I don't have a great deal more to say that hasn't already been said. I found Over a Torrent Sea
to be an entirely delightful book, a refreshing gentle science adventure after the dirge and misery of recent storylines.
I think one of CLB's biggest strengths - aside from the hard science obviously - is the ability to hit his theme so consistently and thoroughly. I loved how every scene of Orion's Hounds
touched on the theme of different people working together to make things better for everyone, which is of course one of the most basic themes of Star Trek
- although no less important for being so.
, that theme was simply the amazing varieties that nature and life will come up with up in order to survive and keep going. That theme was hit scientifically with the biologies of the squales and their hyper-deep cousins, and the wackiness that is Cethente's physiology. It was hit sociologically with the Federation's insistence on continuing their program of exploration even in the aftermath of the Borg attack. And it was hit emotionally, with Tuvok's emotional trauma over the death of his son. "Whatever happens, something
will keep going and will survive and flourish, even if it isn't the same thing that flourished before." That's a wonderfully optimistic theme to hold to.
If I may ask, how do decisions on getting rid of recurring characters get made? Are they done at the editorial level? I was a little surprised to see Norellis mentioned as gone (not that he was a character I liked, but he was in the original book), and surprised about Hachesa also.
Yeah, also slightly disappointed with these. I certainly grasp your reasoning - it just feels like there were some opportunities that will now never be realized. Norellis had some issues that needed to be resolved, which could have been done nicely in an side-story somewhere. And while Hachesa was basically just a one-note joke, he was good one. Alas, Dave had already ruined him by teaching him proper grammar (boo!) I guess if nothing else it's good to have a proper name for the Tailheads.
I will say I'm glad to see the recurring characters you DID use get used. Torvig is a favorite of mine, but it was nice to see some more stuff from Eviku, Bralik, and Cethente. And T'Pel, actually doing her job, and well.
Torvig is just the biggest sweetheart, isn't he? So eager and cheerful and full of bright ideas. You just want to pat him on the head. And I agree about T'Pel being a wonderful, strong woman. Love her, considering how little screen time she's got.
Melora is also another one of my favorites and her relationship with Xin has been interesting to read and follow the growth in their relationship. It will be interesting to see if Xin can grow beyond his cultural restraints, or lack there of, to discover the joy and freedom there is in commitment to a relationship.
My response would be - why should he have to? Your phrasing implies that one-on-one monogamy is superior and preferable to the alternatives. Perhaps you feel that way, and perhaps Melora does too, but it's not Ra-Havreii's cultural norm. Why should he be the one to have to change who he is to fit in with her? Isn't that the point - to see how different cultures can work together without having to change what they are?
Also how many more times is Dr Ree going to go completely off the rails and do something stupid which will involve violence, kidnapping and/or breaking the prime directive?
Well, unless I'm wrong, this is the only time he's done that, and even here there were mitigating circumstances. In Orion's Hounds
he bit a Fethet's arm off because that person was threatening his crewmates. Understandable, and less permanent than other solutions. In Mere Mortals
(?) he bit Troi, which might have seemed to others as a violent act but was actually a calculated move designed to avoid further trauma to mother and child. I don't see anything Ree has done as going completely off the rails - extreme by human standards perhaps, but there we are hitting that theme again.
Guess I had more to say than I thought I did.