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Old September 8 2012, 05:55 AM   #257
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Location: A distant corner of the Zeta Quadrant...
Re: VOY: The Eternal Tide by Kirsten Beyer Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Just finished reading this book yesterday and now have the opportunity to leave a review. Apologies for the wall of text below.

Firstly, I love this book. Absolutely love it. The reasons for this go beyond the return of Janeway, and I shall explain.

I was very pleased to see not just one, but several Q appear in this novel, with each of their distinct personalities shining through. Junior's maturity as a Q was a great thing to see, and his sacrifice, though saddening, is something that I feel represents how far he has come.

However, I will agree with others that Amanda Rogers' death did seem rather abrupt and lacking some sort of 'weight' to it. It was sad to see her go, but I feel like it was for a reason, I just wish that there was a more defined reason to it.

I felt that Q and Lady Q were written brilliantly. I absolutely love Q's line "You have made an enemy of me today, Kathryn Janeway" after Junior sacrifices himself. The absolute rage that I felt from Q in that line was chilling. I really liked at the end, how Q has this sort of raw anger while Lady Q is quieter. The loss of their son undoubtedly caused a dramatic change in them, and I thought that Ms. Beyer conveyed this extremely well.

In terms of Eden's storyline: I thought that it was done well. To me, it felt like the journey to discover and understand her origins brought her full circle, concluding with her return to Omega in order to prevent the destruction of the multiverse. I can see how others may see it as an abrupt end for her, but I disagree. I feel that this end is fitting for her, to find out who she is and embrace that.

I want to move away from Eden's origin a bit to address something else that I really loved about the novel: the planet where Eden, the Doctor and Cambridge find a portion of the "anamoly" in a construct far beneath the surface. I really love how this was played out, from the intriguing drawings to the use of the Golden Ratio, Fibonacci Sequence and Spiral; I really enjoyed that. The imagery of the Doctor and Cambridge walking down the corridor filled with the illuminated star maps was quite lovely.

Janeway's return, I thought, was excellent. The route chosen by Ms. Beyer was unique and well thought-out. I had never considered the inclusion of Kes in her return, and this made it a thoroughly enjoyable surprise for me. I found that the moment where Janeway and Kes embrace to be a particularly powerful moment in the novel.

Her return to Voyager caused reactions in the crew that I anticipated, all of which were powerful moments, particularly Chakotay's. His apparent death was quite heartbreaking, and I know that I got a little choked up while reading both that scene and the first time Janeway says "I love you" to Chakotay. I'm extremely pleased, however, that both he and Janeway are able to continue their relationship in the end. I really love the emotional weight all these scenes carry, and I feel like this is something that Ms. Beyer does extremely well.

The Omega Continuum and its relation to things was interesting, in both a scientific and philosophical sense. It presented the universe with a force of great potential. It was really interesting to read about some of the relations it had to our own existence and how it affected that as well as the space around the fleet and the people that interacted with it. In terms of philosophical ideas, what really stood out to me about this was that this force was the imagining of what could be out there, and how our universe could possibly end. There are an infinite number of possible ways that this could occur, and I think that looking at any one of them is a great thing to do, especially in a science fiction novel. It truly fascinated me.

One last thing, I love the sense of hope that I got from this novel. Even with the shocking loss of half () the fleet, there are still signs of hope: Janeway's return, B'Elanna's pregnancy and the settlement of Riley's people on a planet that was once home to the Borg. Though there are consequences to their actions, the people in these novels continue to strive forward. It would seem that there are rays of light between the shadows.

The references to canon and the events in the novels throughout this one were a great sight, many of them brought smiles to my face or a grin at a clever connection. Truly wonderful.

In short, Ms. Beyer you have written what I think is an outstanding novel, and I shall return for the next one and any other Voyager novels that you may write in the future.
"It's never easy, but if we turn our backs on our principles we stop being human." - Kathryn Janeway, "Equinox Part 1".
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