Friday, September 18, 2015

James Review -- Star Trek: Voyager: Atonement

This week I decided to review Star Trek: Voyager: Atonement by Kirsten Beyer.

There are two main arcs to the story, both continuing from where the previous book ended. One focuses on the Delta Quadrant, the Kinara alliance of several races which the starship Voyager had unpleasant dealings and battles with during her first voyage in the Delta Quadrant, and the Seriareen, an ancient cluster of alien minds possessing the leaders of the Kinara, while the other continues the story of the catomic plague ravaging worlds in the Alpha Quadrant which were already devastated by the recent Borg invasion. 

The Delta Quadrant Story opens just after Admiral Janeway agrees to surrender herself to the Kinara for trial in order to prevent Voyager’s destruction. As Janeway undergoes the trial, her crew tries to prove their suspicions about the leadership of the Kinara to the Confederacy of the Worlds of the First Quadrant and seek their aid, despite believing that a long term alliance is currently impossible. 

In the end Janeway is rescued and the Seriareen captured with the surviving Kinara vessels sent home to explain what happened, though in some areas the Kinaara fleet collapses into civil war. But Lsia, the leader of the Seriareen convinces Voyager that the Seriareen desire to try to build a new future but that they want to visit their home world first. But their home is located in a region still suffering the effects of subspace weapons used by the rebellion which destroyed the ancient Seriareen empire. However, the Seriareen have a few tricks up their sleeve to seize Voyager, and by far the most powerful of their hosts is waiting. Plus the Doctor, still struggling to deal with the side effects of alterations made to his program after a devastating crash, must face the crash’s cause and decide what he will sacrifice to deal with the problem permanently. Back on Earth, Seven of Nine manages to make a deal with Commander Briggs, buying time which she uses to arrange a safe haven for most of the subjects used as catom sources at the Tamarian embassy. 

Eventually Tom Paris attempts to reconcile with his mother and seeks her help for the catomic refuges but when their immediate superiors refuse to listen to what they have discovered, Seven must return to the lab studying the catomic plague alone and attempt to discover proof of the crimes committed by Commander Briggs as well as his motivations, while Tom and his mother try to find a way to deliver their evidence directly to the Federation president despite all normal avenues to a meeting being blocked.

I give this book 7.5 out of 10. It does a good job of wrapping up the plots of the prior books and leaving the next book to be a completely new tale, and I loved the ending, especially the little bits of humor. However there is one key character in the catomic plot whose fate is ignored in that plot’s end, and I question if this was intentional or if the character in question was just forgotten. Also, the reconciliation between Tom Paris and his mother seemed too quick and easy to me, given that they were locked in an all-out legal battle for custody of Tom’s children in the previous book. 

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