Book Review: ‘Oblivion’s Gate’ by David Mack

December 14, 2021 at 7:10 am | Posted in Books, Reviews, Sci-Fi, Star Trek | Leave a comment
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Star Trek: Coda: Oblivion’s Gate is the third and final novel in the Coda trilogy, which was written by David Mack and was released in November of 2021. 

Twenty years of Star Trek literature has led to this. Titan, DS9, Voyager, Aventine, Next Generation, Mirror Universe, Section 31, and more have contributed to what we have known as the Lit-Verse or Post-Nemesis line of Star Trek novels. We all knew it was coming to an end in this trilogy, and thus knew to gird our feelings…

…but did we know it would feel like this?

In this book, David Mack summons the thunder and brings down the curtain on the Coda trilogy and the Lit-Verse as a whole. This book has everything from small, intimate character moments to huge battles. David Mack asks the most important and pressing questions in this book, about sacrifice and love, about duty and honor, and about time itself. 

It was so good to get one final book with all of our favorite characters. As I read this book, I remembered just how much Julian Bashir and Worf have gone through in the books. Boy have they gone through the ringer. I felt bad for all the characters, but I most pitied them. 

I don’t think anyone is ready for exactly what happens in this book. Some of the action is predictable, and some of it was TOTALLY unexpected.

I will say, I am conflicted by the ending. I totally understand why Mack took this approach, and I think he succeeded in some ways and failed at others. I think some people will be satisfied, and others will not be. I simply feel that it is what it is. I cannot complain, but I won’t praise it. I will simply say I would have handled this MUCH differently.

On a lighter note, I laughed out loud at many moments throughout the book. There was one “Shut up Wesley” that had me guffawing. There was also a very small reference to my favorite stand alone Star Trek novel, Takedown, that made me absolutely giddy when I read it. There are many other moments sure to make Star Trek book nerds giggle with delight.

I have to say, this is the “David Mackiest” of David Mack books. “The death toll is catastrophic ” utterly fails to describe the absolute carnage that Mack wreaks into this book. There was one scene where my jaw dropped open at how fast it occured and I was like “Well, I guess there goes ____”. 

I am still disappointed that they chose to exclude Voyager, but knowing that that decision was made at the behest of Kirsten Beyer makes me feel a little bit better, but the big three should be DS9, Next Gen, and Voyager (as they were the three 24th century shows). Unfortunately, with this book and with a retrospective on the Trek-lit as a whole, it is obvious that Voyager is simply a footnote in lit history, and that the big three are Next Gen, DS9, and Titan, with special mention of Aventine as well. 

This book did remind me in a lot of ways of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and there were some particular scenes at the end which gave me this impression. In an interview I read by David Mack, he explains that Rogue One was an inspiration, and that makes me happy as it truly was a great movie and those moments worked best in the book. 

Overall, I still feel odd about how I feel about this book. I think that I personally LOVED “The Ashes of Tomorrow” and really enjoyed “Moments Asunder”. I have to put this into the category of “really enjoyed”, but didn’t particularly love this book. That is partially because I prefer James Swallow’s writing style to Mack’s, but also because Mack made some tough decisions in this book, some of which I liked, and others I didn’t. But regardless, this is THE finale of the Trek-Lit universe, and the fact that the authors of all three books put their heart and soul into making it this epic is worthy of recognition. Anyway, I give Oblivion’s Gate a four out of five! Good job David Mack.

To the Trek-Lit Universe, the last 20 years have been amazing. Here is to the next 20 years of Star Trek publishing. “You have been, and always shall be, my friend.”

Reviewed By: Jonathan Koan for Roqoo Depot.

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