Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Over a Torrent Sea

I meant to do a proper, lengthy review of Over a Torrent Sea, but the last month or so has been a bit chaotic. Getting back from a week and a half housesitting with Laura at her dad's place (keeping an eye on two cats and two dogs, one of the latter old and ill), getting back in time to prepare for my first job interview in too long and then dealing with the disappointment of not getting it, only to get another interview elsewhere for a job I'd've been a really good fit for, and then not getting that either... well, it hasn't been conducive to concentrating on long novels and writing a lot about them.

All that said, here's a quick comment.

Over a Torrent Sea is what I've come to expect from both a Titan novel and a Christopher Bennett novel. It's the kind of science fiction storytelling that Star Trek books don't often do, being about exploration and worldbuilding. In other words, not unlike Bennett's last Titan novel, Orion's Hounds. This time around it's planet-based exploration, but it's no ordinary planet. The Titan crew explore a water world and its mysterious life forms. There's a lot of exploration of the science of this kind of planet and its inhabitants, but I didn't find it excessive or difficult to follow (apparently some readers on the TrekBBS did). Meanwhile, there's a lot of character exploration as well, with Riker, Troi, Ree, Lavena, Pazlar, and Ra-Havreii getting a lot of attention this time around.

The book's B-story is a bit of an odd fit in some respects; at first it feels more like it's about building on events from the Destiny trilogy relating to Troi's pregnancy than being a part of this story, but it does explore Ree's character. Also, being about Troi's pregnancy, it ties in to the other story threads that relate to families and relationships. As I recall, Bennett was somewhat surprised by the extent to which people found family to be a strong theme throughout his last Next Generation novel, Greater Than the Sum, but it's really prominent here.

I found the last Titan novel, Geoffrey Thorne's Sword of Damocles, a frustrating read; it seemed like a new author trying too hard to do something different stylistically and not quite pulling it off. So I'm happy that (in my opinion, of course) Over a Torrent Sea is a solid return to form for the Titan series.


At 2:51 PM, Blogger Efer Cilas said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 2:53 PM, Blogger Efer Cilas said...

Hello! I'm a Trek fan(atic) from Brazil and I would like to know that I read your Blog ever. It's very, very good and the tips like the "Thrilling Wonder" exceptional! I read "Over a Torrent Sea" and I'm happy with the return of the a better story for the Titan series too. The part in which Riker is "kidnapped" and see himself naked with Lavena is funny. the idea from unnacceptable pain from Tuvok of death like a Vulcan is a little bit unortodox, but Tuvox never was a very ortodox vulcan... The paralels plots like the kidnap of Deanna is interesting; so, I think a great book.
P.S. I think like you about Countdown. Congratulations for your Blog and pardon my incipient English. Efer

At 3:24 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Hi. Thanks for the comments. Yes, the Riker and Lavena scenes were entertaining, and I like the way the books are giving Tuvok more of a personality than he had on TV.


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