Captain Lincoln’s last day is the hardest day of his life.
An old, onetime Captain of the interstellar spaceship USNAS Hope Eternal, Lincoln always knew that this day would come. For just as birthdays are carefully planned, so are deaths. And although he must reckon with his fate, this is not a somber story. It is a tale of love and sacrifice, told in the context of the most advanced civilization ever to exist—a society that has taken to the stars in an effort to save all that is best in humanity.
Follow Lincoln through his internal struggles, his joy in having lived, and his journey to peace.
The End is just the beginning.
There were an array of characters but the two that are the most important are Captain Lincoln and his lover Helen. Although they are the main stars, really Helen is just secondary to Captain Lincoln. He is a very noble character with a heavy burden on his soul.
The reason I didn’t say more in characters is because honestly there wasn’t anything more to say. Actually I thought it was going to go like the Dylan Thomas poem (Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light…) Instead the story is exactly what the summary presents, which in my eyes was severely disappointing.
In all fairness I was warned it was about people and relationships (most of all love), being more of a focus. It actually felt too perfect. Almost too rehearsed or contrived and that made the authenticity of the novel fall through for me. The beginning, middle, and end plot wise were all flat and steady. No blip on the radar, no fight. That just didn’t feel human. It did have emotional and one ‘breakdown’ moment but that wasn’t quite enough. I understand it was their way of life, but not one person tried to go against the grain? Not one person fought with every grain of their being to live? I’m not buying it.
Although set in a futuristic time this was not a science fiction. More like the science fiction aspect was a subset of the analysis of humanity’s strengths and weaknesses. It touched on cultural issues, the idea of individuality, the struggle of morality, and the creativity of a species constantly in conflict. I thought it interesting the author consistently reference Earth’s history and music but never added any ‘imagined’ ones to level the list. Absolutely fascinating and interesting! This aspect was well worth the read if only there more conflict.
Without the conflict in the characters and a physical manifestation of that conflict, it just didn’t sing true. For all of its fascinating points (that were basically an highly detailed and thoroughly researched opinion piece). I can accept that we adapt, and change and perhaps get better but the novel never touches on one person fighting back and trying to find another way. Not one person just saying ‘I want to live!’ Even if it ends poorly. The novel never touches on this nor does the character consider fighting against the system. In fact I can’t recall where anything like that happening on ‘The Ship’ (Hope Eternal) and that is utterly shocking to me.
This book has so much going for it, but I can’t believe in the history of humanity and all its conflict that not one person said no in this isolated society. It speaks to the human condition and for a novel that touches on humanity’s makeup, this is one that is needed to improve its authenticity. Still a worth while read!
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.