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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-03-06 11:57
Star Trek: Voyager: A Pocket Full of Lies by Kirsten Beyer
A Pocket Full of Lies (Star Trek: Voyager) - Kirsten Beyer

Boy, am I glad I stuck with this series despite the last 4 very mediocre entries as this is certainly the best part since Children of the Storm... despite it featuring not just one Janeway (which is already often too much), but 2.

 

Voyager continues to explore the D-quadrant and learns that apparently a Janeway is leading one faction in a civil war. How is that possible? Meanwhile, Icheb encounters troubles on his first assignment as B'Elanna's assistant, and Nancy Conlon seems to suffer from PTSD after her being possessed.

* Icheb

Loved him, he felt like a real person, not just a prodigy. And I was definitely like "Oh, little Icheb has a crush" when he met Bryce, so I'm looking forward to seeing more of them. Which brings me to my next point:

* fleshing out the various crews

Of course, the focus lies on the TV-crew, but I love (and that's what has carried me through the last 4 books as well) how the crews of the other ships get introduced bit by bit. This time it was Bryce, but also Dr. Sal and Farkas, we got glimpses into the inner workings on Demeter (aside from O'Donnell and Fife whom I still both love to bits) with lots of potential for future characterization of the chief engineer and his issues. And on Voyager itself there's Sharak, another part which made the last trilogy bearable, and Cambridge who I feel still needs some substance. But then again, he has to redeem himself with me for his ridiculous angsting over his relationship with Seven lately. Then there's

* Nancy Conlon

I understood some of her motivations, especially trying to make the computer systems more impervious to outside influence. She has a lot to work through after all. But I thought that plot thread went off the rails at the end. I don't quite see the need to sequester her off on the Galen. Granted, she's borderline suicidal (much as B'Elanna was back in season 5) and she's suffering from a degenerative disease. But isolating her? Can't the medical tests be run on Voyager where she has friends (and Cambridge as a counselor)? And why not let her work (of course under supervision and psychological treatment)? Right now her immune system is down, okay, but the various doctors didn't judge her as susceptible to infections yet for that to be a reason for isolation. And if it's a syndrome that Xolani gave her... well, isn't there some kind of copy of her from before in the transporter buffers that could be used as a template for her genetic material? I guess the transporters have been used for more outrageous deus-ex-machina solutions before.

I'm glad, though, that a not easily curable disease popped up in Star Trek for once. I'm just wary where this is going. And I'm not even talking about the baby, because the way I see it, Conlon didn't really reject the idea of a baby, but is in such a fatalistic mood that she can't reconcile any inkling of hope with her situation. The doctors, though, tread quite a fine line, more or less forcing her to have the baby for the sake of its stem cells (but even it she decides to abort they'd still be able to use the embryonic stem cells). First of all, it's Conlon's decision to undergo a certain treatment and her (and Kim's) decision to have a baby. I fear in this we are getting quite close again to the Troi-dilemma of Gods of Night.

* Paris, B'Elanna, Seven

I'm glad they took a bit of a back seat in this - quite frankly I'm a bit tired of the Paris-family issues.

* Tuvok

I was looking forward to seeing him since Eternal Tide. I haven't read any Titan novels since Over a torrent sea (which I barely remember save for the aquatic lifeforms), so I don't know anything about his arc there. But I think with this novel the open ends with Voyager have been solved.

I absolutely liked his connection with denzit Janeway... somehow it felt more true to their original relationship than anything Voyager managed to show from season 3 or 4 upwards. Both have been changed by atrocious events, both are damaged but the core of their relationship is still there. And I can totally relate to that - and even to the trust issues that are mentionned in the end. Granted, his hiding the fact that there's a child involved wasn't really a rational decision, but then again, Tuvok wasn't in a rational place, esp concerning a child, right then (and considering all the manipulation of his spirit he went through in the series and beyond, where practically every other week his Vulcan shields were damanged, his not being the "perfect Vulcan" anymore does make sense). The way I see it, he wanted to spare denzit Janeway the pain of needlessly losing her child, the pain of seeing her world come crashing down even more than it already has, the same pain he is going through. Which helped him to finally address his own issues and sort of start relating to his friends and extended family again instead of pushing everyone away.

BTW, is there a reason why Tuvok who is a lt. commander is called Lieutenant? That was kind of pet peeve in the series and pops up here as well.

* the main plot

I have to admit that at some points I couldn't quite follow all the twists and turns of who did what when - reminded me a bit of the multiverse/Omega/Q-technobabble of Enternal Tide, to be honest. So let me see if I got this straight: The Year of Hell happens, Voyager issues buoys which are time-shielded. The whole year gets reset when Voyager destroys Annorax's ship - but the buoys still exist because they're shielded. The Krenim find the buoys, get interested in Janeway and decide to investigate her further. They create the anomaly in Shattered by sending a chroniton torpedo on the past Voyager and pluck past Janeway through the anomaly (intending for it to be "our" Janeway). So actually since that moment there have been 2 Janeways in "our" universe?

The technobabble aside, as said above, no matter how she came into being, I liked denzit Janeway. She absolutely felt like a plausible continuation of pre-season 1 Janeway, she's utterly human and lost, in short relatable which our Janeway hasn't been since, well, about season 4 when Tuvok and Chakotay were shoved aside (see Scorpion, see Equinox etc) in favour of Seven and Janeway lost her vulnerability a bit. And honestly, I share those trust issues which are a recurring theme since she never bothered to actually explain her decisions and motivations in the later seasons and onwards. Of course, as captain she doesn't have to, but if she wants her officers to trust her than she has to - because trust is earned. What I absolutely didn't like was the way our Janeway was kind of deified. I guess after Eternal Tide she can walk on water, everyone is in awe of her and "what she's been through". Well everyone suffered on Voyager and it's high time that Janeway somehow becomes human again instead of that super-human being who came back from the dead. Beyer seems awfully fond of Janeway - which isn't necessarily a bad thing, of course -, but I'm really waiting for some flaws in her character to appear and be addressed. Because right now she's a kind of shining beacon of virtuousness who can do no wrong. And I'm sick of that.

