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String Theory: Cohesion, by Jeffrey Lang Book Review | SFReader.com
String Theory: Cohesion, by Jeffrey Lang Genre: Star Trek Publisher: Pocket Books Published: 2005 Review Posted: 9/18/2006 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 10 out of 10
String Theory: Cohesion, by Jeffrey Lang
Book Review by Heather Hunt
Have you read this book?
I give this new Star Trek Voyager novel a high rating because it delivers what it promises: an edge-of-your-seat romp in the Delta quadrant with the Voyager crew. Most TV (or movie) tie-in books do not meet the respective expectations of their fans, who pick up these novels because they enjoy a show's characters and want to read more about their adventures. Sad to say, many of these books are so focused on the adventure that the characters are unrecognizable. Cynical readers could get the idea that the writers had unpublished stories kicking around into which they shoehorned the television characters in order to get published!
Jeffrey Lang's Cohesion, the first book in a three-part series called String Theory, sports a head shot of B'Elanna Torres on the front cover and a promise on the back cover that she and Seven wage an interpersonal war when their away mission goes awry and strands them planet-side. "Oh boy, this is gonna' be good," my eternal optimist thinks. "Hold on," my internal pessimist cautions, "If this is anything like 'Tatooine Ghost,' which was advertised as a novel about Leia and Han's early marriage but ended up being entirely plot-driven, then it'll be a huge letdown. Don't get your hopes up."
I'm happy to report that my eternal optimist wins the day. Lang is new to Voyager but not to Star Trek, having penned Next Generation and DS9 tales. Here he does a very good job capturing the characters on a crew new to him, especially B'Elanna and Seven. Janeway has a few jarring moments that seem out of character and Tuvok is a bit weak, but since he is the focus of the next book in the series, I am confident that will be rectified.
In a historical note, Lang places this story between the fourth and fifth season, which makes the timeline soon after Seven arrives and early on in B'Elanna's romance with Tom Paris. Both circumstances are used to great effect especially when Seven and B'Elanna are forced to ... SPOILER ... form a collective of two to pool their resources and escape the planet. As Voyager fans might imagine, much hilarity ensues. Lang delivers the goods on what could happen trying to merge these polar opposites. I laughed out loud.
Adventure lovers need not fear that amidst all this wonderful characterization the plot suffers. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the science of space bubbles, multiple dimensions, and paper bags wrapped like a corkscrew at times lost this science-challenged reader, but I'm sure others will ponder the coolness of it for hours. Lang also creates an intriguing new species, the Monorhans, and sets up their dilemma well as tensions rise between several of their kind, including Captain Ziv, Sem, and Kaytok.
The best praise I can give Cohesion is that it exceeds expectations. Voyager fans will enjoy accompanying these characters on another adventure, and SF fans will enjoy the species talk and subspace science. The String Theory trilogy is hailed as "a tenth-anniversary odyssey;" if the next two parts penned by different authors live up to Book One, then this odyssey will be a fitting tribute.
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