The Full Circle Fleet has resumed its unprecedented explorations of the Delta Quadrant and former Borg space. Commander Liam O’Donnell of the U.S.S. Demeter makes a promising first contact with the Nihydron—humanoid aliens that are collectors of history. They rarely interact with the species they study but have created a massive database of numerous races, inhabited planets, and the current geopolitical landscape of a large swath of the quadrant.
When an exchange of data is proposed via a formal meeting, the Nihydron representatives are visibly shaken when Admiral Kathryn Janeway greets them. For almost a century, two local species—the Rilnar and the Zahl—have fought for control of the nearby planet Sormana, with both sides claiming it as their ancestral homeworld. The shocking part is that for the last several years, the Rilnar have been steadily gaining ground, thanks to the tactics of their current commanding officer: a human woman, who appears to be none other than Kathryn Janeway herself…
There is no series in the known universe which can turn me into a screaming fangirl the way Star Trek Voyager can. And the thing is for the most part, Voyager was terrible, like some episodes were so cringeworthy I can’t watch them. Anyone remember that episode where Janeway and Paris evolve into lizards and have creepy lizard babies? But the thing is, no matter how terrible Voyager was, it was also my first love and I will defend it to the day I die. So when reviewing the Voyager books I find it incredibly difficult because for the most part they are terrible, but I don’t care because more Voyager is always a good thing.
I went into this book not expecting anything of it, and part of that is because Atonement was so disappointing. Kirsten Beyer brought back one of (in my opinion) the most interesting bad guys from Voyager, and what she did with him was (again in my opinion) anticlimactic. So really part of the reason I was blown away by this book is because I did not expect to be blown away by it. For the most part Star Trek books are mediocre at best. They are not great works of fiction. But from the very beginning this was an emotional rollercoaster. I was emotionally involved in a way I don’t ever remember being while reading a book. To the point where I was terrified to continue reading from just the thought that something might happen to these characters.
That terror for these characters only increased when Beyer brought Tuvok back (he moved over to the Star Trek: Titan series after Nemesis). It didn’t help that the last thing Riker says is something along the lines of “bring him back”, I’ve read enough books to know that’s code for someone’s gonna die. It was so nice having Tuvok back because it took him coming back to realise one of the things I had been missing was Tuvok. And I loved how this book was set just after Star Trek Destiny (the Titan books are now six years ahead of Voyager in the Star Trek timeline) and it took Tuvok going back to Voyager for him to get over what happened to him in Destiny, because it makes so much sense that he would need to go back.
One of the things I love about these new Voyager books is that Kirsten Beyer revisits some of the older episodes of Voyager and manages to make them better. Protectors went back and looked at that really awful episode Twisted and I loved how Janeway’s attitude in Night was explained with the String Theory trilogy. I love that with this book she managed to bring back the Year of Hell episodes and I especially love that she didn’t use the reset button trope we saw a lot on Voyager especially considering that Year of Hell was a huge reset button. However that was also one of the things which annoyed me in this book, all the different timelines and talk of the multiverse did start to get a little confusing.
Now one of the biggest reasons I love this book was a moment very close to the end which brought back a certain character and wrapped up a story line from a previous book, I won’t say what happened but it made me cry. And that was amazing because I almost never cry when reading a book. So the fact that a Star Trek book made me cry was just kind of unbelievable.
One last thing about this book is that I think it’s a great jumping in point to the Voyager reboot series. Considering it’s now 8 books long some people might not want to go back and start from the beginning but this book did a huge amount of explaining of the events up to that point, which in a way was annoying because I already knew what had happened, but I think it was a really good thing to do incase people wanted to jump in. Even if you haven’t read any of the other Voyager books this works great as a standalone novel and is definitely one to read if you are a fan of Voyager.
I know that most people don’t actually read my reviews so I’m hoping that if you’ve gotten to this point it means you have some sort of interest in this book. So I have decided to do a secret giveaway. The first person to comment on this post with “There’s coffee in that nebula.” will win a copy of A Pocket Full of Lies. Just remember that you have to be okay with giving me your address (if you’re under 18 check with your parents) and you have to live somewhere that book depository will ship to (you can check here).
Kirsten Beyer has confirmed that she is writing another two Voyager books, the first of which is called Architects of Infinity and will be released late 2017.