- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Pocket Books/Star Trek (21 October 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1476726078
- ISBN-13: 978-1476726076
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.5 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
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Star Trek: Titan #5: Over a Torrent Sea (Star Trek: The Next Generation) Paperback – Import, 21 Oct 2012
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About the Author
Christopher L. Bennett is a lifelong resident of Cincinnati, Ohio, with bachelor’s degrees in physics and history from the University of Cincinnati. He has written such critically acclaimed Star Trek novels as Ex Machina, The Buried Age, the Titan novels Orion’s Hounds and Over a Torrent Sea, the two Department of Temporal Investigations novels Watching the Clock and Forgotten History, and the Enterprise novels Rise of the Federation: A Choice of Futures, Tower of Babel, Uncertain Logic, and Live By the Code, as well as shorter works including stories in the anniversary anthologies Constellations, The Sky’s the Limit, Prophecy and Change, and Distant Shores. Beyond Star Trek, he has penned the novels X Men: Watchers on the Walls and Spider Man: Drowned in Thunder. His original work includes the hard science fiction superhero novel Only Superhuman, as well as several novelettes in Analog and other science fiction magazines.
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Following the events of the Destiny trilogy, where the Federation had its final (hopefully) showdown with the Borg, the USS Titan has resumed its mission of peaceful exploration into uncharted territory. During the course of the story the crew investigates a strange water covered planet, dubbed Droplet, that supports a surprisingly high amount of life. In what has become a pattern, the crew of the USS Titan screws up and violates Starfleet's Prime Directive on non-interference with the local civilizations and must spend the rest of the book trying to fix their mistake. Riker and the ships helmsman Laveena are stranded on the planet after an attempt to prevent a natural disaster literally blows up in their faces.
The planet Droplet and its inhabitants are fairly interesting, with a great deal of detail being given to explain the how and why of the planets ecosystem. The plot while interesting in theory just wasn't executed very well. It was sluggish and followed the pattern of the last few Titan books, where Riker thinks he is doing something good, but winds up breaking something and has to fix it. The stories self-contained nature also gives it the sense of being filler, with almost nothing of lasting consequence happening.
That one new change to the status quo being the birth of Riker and Troi's baby, which is the focus of the books secondary plot. This plotline follows Councilor Troi being abducted by a member of the crew right before she goes into labor with her baby. This plotline feels borderline ridiculous in both how it is executed and how its resolved. The whole scenario feels less like a dramatic event and more like padding to extend the length of the book, with the characters pretty much agreeing never to discuss it ever again.
The story also continues a trend of the Titan books to dwell and obsess over the sex lives of the various crew members, as if that was the only thing the crew engaged in during their off duty hours. This is compounded by the one-dimensional roles most of the cast assumes during this story.
Overall this story just didn't really captivate me and felt rather weak. The Titan series seems to have fallen into a bit of a rut with the adventures following similar patterns each time, giving a sense repetition. Hopefully future books break from the established story template and start shaking things up a bit.
Over A Torrent Sea is the first Star Trek Titan book to take place after the events of Star Trek: Destiny. Despite this, the events of the Destiny series are almost incidental to the book. They're not ignored, Captain Riker wonders why they're not rebuilding the myriad devastated worlds left behind, but the book gives an understandable reason for our heroes returning to their mission of exploration.
Actually, let me take that back, the events of Destiny are very important to the plot but reflects on the more personal losses of the crew as opposed to the widespread destruction the Borg inflicted. Members of the crew aren't thinking about the annihilation of Risa but people they knew who were killed, such as Tuvok's son or a family pet.
Over A Torrent Sea has a definite "old time" science fiction feel to it. Part of what has made Star Trek: Titan so interesting is the series has focused on developing new and unique cultures for our heroes to interact with. Care and attention is taken to develop the alien's culture, technology, as well as how they interact with their biosphere. Nods are even made to how their world may have evolved. The science is unlikely, but it doesn't mean it's impossible. Combined with the in-depth character study, I really liked it.
In conclusion, Over A Torrent Sea is a great book. It's a story about meeting new life and new civilizations while boldly going where no man has gone before. The fact there's no villains and the problems are purely natural in nature makes Roddenberry's vision stand out all the greater. Was it perfect? No, I had some problems with a few elements and it dragged in one or two places but I overall loved it.