Voyager and her crew are used to reclaiming victory
from disaster, but within Monorhan space events have lead
to nothing less than a catastrophe. Captain Janeway lays in
a life support machine more dead than alive, the Doctor, Tom
and Harry are missing, possibly dead. Voyager remains
damaged and the space around them is changing in such a way
as to spell the end of the whole universe...
by Heather Jarman is the last in the String Theory trilogy
and boy what a job she's taken on. At the end of book two,
Fusion, Kirsten Beyer
had pretty much got a big spoon and created an apparent dilemma
for everyone from the lowly gel-packs to the almost godlike
Nacene. I was intrigued to see how Jarman would cope with
so many threads to explore and resolve. Well, give the girl
a biscuit and a big fat cheque; she's done a damn fine job
of bringing the series to an exciting, logical and engrossing
was no small task, which explains why the book runs to a value
enhancing four hundred pages. With most trilogies it's best
to start with the first book, however, Jarman has succeeded
in writing a story that works well in isolation, based on
its own merits. Although, I had reviewed the previous two
books, I retained little if anything of the story; Jarman
provides enough hints regarding the back story, so that you
never feel lost.
are three distinct stories going on, each with their own tone
all of which dovetail together at the end of the book. Jarman
keeps a deft hand on each of these strands so that you never
get the feeling that you're loosing the threads of any of
the individual narratives. It's difficult to discuss the book
as a whole without giving away spoilers. I'll try to keep
them to a minimum but if you don't want to know look away
tone of each story is different, whilst the others are off
on their individual adventures, events on Voyager are
as dark as they get. Chakotay finds himself captain of a crippled
ship. Many of the crew have either lost their lives or are
trying to continue their duties whilst under burdens of loss
or injury. With the loss of so many of the command crew Voyager
is a ship which has had its head cut off. B'Elanna Torres
naturally feels the loss of Tom, a burden that at times even
her innate Klingon stoicism is unable to protect her from.
Tuvok struggles to come to terms with regaining his individuality,
having in the previous book imperilled the ship in an effort
to gain a union more in common with Seven's experience with
the Borg. In such a poor condition the crew mourn their lost
captain and try to find a way to rescue their fellow shipmates,
if indeed they are still alive.
The Doctor, meanwhile, finds himself cut off from Voyager
having been sucked into the Nacene's home dimension of Exosia,
facing the terrible visage of Vivia, leader of the Nacene
who had not crossed over to Voyager's dimension. In
order to be granted passage back to his ship and save the
Monorhan he strikes a Faustian deal with Vivia which will
take him to Ocampa's distant past and an unexpected meeting
with an old friend.
If all this sounds a little grim fear not as it would appear
that Tom and Harry, far from shuffling off their mortal coil,
have instead been taken to the Q Continuum, where the ever
mischievous Q has a proposition for the hapless boys, which
finds them engaging in space racing, gambling and generally
getting into some very amusing trouble.
nice thing about the book is that none of these stories can
be considered padding. Each part moves inexorably towards
the conclusion and each are needed for the end of the book
to make sense.
Evolution is a nice stand alone book and a good end
to the trilogy.
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