Book Review – The Shoreless Sea by J. Scott Coatsworth

Liminal Sky #3
Publisher: DSP Publications
Pages: 386
Characters: Andy/Shandra, Kiryn/Dax, Gordy, Aine, Belynn, Destiny, Thierry
POV: 3rd
Genre: Science Fiction, Series

As the epic trilogy hurtles toward its conclusion, the fight for the future isn’t over yet. It could lead to a new beginning, or it might spell the end for the last vestiges of humankind. The generation ship Forever has left earth behind, but a piece of the old civilization lives on in the Inthworld—a virtual realm that retains memories of earth’s technological wonders and vices. A being named Lilith leads the uprising, and if she succeeds in setting its inhabitants free, they could destroy Forever. But during the generation ship’s decades-long voyage, humanity has evolved. Liminals with the ability to connect with the world mind and the Inthworld provide a glimmer of hope. They’ll have to face not only Lilith’s minions, but also the mistrust of their own kind and persecution from a new government as homotypicals continue to fear what they can’t understand. The invasion must be stopped, the Inthworld must be healed, and the people of Forever must let go of their past and embrace what they’re meant to become.

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As with all the books I’ve read by this author, the world building is fabulous, and well thought out. One of the reasons I’ve enjoyed this series so much is the glimpses of a world over several generations as it’s grown from its beginning as a seed to a rich society and world. I love the idea of a fully realised world on a generation ship powered by a world mind. I also thought the idea of the Inthworld was very clever, especially with its exploration of the definition of reality not just in regard to that world but the people who inhabit it. The infrastructure of Forever is very well thought out, and I love the idea of using a balloon to deliver mail etc.

As an aside, I love the maps.

The other reason is seeing the characters grow, and following their lives from childhood into old age. I would recommend reading this series in order to fully appreciate the character arcs and growth. I enjoyed the references to characters in previous books who have since passed on, and meeting the latest generation in this story. I liked the different perspectives and thought that added to the story. I enjoy seeing characters through others’ eyes as well as their own.

I liked that the author tackled the idea that psychic powers can come with a very undesirable down side, and how he also used one character’s attempt to block her powers as a positive part of the plot in another context. I thought Destiny’s power was a very cool idea, and liked that the author didn’t shy away from the downside of ser ability. Thierry’s power stood out as very different too, especially with how dangerous he could be if influenced by the wrong people.

The plot kept me turning pages, and I particularly liked the strong connection to the history of Forever, and the link back to Jackson Hammond, and not just through his descendants. Lilith comes across as a very real threat, as is the political adversary in the latter part of the story, which has scary echoes of present day. Good SF has always used the setting of different worlds as commentary on current society and extrapolated where it might lead us, and The Shoreless Sea follows that trend in a very powerful way.

I also liked the subtle references/easter eggs to the author’s other series. I’m glad he’s writing more in this universe. I thought the hint of that at the ending of this story was very clever. I did have a chuckle over the name of the moon base as it brought back memories of Space 1999. Not sure whether that was intentional on the part of the author or not.

This story reminds me of why I enjoy science fiction, and I found it a very satisfying ending to a great series. I’d recommend it to readers who enjoy detailed world building, and fabulous layered characters. 5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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1 Response to Book Review – The Shoreless Sea by J. Scott Coatsworth

  1. Pingback: REVIEW: The Shoreless Sea – J. Scott Coatsworth

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