Outside of politics and other interest, one thing that might surprise people partially is that I am an avid follower of Star Trek novels, especially the re-launch titles for Deep Space Nine, Generation, and Voyager. They are considered Canon based on Star Trek timeline after the Dominion War and Voyager's return from the Deltar Quadrant. Yes, I freely admit to be a gay trekkie.
While I do know there are Star Trek fans here on GA, I do not know if there are as many novel fans.
Sorry if I bore the normal readers with my Trek review, but it felt right that I should review an interesting novel
Anyway, here's my review of The Eternal Tide, Star Trek Voyager Relaunch novel.
Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars:
An interesting and evocative novel that on some level makes fun of Star Trek Voyager's contrivances, but it also shows something Star Trek has for the last 50 years been giving us, a commentary on the human condition.
For those following the novels, you know the Borg are gone. Yes, completely, utterly, and never to be seen again, gone. However, to achieve this lasting victory of the Borg, 63 Billion people and thousands of worlds were destroyed in the process (Read the books, it's really sad and the Borg had grown to epic proportions). Among those lost was Admiral Kathyrn Janeway. She was assimilated by the Borg and became their new Queen, but she eventually made the ultimate sacrifice.
Well, Janeway is coming back with the help from Q Junior, and....Kes. However, this is not just a deus ex machina plot to bring back a character from the dead, i.e Search for Spock. No there's a lot of metaphysics in this story about eternity, creation, and destruction. It also asks some interesting questions about the universe and our place in the greater design of events.
First, if someone's death matters such as Janeway's sacrifice to eliminate the Borg, does it make sense to bring her back from the death? I love the Author, questioning herself within her own plot here. Truly masterful stroke of genius in writing, because as a reader, I also hold doubt that you should bring back the dead, especially a heroic sacrifice. She's not only convincing me, but herself that one person's life is worth bringing back against the fate of billion others.
Second, Do immortal beings like Q Continuum deserve to be immortal for eternity or should they accept their own "death"? I am not sure if Gene Roddenberry ever fully formed out his idea of higher beings, but the futility of immortality is really interesting. An immortal by its name cannot die, but nothing can live forever as energy must reach a certain entropy and cease.
Third, Can destruction sow the seeds for renewal and creation? A major point in this story is borrowed from Hindu mythology about the destruction and recreation of the Universe. The Q Continuum are the ultimate creators of the universe, life forms with the gift of infinite creativity through manipulating energy/matter. However, their opposite is the powerful Omega Continuum, which is the ultimate end based on energy constant. However, at the end of the Novel, the two join as one to create a balance of nature between growth and death. Intellectually, this is fundamental metaphysics.
I think the Author did a great job, writing about sacrifice, hope, creation, and destruction. She has also left Janeway, though alive, with a dangerous new foe in Q, John De Lancie's Q, because for all his power, Q has been touched by humanity as well and holds strong notes of vengeance for the loss of his son. It will be interesting to see how Q will look in the future novels.
As for everyone else, Voyager is back in the Delta Quadrant with a fleet of warships from the Federation, they are not merely seeking out New Worlds, but expanding into the Quadrant with Slipstream technology. There are new alien powers taking advantage of the Borg power vacuum to become territorial and dominant, along with some poignant issues from the past. Captain Chakotay (Yes, he was promoted to Captain of Voyager before Janeway died) has finally realized that his one true love was and always will be, Janeway. The shippers for Chakotay/Janeway can rest at peace, 7 of 9 is not the blond homewrecker
Some notable trek trivia and RIPs:
Amanda Rogers from Star Trek Next Generation, who was a Q born of two humans, formerly Q, seemingly died in this novel due to Omega Continuum.
Captain Eden, also seemingly died after it was revealed she's a higher being
Q Junior, the son of Q and female Q from Star Trek Voyager is also dead
Plus about 800 men and women aboard 4 federation star ships.
Some other notes and Timeline:
This is set right before the Venttan Crisis of Star Trek Typhon Pact: Brinksmanship, another novel that I finished, it felt like a Science fiction retelling of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Star Trek Universe at this point and time is engaged in a bitter Cold War with the Federation, Ferengi, Cardassian, and Klingon allied under the Khitomer Accords versus the Typhon Pact allies of the Romulans, Breen, Tzenkethi, and Holy Order.
Here's a short version, after the Dominion War and Borg War, many powers were severely weakened and sought allies and formed new power blocs to counter the growing influence of the Federation, who defeated the Borg. This is what happened in World War II as the US grew in influence, the Soviet Union aka Romulans in Star Trek grew to counter. Even in an advanced society such as Star Trek, power and influence do not get thrown out due to advanced technology. It merely grows with it.
I love these novels and know their history, politics, and cultures very well, so if anyone wants to chat or speculate on the future of the Star Trek Universe please feel free.
Okay, I've geek this blog enough, but I warned you guys I can be extremely geeky. .