It’s been quite a while since the last book out of the Titan series has been released and I’ve been really looking forward to the next installment – especially after the fairly big role the crew of the Luna-class vessel had during the resolution of the latest Borg crisis. Now, nearly one and a half year after Sword of Damocles Titan has finally continued its mission of exploration with Christopher L. Bennett’s Over a Torrent Sea.
This time, the plot mainly takes place on the water planet Droplet where the crew – and ensign Lavena in particular – get to know an ecosystem completely different from what they’re used to and full of surprises and possible misunderstandings. The crew gets to know a new and completely alien civilization, Riker and Lavena go missing and all that right when Deanna Troi is about to give birth to hers and Will Riker’s child.
Christopher L. Bennett once again managed to create a whole universe full of life and especially at the end it’s close to getting mind-blowing. Every action has unsuspected consequences for everyone involved. Part of this is also the constant struggle of the crew how to handle the situation while not violating the Prime Directive. This is also the focus of a small side-story around the birth of Troi’s child and Doctor Ree.
Part of the theme of the whole story is also the intimacy of the whole crew, and at least for me the author went a little bit too far there. At one time I was starting to wonder if anyone on that ship does anything besides having sex while off-duty. I think I can see why he wanted to show some more intimate details in this book (given Lavenas role), though. Especially one scene between Riker and the Aili is a bit too intimate and in my opinion doesn’t really fit in all that well with the rest of the story.
Compared to everything else I’ve read over the last 2 years this is probably the most non-violent SciFi-novel. In a side-story one person gets stun-phasered and this is basically the only time someone is shot at. In general, the whole book is all about what made Star Trek great for me: exploring and experiencing new worlds and not shooting at everything in sight and asking questions later.