Format Read: ebook provided by the publisher
Number of Pages: 326 pages
Release Date: September 11, 2012
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Series: (if it is) A New Dawn #4
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Formats Available: Trade Paperback, ebook
Purchasing Info: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Book Depository US | Book Depository (UK) | Author’s Website | Publisher’s Website | Goodreads
A product of an illegal pairing, Eridani is the only woman without a lifemate aboard the colonization ship, the Heritage, and she is determined her less than perfect DNA will not get in the way of finding love. As the ship nears it’s final destination of Haven 6 after five hundred years of travel, images of the surface show evidence of intelligent life on a planet that’s supposed to be uninhabited. Commander Grier assigns Eri to the exploratory team to spy on the alien society and return with information on how to defeat them.
When Eri’s team lands, tribes of humans attack and Eri is saved by Striver, the descendant of a colonist and a pirate from Old Earth’s colonization efforts in other parts of the galaxy. Striver helps Eri rescue her team and they are drawn to each other despite their different allegiances. While Striver battles with trusting Eri, Eri must decide whether to warn him and his people about the commander’s intentions, or follow orders and complete her mission.
Marlene: Haven 6 is the final book in Dionne’s New Dawn series, and she’s trying to tie up all the loose ends. So she goes back to the beginning. All the beginnings. The colony ship that arrives at Haven 6 is commanded by none other than the former Governor of New York, or what’s left of her. Governor Grier’s brain is Commander Grier, and she still remembers the last panic-stricken days of Earth. Those events form the story of A Hero Rising, book 3 of Dionne’s series.
But when the Heritage reaches Haven 6, it finds that the original scouting reports were wrong. The planet is populated. That population is descended from Aries and Striker, the main characters of the first book in this series, Paradise 21. (See what I mean about all the loose ends?)
But the crew of the Heritage doesn’t know that, yet. All they know is that there are huts showing up in the fly-by scan. Enter our heroine, this story’s ship-misfit, Eridani. Eri is a double-misfit; she is the result of an unauthorized pairing, and her job is less-than-essential. Eri is a linguist. on a ship that doesn’t meet anyone who speaks dead Earth languages. But since she’s good at her job, maybe she can make sense out of whatever the species inhabiting Haven 6 speaks.
Too bad it turns out to be English. And too bad for everyone that the first group of “natives” that Eri’s team runs into turns out to be pirates.
Things go downhill from there.
Has: Oh yes, you have summed up exactly how I felt about this final installment of the series and I was hoping it would improve. But, sadly this wasn’t the case. I was lukewarm on the romance, lukewarm on the plot and very lukewarm on the characters. The one aspect that I really enjoyed about the previous books, was the element of world-building and how Dionne sets up a tense and engaging setting of groups of survivors on their journeys to find a new home. However, even this factor wasn’t apparent and in fact didn’t make sense. Because it was set a few 100 years after the events in the previous books. I couldn’t understand how the survivors of the Omega station would devolve into petty warfare over technology especially since they kept that alien ship which was the only working tech which they kept for historical and nostalgic reasons.
There was not an element of how their society evolved and in fact it was regressing and it definitely didn’t make sense with aliens who Striker and Aries saved in PARADISE 21. They showed real promise and imagination in that book and I was looking forward to see how events would evolve when we revisit them in this book. But their depiction fell into a huge cliche pitfall of stand-offish aliens who must not interfere with human affairs. And the entire conflict in the book was relegated with the tensions between the opposing human factions of the pirate like gangs and the humans who lived in harmony with the aliens. I was very let down on how this played out in the book, because the plot wasn’t engaging, or had real depth for me.
Marlene: In the attempt to wrap everything up into a nice, neat package, the author recycled an unfortunately large number of cliches from the lesser Star Trek scripts. (I’m saying this and I love Trek with all my geeky little heart) The aliens that Aries and Striker rescue in Paradise 21 are now operating under some kind of semi-operative Prime Directive; they can’t interfere if it will lead to loss of life, but they can help a bit. They owe their existence as a species, not just as individuals, to Aries’ and Striker’s interference; does this make sense?
The society on Haven 6 has either devolved, or something weird is going on that we don’t know. There are hints, but not enough information. In Paradise 21, Aries and Striker bring the entire population of Outpost Omega to Haven 6, only they call it Refuge. Lots of those folks were pirates, but many were prisoners, and some were just folks trying to get by. How did things descend practically into chaos in just a couple of centuries? Also, they used a wormhole to get ahead of the colony ships. Many of the pirates, and others had their own ships. Did anyone go elsewhere? Use another wormhole?
