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austinchapman

in libris

Read much. Talk little.

Currently reading

The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. A: Middle Ages
Stephen Greenblatt, Alfred David, James Simpson, M.H. Abrams
Progress: 367/543 pages
SPOILER ALERT!

Children of the Storm -- good Trek!

Star Trek: Voyager: Children of the Storm - Kirsten Beyer

This will be a bit spoilery, especially if you haven't read Star Trek: Destiny (which, if you haven't, you really must read!).

 

Plot details: The Voyager fleet split off into different directions in the previous novel (Unworthy). While Voyager was dealing with the Indign, a few of the other ships were investigating the Children of the Storm, a race of telepathic, telekinetic space spheres that destroyed an entire Borg fleet when Captain Dax took the Aventine to the Delta Quadrant in Destiny. Voyager finishes its Indign mission and finds that the Children of the Storm part of the fleet hasn't been heard from... uh-oh! From there it's a race against time as the good guys try not to die at the hands of these Children while at the same time upholding Federation principles of non-violent exploration (to the extent that it's possible, anyway).

 

Verdict: This one has an interesting premise, which is part Voyager (strange enemy was invulnerable to the Borg!) and part Original Series (the aliens are very alien and the story is driven by a desire to learn and communicate rather than destroy, using a combination of Federation empathy and Trekky science). So, it's on the good side as far as Trek plots go. The characters here are interesting too. While Unworthy focused primarily on the usual heroes of the Voyager story-line, this one is populated with characters on a few of the other ships in the fleet. I was expecting this kind of character diversity ever since the Voyager fleet got together for the purpose of exploring the Delta Quadrant, but it's here for the first time that it actually happens. The captain and the doctor (both old dogs) of the Esquiline have some good moments, but the most compelling parts of the novel take place on the Demeter, with its mutinous contention between the commanding officer (a real galaxy-class biologist) and the XO assigned to keep an eye on him. While tensions rise on board the ship, the Children of the Storm have them under siege. Some want an all-out fight for survival while the more enlightened commander wants to find a scientific/diplomatic solution. He's no Picard, but his solution is elegant and very much in the spirit of the best of Star Trek.

 

Despite some clumsy writing here and there, the character-development and good old-fashioned Trek plot make Children of the Storm a pretty good read, even if you're not a big Voyager fan.

 

Next up: after two or three non-Trek books, I'll read the brand-new TOS trilogy (Legacies), which should be complete and in bookstores by the end of August!