Voices of Hope turns the tables entirely on what a book in The Seafort Saga can expect to be when you read it. The previous four books in the series were all written with a first person point of view, all of them from the view of Nicholas Seafort. With this book, everything is still written in the first person, but there are several different viewpoints, all of which are very central to the events that take place.
Philip Tyre Seafort, Nick’s son, is one of those viewpoint characters. Along with him are Pook, a trannie from New York; Mr. Chang, a neutral trader trannie; and Jared Tenere, the son of Adam Tenere, Nick’s assistant. The chapters written from Pook and Chang’s viewpoint are all written using the very thick trannie accent, which can be a little difficult to get used to understanding.
It was rather strange to go from seeing through Nick’s eyes for every book and then switch to the eyes of characters I’d never met before. Voices of Hope takes place about 15 years after Fisherman’s Hope, after Nick Seafort has spent a period of time in various political offices and then retired to what he hoped would be a quiet life out of the public eye. This is Nick Seafort however, so of course he does not get his wish.
Almost all of the action in this book takes place in the trannie world on the surface streets of New York City. Jared Tenere finds himself lost in their world while trying to run away from his father and Philip tries to track him down and winds up fending for himself against the trannies as well. Soon enough they are tangled up every which way with Pook and Mr. Chang and their world. The trannies are losing their source of water as the government routes the water to new skyscrapers they are building. By the end of the book the trannies are revolting against the government, tearing down skyscrapers, and going toe to toe with the military forces sent to quell them.
Nick Seafort is present from time to time for a lot of these events, but he is always shown through the eyes of another character. On the whole I did not mind that approach, but I also was hoping to see a little more of him to observe how he continues to change as a person. In what little interaction there was, the chapters from Philip’s point of view were the most informative. Nick loves his family very much, but he still struggles with the balance between duty and love. Towards the end of the book he is part of the action much more often, almost entirely alongside his son and at that point the author really starts to show how age, time, and being a father has helped change him for the better. He has even added a little bit of sneakiness into his dealing with other powerful figures as a result of his time in politics.
From my understanding, Voices of Hope is a unique entry into this series. The final two books revert back to being from the viewpoint of Nick while staying in the first person. I wonder if David Feintuch made the conscious decision to write Voices of Hope differently because in order to set up the remainder of the story he needed the reader to see things from a different perspective. Hopefully be the end of this month I’ll be able to finish the series and see how everything finally turns out for Nicholas Seafort.