These folks have gone effectively back to, as Mr. Spock put it in City on the Edge of Forever, “stone knives and bearskins”. Or very nearly. High-tech is seen as the great evil. Yes, the last days of the Earth that everyone escaped from were really bad, but all the way back to primitivism? Couldn’t they find a happy medium? Or even a happy medium-rare?
And then there’s the romance. We have insta-love between an outsider from the colony ship and a hero who otherwise wouldn’t know she exists. Along with a bully for romantic tension, although in this case the bully, a Haven girl named Riptide, isn’t as bad as Luna was in Tundra 37.
Speaking of Riptide, there are the two side-plots with Striver’s brother Weaver, and the golden liquid of doom, but I’ll leave those to Has.
Has: I also have to add that this reminded me of Battlestar Galactica’s remake where the humans decided to renounce technology, and although I get why they did – there was no reason why the pirate gangs could have developed their own tech especially since they came from a space faring race. Riptide’s character who felt like an obstacle to force emotions out of Eri and to create tension between her and Striver. Although like Eri, I was bemused by Riptide’s appearance of foot-length hair which isn’t that practical in a jungle like planet (imagine the humidity!). But I also felt Riptide’s character was redundant and never really offered any real conflict in the romance and she was pretty much a cliche for me for being a bitchy character with no real depth.
However, I have to say I was very bored with the sub-plot with Striver’s brother who defected to join the pirate gangs because he was jealous and bitter of his brother’s popularity and leadership skills. I found his character to be a whiny, selfish and stupid and the reasons on why he joined a dangerous albeit another stupid group of people didn’t make sense. And although it tried to bring out real emotions – for me it emphasized his TSTL reasons. I also found myself being bored reading his POV chapters because it didn’t offer any real emotions or push the plot forward and when he encounters the glowing pool which is similar to the glowing orb in TUNDRA 37 where people get lost and sucked into their past memories – Well it was a bit of an anti-climactic twist and I was very disappointed because the alien orbs/glowing pool ties in previous plot threads and adds more twists in this universe. But, overall I found that the main plot a huge disappointment and how it ended was a bit of a wet fish.
Marlene: The divide between the pirates and the what? not-pirates? on Haven seems to be that the pirates want to exploit the remaining technology, and Striver’s people keep the remaining technology under wraps, feeling that all technology beyond the most rudimentary is bad. The pirates seem to be too lazy or too violent to develop their own tech, they just want to steal it, which makes them one-dimensional bad guys.
Weaver was whiny, self-centered and fairly stupid. Not in the IQ sense, but in the survival sense. He didn’t see other people as “real”, only as how they held him back from his supposed “greatness”. He never saw himself as part of the problem. And he was a complete idiot to think that going to the pirates was any kind of long term strategy. They were murdering lunatics. Weaver’s purpose in the plot was to show the redemptive power of the golden memory liquid, and to be the obligatory sacrifice for the greater good at the end.
I also thought this one was a bit anti-climactic, especially compared to the first two.
Has: And that is why I feel let down by this because it resorted to cliches and not in a good way. There was a lot of promise because there was such a rich tapestry of promise with the alien and different human factions however the resolution was a lot to be desired. However I do have to say the romantic build-up between Striver and Eri was slightly better compared to the previous books. But once again their romance suffered from insta-love syndrome which I am not a huge fan of because there was no real tension between them. But I preferred this sub-plot compared to the main story of the book.
Marlene: You’re right, Has. The romance did work just a bit better this time. Although there was definitely an insta-love start, the romance between Eri and Striver had enough time and enough “stuff” in it for us to see why these two get together in the end.
But the rest of the story doesn’t work as well. The fight between the pirates and Striver’s people seems basically under-explained. Mostly because every time I say, think, or write the word “Pirates” when there is no water or space or ship involved, my brain goes “tilt”. They are thugs that this society hasn’t taken care of. The alien Guardians have “Vulcan syndrome” without being half as cool. Or a quarter as hot.
And the insecure younger brother plot was really insecure. The best part of the story, the golden memory liquid, got dribbled away.
For that, I dribble out 2 and a half stars for Haven 6.
Has:I also agree! I wished that this last installment, would have closed this series with a bang and whilst I liked how Aubrie Dionne intertwined the plot threads from the previous books. This was pretty much an anti-climactic ending and didn’t live up to the promise of the earlier books. I found that this was the weakest book in the series and I am disappointed because I loved the world-building that was set up. And even though this had actually a stronger romantic subplot compared to the previous books, I enjoyed the setting and premise much more but I am sad to say this was a bit of a meh book for me and I don’t think I will continue with the spin-off series.
2 and half stars for Haven 6.
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