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String Theory Book One, Cohesion

By Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at August 6, 2005 - 2:58 AM GMT

Title: Star Trek: Voyager String Theory Book One, Cohesion
Author: Jeffrey Lang
Release Date: July 2005
Format: Mass-Market Paperback
ISBN: 0-7434-5718-8

The new Voyager trilogy String Theory is set between the final episode of season four "Hope and Fear", and the first episode of season five "Night". I haven't seen those episodes since they originally aired and I don't remember them well, but that didn't effect my enjoyment of the first book in the String Theory trilogy, Cohesion one iota.

Author Jeffrey Lang, whose previous Star Trek writing credits include the critically acclaimed TNG novel Immortal Coil and co-writing The Left Hand of Destiny with J.G. Hertzler, steps it up another notch with Cohesion, a story that sets a very high standard for the other authors contributing to String Theory trilogy to follow.

Bombarded by radiation, planets located in a binary star system shouldn't be able to support complex life. So when Voyager detects life in just such a system Captain Janeway can't resist investigating. Meet the Monorhans, a desperate species hovering on the edge of extinction. Moved by the alien's plight, Janeway dispatches Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres and Seven of Nine to the Monorhan homeworld to upgrade the shields with which they protect their cities from the radiation, but the mission doesn't exactly go as planned.

I am always reluctant to read the first book in a trilogy if the second and third books aren't being released in quick succession immediately afterwards. Usually if I do, and it's a really good story, I'm left feeling a bit disappointed because I know I have to wait to find out where the story goes from here.

That wasn't the case with Cohesion. Not because the story wasn't good, it's great, and Cohesion definitely did leave me wanting to know what happens next. But at the same time, as I digested the final pages, I felt completely satisfied by the story and that's what impressed me most when I had finished reading Cohesion.

There is a lot to impress about the story told in Cohesion. The plot is interesting and well paced, the action vividly portrayed and the characterizations of the Voyager characters the best I've read since Jeri Taylor's novel Pathways.

The Monorhans are a fascinating species. Alien enough to be interesting, but human enough for the reader to understand their motivations and even empathize with them to some degree.

The interaction between B'Elanna Torres and Seven of Nine, who are reluctantly forced to work together to survive, is very amusing and one of the highlights of the story. Lang also manages to address some of the inconsistencies in the way the characters were depicted in the television series, an accomplishment that fans of this series should find gratifying but luckily you don't need to be a fan of Voyager to enjoy Cohesion, just a reader who appreciates a really well told story.

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Jacqueline Bundy reviews Star Trek books for the Trek Nation, writes monthly columns for the TrekWeb newsletter and the Star Trek Galactic News, and hosts the Yahoo Star Trek Books Group weekly chat.

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