Book Reviews

The Rising Tide (Liminal Sky 2) by J. Scott Coatsworth at DSP Publications

Genre Gay / Lesbian / Trans* / Asexual/Aromantic / Science Fiction / Future Earth / Outer Space / Robots/Androids/AI / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller / Action/Adventure
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 05-November-2018

Book Blurb

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.


Control the AI, control the people.


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 Review

Like the first novel in the series, ‘The Rising Tide’ is written in three parts. The first story is set six years after the destruction of Earth and shows what happens onboard the generational starship Forever as it makes its way out of the solar system. I highly recommend you read these books in order – in fact a lot of what I talk about in this review in the three sections below should be considered a spoiler. Some of the characters from book one are back, but a lot of what happens in this second novel is about passing on the torch to the next generation. Initially, everyone except Andy was born on Earth before the Collapse and is now adapting to life on Forever. But toward the end of the book, Liminals, those born on Forever, are becoming more numerous. Advanced technology and medicine no longer exist, society is redefining itself, and the peculiar composition of the ship-mind – or rather world-mind – adds some real difference to what humankind’s future will be like.

2171 – Rendezvous
The villain who almost managed to destroy humankind’s future by blowing up the space station the generational ship depended on was never found, but he has left an increasing number of clues about what he is up to over the last six years. This section of the book is all about finding this villain – only it turns out to be two men who worked together – the Preacher led the ideological charge, and a man called Davian executed the terror. And while the effect of their destruction is neutralized and the people they enslaved are freed, both men not only escape but their actions have significant consequences.

The characters are an interesting mix in terms of their sexuality as well as their talents. Eddy is a transman who became a sheriff after the events six years earlier, Andy meets a woman named Shandra and hopes they might be a better fit than she and her last girlfriend, Colin is an old gay ex-spaceship-captain from book one who is still very much around, and the three Immortals who make up the ship-mind (Jackson, Ana, and Lex) have their own set of ideas about how they should survive and deal with each other.

2181 – Coup
Forever is malfunctioning on an increasing scale, and there aren’t many people around who understand what might be the cause, never mind being able to figure out how to fix the problem. A lot of what happens takes place in the virtual world that is second nature to Andy and the children freed from the villain – the Liminal kids. They deal with the past, resolve some of the issues, and discover their own place in society, possibly their role in humankind’s future.

Marissa, the oldest of thirty-eight kids who ended up segregated from their cousins, homo sapiens, takes a key leadership role as she sets out to discover the truth about her father as well as what is outside their isolated existence. She may only be fifteen, but she is one courageous and determined girl!

2188 - Flight
The villain who is out to enslave everyone just won’t let up – and when the world-ship begins to act up again, this time in a more threatening way than ever before, it will take a whole team to find a permanent solution. This third part of the novel is by far the most suspenseful, and I loved how each of the important characters had a contribution to make. Only teamwork can save them – and even then, I wasn’t too sure they’d be able to succeed and I held my breath more than once as I followed the team’s attempts to save their world.

This novel is an interesting look at life both outside and inside the ship-mind, “vee world” (virtual world), and the consequences of some people being able to join it. It is a vision of a future where a small group of humans ventures out into space to try to find a new planet to make their home. Some of the same issues – greed, the hunger for power and control, and self-destructive tendencies – have followed these fugitives into space. Finding a new balance on a “world” where pollution and overuse of resources have immediate effects is a real challenge. Mental and emotional adaptation also have to take place as a new society develops and some of the differences between various groups seem impossible to bridge. The parallel developments within the human group on one hand and the individuals making up the ship-mind and its virtual world on the other makes this a gripping and multilayered story.

If you like creative science fiction that challenges your assumptions about what the future might hold for our species, if complicated characters and intense, sometimes confusing emotions are your thing, and if you’re looking for a suspenseful story that will entertain you as much as it will make you think, then you will probably love this novel as much as I do. It continues to be imaginative and sweeping, and I can’t wait to read the next novel in this series.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by DSP Publications for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 380 pages/115505 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 30-October-2018
Price $6.99 ebook, $19.99 paperback, $19.99 bundle
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