Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Julio Angel Ortiz, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    ^As I recall, I introduced it as a Flyer-class heavy shuttle. It's basically an upgraded Delta Flyer design.
  2. Sxottlan

    Sxottlan Commodore Commodore

    May 7, 2001
    Stealing Lu Bu's Horse
    Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea

    I don't really need to post anything on the book because Brendan Moody pretty summed up my opinion of the book perfectly.

    The Ree B-story really did not work for me at all. Sort of came out of left field a little too late in the game for me and did not need another pregnancy in peril. Seems having Riker separate from Troi should have been enough.
  3. captcalhoun

    captcalhoun Admiral Admiral

    Apr 29, 2005
    i enjoyed this, but OH remains my favourite TTN novel. i'd put this somewhere equal to SoD, below OH and above Taking Wing.
  4. Spacehamster

    Spacehamster Ensign Newbie

    Apr 1, 2009
    Tasmania, Australia
    I started reading this book on a Sunday evening and finally finished it at 2am Monday morning. I guess that shows just how much I'm loving the current Trek novels from...well...all the authors. Everytime I start reading one, I can't put it down until I've finished reading it.

    One aspect that I love about the current interconnected Trek novels is how one author will produce a plot point and another author will follow on from there. One example is Ree's actions in saving Troi's life in the Destiny books is (I think) very nicely resolved here. The other the revelations about Lavena's past life, which changed how I perceived her character. The same goes for Cethente. I love how this novel fleshes out characters I really didn't pay any attention to before, and makes me care about and respect them more than I already did.

    A few bits and pieces I wouldn't mind seeing future Titan novels explore: I'd love to see both Bralik and Dakal get the same attention Lavena got here. And just where exactly where is Melora and Xin's relationship going to go next? And most importantly, I really want to see how both Riker and Troi cope with being parents.

    Definitely my favourite Titan novel thus far. A really great read.
  5. Dancing Doctor

    Dancing Doctor Admiral Admiral

    Jul 7, 2006
    I just finished reading Over A Torrent Sea after promising myself I'd be sequestered and not allow any interruptions, and now I'm glad I did.

    OATS is my favorite Titan series entry, hands down. It was much lighter than many of the current Trek Lit, but it wasn't ridiculously so. It flowed (no pun intended) wonderfully, and was very enjoyable overall.

    I will say that the whole Ree subplot was a little much. There were some times when it felt forced, and in my opinion (YMMV, of course) those were the only parts that I did not really enjoy. One thing that was a little perturbing was his whole Prime Directive violation. Considering the fact that Sword of Damocles was one giant PD debate, and OATS also had some serious PD moments, for Ree to break it and then have everyone's reaction be "Oh, well no big whoop, dawg", and then to have the planet's society be arranged in a way so as to ensure that the violation was not a massive crisis, but a "Oh, hey, crazy stuff happened dontchaknow?" was a little much. However, that is merely a personal observation, and did not affect my enjoyment of the novel.

    The best part, imo, was the end, with the revelation of the "baby space capsule". I just loved Droplet and the creatures there. I think I went "Awww!" more times during the reading than I ever have, especially with the revelation about Counselor Huilan (who I will always imagine as an even cuter version of Stitch, which is probably the intention).

    All in all, a wonderful book, and my favorite Titan novel.
  6. wahwahkits

    wahwahkits Commander Red Shirt

    Apr 5, 2007
    England, somewhere between Liverpool and Chester
    I've just finished the book and thought that it was very good!. I thought the plot was good, the Squales fascinating and the characterisation spot-on. The only negative for me was the science -- it was over the top and pretty difficult to understand. All in all though a very good book.

    What concerns me though is the whole Titan saga. I'm getting sick of Riker and Troi getting separated and one of them thinking the other is dead and then, oh wait, they can sense each other, they'll be back together soon!

    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?
  7. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 29, 2001
    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.

    In OaTS, 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.

    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.

    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.

    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?

    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. :)
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    ^Wow, a whole bunch of comments at once! I'm basking in all the praise. Thanks, everyone!

