planet, her children, her family. There's even an alternate universe Guinan that steps in and shakes things up.

Perhaps another problem with this book is that it reads at times like a fan-fiction more so than a novel. There are cameos galore; Guinan, Sarek, Tal, Kirk, Scotty, the Borg Queen, the Guardian of Forever. Some of these are handled better than others. The entire premise seems to be a time-travel novel that serves as a prequal to both "Generations" and "First Contact." It's not exactly clear until the end of the book how these movies factor in. Most of the novel attempts to continue the events of the TNG episode "Relics," mixing in the new knowledge of Kirk's death and making it all work.

As one reviewer noted, it was nice to have the Borg be true enemies. There are a few plot elements that are never fully developed and perhaps some of that is because of all the time traveling that busies the plot and makes it a little confusing. It was a little frustrating that for a good portion of the novel, the Enterprise-D crew is reduced to Guinan, Picard, Data and brief appearances by Riker and Worf. There were obvious places where Troi's telepathy and counseling skills could have been used more than Guinan's "feelings." With Picard suffering from Borg thoughts, it would have been nice to see someone, Troi, Crusher, Riker, step in and help him through them. Instead, Troi barely appears and Crusher doesn't make an appearance until the final leg of the book.

Given all of this, by the end, the plot does manage to come together. I had a lot of questions, including how Guinan could go the entire book not knowing that the Nexus Ribbon was so close by. Or why Picard didn't seem familiar with Kirk in "Generations" if this had already occured. Or what was the point for Kirk even being included if he wasn't going to do anything in the plot. Or how could an altnerate universe develop advanced weapons when they appear to be lacking resources and they didn't seem to have the same development that we've watched evolve.

Perhaps what holds this book back is that there are a lot of things crammed into the plot that simply aren't explored enough. The author obviously wanted to bring Kirk back from the dead and tie it into the rest of Trek history, yet Kirk's ressurection comes off as just a ploy to get into the situation (or perhaps to get people to buy the book). The focus is obviously on Guinan and her past, but the author fails to take us deeper into Guinan's past when the opportunity is right there. We could have learned more about Guinan, enough to see her family perhaps, to learn about the Borg attacking her planet. This seems to be a revisit to "First Contact" with the Borg haunting Picard's thoughts and the Queen being involved. If the Enterprise and Guinan easily could identify the Nexus Ribbon in "Generations," then why is it such a mystery in this book to them? It too was hardly used to it's full potential.

The book is okay, an interesting read but it ends as if it's more like a sophisticated fan-fic than it does a real professional novel.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f5f5534) out of 5 stars The Real Deal - Remarkably Entertaining & Insanely Fun Sept. 13 2013
By DudeMan - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Like some have mentioned, you can't really review this novel without giving away the plot and that last thing I'd do is cheat you out the glorious fun that can be had from reading this book. Thus, especially since hardly anybody is going to read this review, I'll point out some observations about the negative reviews of this book:

*the characterization of Montgomery Scott. Some folks don't like it but my thought is pretty simple: the author started with a premise and followed it completely to a logical conclusion. Now, this might not have been the way YOU would have written the novel but this simple choice makes everything else happen. To get irritated at this is just illogical!

*this one sounds like FanFic. And that is a problem because? Rather than ponderous detailed-laden garbage you get in many recent ST novels, this one neatly ties numerous plots together to form a cohesive whole that can be enjoyed on multiple readings, a rarity for a ST book.

*too many characters make an appearance. Again, a VERY bizarre criticism because EACH and EVERY character appearance makes PERFECT sense given the situation at hand. I LOVED the various tie-ins. Unlike a very recent ST novel, you never get tired of seemingly irrelevant characters with no backstory or no detail or no nothing. I thought the use of Guinan was especially well-done, revealing details about her character you've simply never read anywhere else.

*the occasional detail doesn't fit canon. Oh, for heaven's sake, do you want to read this novel again and again or do you want to be a nitpicker? This is TIME-travel story and a really fun one at that. And the ending - you simply won't see it coming and it never cheats the reader with something silly. It is just rarified stuff to get a ST novel this well created.

In short, this is a wonderful entertaining novel that cleverly ties multiple plot points and characters together to create an absolutely awesome thrill ride for the devoted ST fan. I absolutely loved it and it sits as one of the top 10 ST novels I've ever read. 5 STARS!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa22f838c) out of 5 stars A surprisingly solid alternate-universe tale. Aug. 4 2006
By Fr. Robert F. Lyons - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Gene DeWeese was one of my favorite authors back in the mid-nineties when I discovered his "Chain of Attack" and "The Final Nexus" Star Trek novels. I found them to be very well written and quite captivating. After a lengthy absence, DeWeese has returned to the world of Trek fiction with "Engines of Destiny", an alternate universe crossover tale that even I couldn't resist picking up.

Montgomery Scott, one-time engineer of the starship Enterprise serves as the focal point of this novel that unites Scott with both the crew of the Enterprise-D and some guests from his own era. However, in the story that unfolds, the universe begins to unravel as Scott, burdened by sorrow and guilt, begins retracing his steps to try to once again live up to his reputation as a miracle worker.

DeWeese's storytelling skills haven't diminished in the years since his last Trek outing, and DeWeese takes what is, at best, a lukewarm story and elevates it to almost epic proportions. Scott, Sarek, Guinan, and Picard are all written superbly, and help the story move along well. While there are some bogdowns in flow, they are not serious enough to inhibit the reader who seriously wants to finish the novel.

From my perspective, this story investigates some of the more fascinating aspects of Borg history, and delves a touch more deeply into time travel and its effects on the universe. Sadly, however, like almost all alternate-universe stories, this one has to end at some point, returning our heroes to their present with every bit and piece intact. For once I'd love to see them returned to a totally messed up present and be stuck there.

All in all, "Engines of Destiny" is a very good novel. Not the strongest I have read of late, but definitely a good read. You will enjoy taking the time to read it.

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