Title: The Rising Tide (Liminal Sky #2)
Author: J. Scott Coatsworth
Publisher: DSP Publications
Release Date: October 16, 2018
Genre(s): Science Fiction
Page Count: 388
Reviewed by: Kristin F.
Heat Level: 0 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Earth is dead. Five years later, the remnants of humanity travel through the stars inside Forever: a living, ever-evolving, self-contained generation ship. When Eddy Tremaine and Andy Hammond find a hidden world-within-a-world under the mountains, the discovery triggers a chain of events that could fundamentally alter or extinguish life as they know it, culminate in the takeover of the world mind, and end free will for humankind. Eddy, Andy, and a handful of other unlikely heroes—people of every race and identity, and some who aren’t even human—must find the courage and ingenuity to stand against the rising tide. Otherwise they might be living through the end days of human history
Book Two of Liminal Sky.
This is not a romance book. There are GLBTQ romantic elements, but this book is not a romance. It’s straight up science fiction.
The book is divided into three parts. Part One is brings our key players together. Part Two is the establishing who the key players are, and Part Three is end/beginning of a new era. Each part advances the time line by a decade. Reading book one first would be integral in establishing why everyone is on this ship and the impetus behind their respective roles.
This is a character driven scifi story, where the science is there, we’re on a very large self-contained world in the generation ship, but the author doesn’t bog the story down in how the ship works. We know there is a World Mind (from book one and two), we have AI constructs, but it’s a very human story of love, loss and survival.
Overall, a pretty good story, but I did have my quirks. The big one first: I felt this was about 100 pages too long. In my humble opinion (and it’s just that, an opinion), Part Three could have been rolled into Part’s One and Two. After the earlier attempt a coup, the resistance, and subsequent closure, Part three felt like a rehash.
As for the coup, I never really did get a feel for what motivated the antagonist. Maybe I missed something from book one? I dunno, but his motivations seemed out of proportion to everything else – especially once he moved into “lets destroy everything! Mwuhahahaha!” mentality.
I also must have missed how he was able to overtake the World Minds, when he was using a second character to manipulate people and the world, and that second character – Jayson – was removed.
Which brings us to Jayson. I have a feeling some people may find contention with how this character was written and portrayed. Jayson raped something like 30 women under the Antagonists control. These women gave up those children (too painful of a reminder of the past circumstances). Jayson was saved (no religious connotations, by the way) by his oldest children, just as the mother and children had been saved. The children accepted their father…but nobody ever said anything about how the mothers would have reacted upon hearing Jayson was “back”. A point of contention, a bit too much of sweeping the deed under the rug perhaps.
My opinions aside, I mostly enjoyed this. Certainly there are issues on a generation ship that will affect its success – raw materials, food, water, recycling, maintenance, and a government. There will be rebellions and uprisings. In Rising Tide, the author provides all that with an interesting backdrop and a diverse cast of characters.