    And I can't really add anything to what lvsxy808 had to say. Except on the issue of crew departures. I figured that after the events of Destiny, some people would inevitably choose to stay behind to help rebuild or to be with their grieving families or whatever. I could've just limited it to bit players and people we'd never mentioned yet, but that would've felt like a copout.
  9. DEWLine

    DEWLine Commodore Commodore

    Apr 27, 2003
    Ottawa, Canada
    I can't - won't - argue with that. It makes too much sense.
  10. John Clark

    John Clark Commodore Commodore

    Jul 4, 2008
    Finished it last night. Coming immediately on the end of Destiny for me, it was quite a bit lighter.

    I enjoyed it:)
  11. Tino

    Tino Captain Captain

    Jan 4, 2003
    Worked great for me! I loved the first hundred pages because the characters were exploring, guessing and solving little puzzles. Reminded me of the first chapters of "Orion's Hounds" which I also loved because of the feeling of exploration.

    Personally, I'm sick of Star Trek saying "we're explorers" but we always get thrown into action-adventures. There have been very few truly exploration-episodes and thus I'm ever so grateful for Christopher's TITAN-novels! :-)

    Not being a native speaker, I didn't understand all of those fish names and fish descriptions. But since grabbing a dictionary every ten seconds (when Christopher writes detailed pages about the sea life) isn't my idea of enjoying a book, I could live with the general feeling of "hey, that seems unusual but exciting".

    And for the first time, I enjoyed all those alien characters on the ship. Now reading "Full Circle", I'm kinda bored that so many main characters aren't as alien as in TITAN.
  12. DarthSikle

    DarthSikle Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Sep 30, 2003
    Sorry for the delay. I am about six months behind on Trek. Just finished the book today. I loved it! My first Titan novel other my exposure to it in Destiny, so I had a little difficulty in keeping track of the characters. I wish the appendix with the cast of characters was IN THE FRONT of the book, as they do in Star Wars. I was peeved when I finished the book and saw that. LOL.

    The pure science had me totally lost but the loved the planet of Lumbu (sp?)
  13. T'Ressa Dax

    T'Ressa Dax Captain Captain

    Feb 13, 2009
    Kendra Province, Bajor
    You don't skim through books then? That's how I found the list.
  14. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Jul 22, 2004
    Arizona, USA
    Me too, I've learned to flip through a book when I first start it just in case there is something of interest in the back or the middle.
  15. langdonboom

    langdonboom Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Nov 22, 2009
    Just wanted to chime in here as a new guy and add my voice to the chorus of appreciation for this book. I just finished it myself after devowering all the Titan books (and really all the Relaunch books) in order over the past 2 years and I have to say I agree with most of the comments here (though forgive me for not having read the entire thread) - including the 'hard sci-fi' stuff (love the whole world that was built) and the laid-back post-Destiny pace at the beginning.

    I also did at first feel that the Ree story came out of left-field but I grew to love it and it was totally made great by the Tuvok moment outside the hospital. I love the character of Tuvok and I've been saddened (in a good way) by his emotional meltdown over the past novels, and this felt so redeeming and so awesomely Vulcan in its stoic acceptance of even being emotionally damaged... I've read Christopher say he's been in therapy and it definitely shows with his courage and insight to have this character come to terms with this part of himself. Bravo, and really so much deeper than I could hope for in a Star Trek novel. Well done.

    And I also enjoyed the echos of Tezwa in Riker's once again being put through the ringer on Droplet, as well as the struggles that Lavena had to go through to find her own maturity.

    I loved Orion's Hounds, too ("what's with us an jelly creatures?" - great nod) also for really touching that sense of wonder and mystery in the exploration of new life and new civilisations. As much as I love good space politics and space war, impending doom, etc., its this strong streak of serious mysterious and aliennes that keeps me connected to the Star Trek experience.
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
  17. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Sep 17, 2011
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    ^Thanks for the review! A couple of responses:

    Actually, I consider this to be the most solidly hard-SF Trek novel I've ever written, with the fewest concessions to fanciful science. The nature of the planet Droplet is based on some real theoretical papers that came out just a few years before -- in fact, I believe OaTS is the first full-length novel to depict such an ocean planet, although there was at least one earlier novella that referenced one briefly.

    One of the foundational ideas behind Titan is that there is no divide between "main cast" and "lower decks." TV series are obligated to focus on the finite number of actors they pay big salaries to, but actors aren't an issue in a book, so novels are free to focus on whichever characters they want. So the intention was always that anyone in the crew could be the stars of a given book.
  19. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Sep 17, 2011
    So noted, Christopher!

    Believe me, it shows.