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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The music of the strings could be silenced forever
And with Evolution, the String Theory trilogy of Star Trek: Voyager books comes to an end. Heather Jarman is given the task of wrapping up the cosmic events that took place in the first two books (Cohesion and Fusion). I have enjoyed Jarman's writing in the past, even as I've criticized some other aspects of the books (the characters, for example), but this time, she...
Published on 17 May 2006 by David Roy

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1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible 3rd book in series
Ponderous, slow, overly dense and quite unlike the 2 books preceding it. Whilst I appreciate the authors have been different for all 3 books, I was very disappointed that the similarities between books 1 and 2 were non-existent with book 3. It probably didn't help that I find stories about the Doctor outside of Voyager fairly pedestrian.
Published 6 months ago by Patrick Adamson


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The music of the strings could be silenced forever, 17 May 2006
By 
David Roy (Vancouver, BC) - See all my reviews
And with Evolution, the String Theory trilogy of Star Trek: Voyager books comes to an end. Heather Jarman is given the task of wrapping up the cosmic events that took place in the first two books (Cohesion and Fusion). I have enjoyed Jarman's writing in the past, even as I've criticized some other aspects of the books (the characters, for example), but this time, she gives us the complete package. The only problem is that it's a bit too technical at times for my taste, and the technobabble billows forth now and then. I found that I had trouble getting into the book every so often, but Jarman's characterizations always brought me back. That, and the book does eventually find its footing. It's probably the worst book in the trilogy, but that's only because the other two were so good.

Captain Janeway lies comatose in sickbay, a victim of an alien known as a Nacene, who masqueraded as Janeway's sister, Phoebe. The holographic Doctor has disappeared, and a shuttle carrying Harry Kim and Tom Paris has also disappeared, presumably destroyed. Meanwhile, the strange space that Voyager was trapped in is affecting reality, and things are only getting worse. A war between two branches of Nacene, one faction working to maintain the strings that govern the universe's existence, the other engaging in a long attempt at freedom, may be coming to a head, and Voyager may get caught in the crossfire. And what does Q have to do with all this? Can he really be as benevolent as he seems? Or is it because he's in trouble again and only Tom and Harry can get him out of it? It all comes together in a conflict that bridges time and space, and the dimensions in between. If one side wins, reality as we know it will be fundamentally altered. But perhaps there's a third way?

Jarman does a great job characterizing the Voyager crew, and the book holds together despite the disparate viewpoints we're given. Chakotay is in command now that Janeway's incapacitated, and he has to figure out how to replace the officers who have disappeared. His indecision is palpable, and there's a great scene where he and Neelix talk around the fact that he doesn't really know what to do. The gossip mill can pay off, it seems. Since Janeway's out of the picture, we don't get to see much pining from Chakotay like we saw in the previous books (especially Fusion). Instead, it spans the entire crew as they miss their captain. Still, Chakotay gets to be solid when he needs to be, and the scenes between B'Elanna and Seven (along with everyone else) make the Voyager sequences shine.

Not quite as successful, though still extremely fun, are the scenes in the Q Continuum. Jarman captures Q so perfectly that I could almost hear John DeLancie speaking the lines. The interaction between Q and our intrepid pair (especially Harry) is priceless. However, I've always found the Continuum to be extremely dull, even as authors make it whatever they want to and then say that the characters are seeing it through their perceptions. This time, we get a university setting (along with a female, q, who Kim gets a crush on), as well as an inter-dimensional casino where heavy-hitters can bet star systems and make them blow up at the point of a finger. At times, these things are interesting, but not always. There are some extremely slow parts here. Overall, however, the sequences work.

I can't say that as much with the Doctor and his trip into the past (I won't tell you where, as that would be a spoiler). This started out very slowly, and I found myself not really caring that much. Once we find out where he is, it picks up a little bit, but even then it tends to drag at times. Only when the Nacene get involved, and the Doctor begins forming the relationships that will end up being very important for the book, do these sequences get really interesting. Yes, it started out intriguing to see the Doctor have to deal with being flesh and blood rather than photons, but even that got old after a while. Thankfully, once things start happening, Jarman once again gives us great characterization that make the passages wonderful to read. Even the characters are good!

Jarman ties everything together beautifully at the end, though the timing of some it is only really plausible because Q's involved. Still, Voyager has to fight on its own until this happens, and there are consequences that are not erased, which is good. The climax comes a bit earlier than expected, as she then has to not only tie everything up, but lead directly into the fifth season of the television show (the series takes place between the two seasons). She manages to hit all the points, explaining some of Janeway's erratic behaviour, showing us where the Void that is featured in the first episode of the season came from, and explaining Janeway's sudden introspection. She even touches on the change in B'Elanna's personality that made her an Extreme Sports advocate in one of the episodes, where it's claimed that she's been driving herself to extensive risk out of a sense of obligation to her dead Maquis brethren back in the Alpha Quadrant. Some might say Jarman spends a bit too much time setting this all up to make it perfect, but that can sometimes be the fun of Trek fiction; filling in the holes that the television series.

Given everything she had to work with, I think Jarman did a masterful job finishing off this series. Evolution doesn't always work, but Jarman's writing will always get you through the slower spots, and her deft characterization will make the bright spots even better. This entire trilogy is the masterpiece that the Voyager re-launch could have been. Pick this up instead.

David Roy
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1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible 3rd book in series, 25 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Star Trek: Voyager: String Theory #3: Evolution: Evolution: Evolution Bk. 3 (Kindle Edition)
Ponderous, slow, overly dense and quite unlike the 2 books preceding it. Whilst I appreciate the authors have been different for all 3 books, I was very disappointed that the similarities between books 1 and 2 were non-existent with book 3. It probably didn't help that I find stories about the Doctor outside of Voyager fairly pedestrian.
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4.0 out of 5 stars STAR TREK VOYAGER BOOKS, 12 July 2013
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This review is from: Star Trek: Voyager: String Theory #3: Evolution: Evolution: Evolution Bk. 3 (Kindle Edition)
String Theory was a complicated but fascinating read, a bit of a challenge but a jolly good read, pity there aren't more of these books, I seem to have read all there are
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent Conclusion, 14 Dec 2009
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B. S. Jones (UK) - See all my reviews
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An excellent conclusion as the third book in the series. Lots of typical voyager star trek action till the end with well written finesse.
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