Admiral Kathryn Janeway faces a tribunal determined to execute her for supposed crimes committed during Voyager's maiden trek through the Delta Quadrant. Captain Chakotay knows that the Kinara, several species now allied against the Full Circle fleet, are not all they appear to be. The Confederacy of the Worlds of the First Quadrant - a pact he cannot trust - is his only hope for unravelling the Kinara's true agenda and rescuing Admiral Janeway.
Reviewed on 12th September 2015
Voyager is back for the seventh story in Kirsten Beyer's re-relaunch of the series, and she must be doing something right because the publishers keep hiring her back. Sadly, I'm not so sure I would in their place - although there are some parts which remain fantastic, much of the book did little for me.
This is also the third part of a trilogy - and the combination of being books 3, 7 and 9 in a series leads to the many plot threads being a little confusing. Going in, there are at least three separate stories going on - one on Earth and several in the Delta Quadrant, featuring a range of characters both from the TV series and that have been introduced since.
My main issue with this book is that, despite having read all the books so far, I don't feel like I know the characters or where the plot has got to. One of the plots deals with TV show characters and some aliens which have come up at various points through the earlier novels, but I didn't feel that I'd ever been engaged with those plots sufficiently to feel concern for the characters and an urge for them to succeed. Another plot line followed new characters only, from one of the many ships that have joined Voyager's mission - and again I don't feel like I've had enough memorable exposure to the characters to make their plights engaging.
The one plot that did grip me was the one set on Earth - it featured a number of characters I'm familiar with, both from the TV show and from the wider novel series, where they've been well established and implanted into my memory by strong us by multiple authors. It had a strong plot which I was motivated to understand and follow and I was engaged in the idea that the characters solve the problems they face. This plot line as an entire novel would have really gripped me, but instead it's presented as the B-story. In all, this left me really looking forward to those chapters which followed the third of the story that interested me, and phasing out during the other scenes.
I really want to enjoy reading about Voyager and the characters that I've grown to know over many years, but I think it might be time that the focus was reviewed for the novel series - to tie it back to characters that the reader knows and is interested in, and to provide more standalone stories that don't assume an in-depth knowledge of the novels that have gone before.