All the twists and turns definitely kept me on my toes. Dayne goes from being denzit Janeway's saviour to her tormentor, back to being her tormentor and her saviour... I absolutely liked that, and the way he manages to save her and Mollah (well, I guessed who she was when the Janeways went through the portal the first time - but I love the origin of her name *g*) in the end with Q's interference. He definitely redeems himself with these actions in my opinion and suffers for it at the hands of his brother - I hope at some point the Krenim will be revisited and maybe Dayne can be rescued (even if he can't be reconciled with his wife and daughter during denzit Janeway's lifetime, he at least gave her some sort of happy ending).

 

Just one thing: Chakotay's decision to destroy the minefield around the disputed planet just to save his away team... very questionable in terms of non-interference and ultimately without any benefit to either his team or the outcome.

To make a long review short, a great book, definitely the best Trek-novel in quite some time.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-01-25 13:02
Star Trek: Voyager: Full Circle by Kirsten Beyer
Star Trek: Voyager: Full Circle - Kirsten Beyer

Full Circle is the first of the Beyer VOY-re-relaunch book, taking the flaundering series up in time to frame the Borg-invasion, the Destiny-events and their repercussions.

 

First of all, there's Janeway who, after finally admitting that she's in love with Chakotay, apparently dies in the TNG novel "Before Dishonor" - leaving Chakotay deeply depressed and questioning everything. He in turn has to seek mandatory counseling over whether or not he's still fit to command Voyager (which he isn't so sure of himself), meeting Counselor Cambridge... who... well, just think "House". Anyway, their sessions definitely are highlights of this book. As is his interaction with Seven who's deeply damaged by her contact with the Caeliar.

 

A second part of this novel deals with B'Elanna and Miral - especially the latter's standing as some kind of messiah amongst a fanatical Klingon group, leading to Miral's kidnapping. All this prompts B'Elanna to build her own ship and essentially fake her and her daughter's deaths in order to escape to the D-quadrant where she hopes to meet up again with Tom when the VOY-fleet gets deployed there. First of all, I don't like Klingon mythology, never have, never will. And then I don't quite see the reason for B'Elanna' move. Granted, moving beyond that group's range must seem a good idea, but what about those hurt by her faking her death? And the way it looks at the end, that B'Elanna will rejoin Voyager... well, won't the Klingons she hopes to escape take notice of her (and especially Miral's) reappearance?

 

The third part is about forming a fleet of ships around Voyager to investigate in the D-quadrant whether the Borg are really gone and whether there's any trace left of the Caeliar. Both Fleet Captain Eden and Admiral Batiste seem to have ulterior motives for returning/going to the D-quadrant, and I'm looking forward to seeing them revealed in further books.

 

Overall, an engaging restart to the Voyager-series. Chakotay is much more alive than he ever was before... maybe due to not being overshadowed by Janeway?

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-11-03 20:42
Star Trek: Voyager: Atonement by Kirsten Beyer
Star Trek: Voyager: Atonement - Kirsten Beyer

To be honest, the only reason I even picked this book up was because I'm a completist - I can't leave a series uncompleted. So, was it worth the effort? Yes and no.

 

I think the Voyager relaunch has been flaundering since Janeway's return - which changed the dynamics on Voyager back to what they had been in the series. That's a shame. I don't need a self-doubting Chakotay who will always look towards Janeway to make the difficult decisions. And I certainly don't need a Janeway who is calm and collected all the time, who turns out right all the time etc... who's just flat as a character, I don't see any depth there worth exploring. And I don't need one character again overshadowing all the others who finally had some time and space to breathe (and what a marvel to witness that has been!). That's boring, I've seen just that for 7 years on TV. Move on.

 

The second complaint is the mass of energy beings who can take over personalities or swallow ships etc which VOY has seen in the course of the most recent books. That leads to technobabble, and the thought of doom all around (which won't happen anyway - at least not to the canon-ships). I think it's a cheap plot-device because there's little left in the "real world" that can pose enough of a threat to the protagonists. That's not just the case here, but overall in Star Trek lately.

 

The final complaint about this book in particular is the sort of reset-button-feeling I got at the end. The Federation and the Confederation part ways amicably (if not as allies), Paris and his mother are back on good terms, Janeway's sister has forgiven her in absentia for the grievous act of returning to Starfleet, Seven and Cambridge are back to being an item (even if Seven's still got to deal with the aftermath of her experiences), Icheb's now assigned to Voyager making any ties to Earth quite neglectable etc. The only one not coming out of the experience unscathed is the Doctor, but even he comes to terms with what happened to him and his programme. It's too neat, and I imagine due to this being the end of a trilogy, making it impossible to leave things unanswered.

 

Atonement certainly didn't have it easy as a follow-up to Acts of Contrition which I honestly disliked. It's not that I felt uncomfortable which I usually actually enjoy, but some ideas just felt ludicrous, such as the Paris-mediation or Janeway's referring to the chain of command (Janeway and listening to the chain of command?!?) when the Doctor reported his misgivings over Starfleet Medical's handling of the epidemic. And I was particularly repulsed by Cambridge's juvenile angsting, and even more so by the Starfleet's officers reaction to the Confederation's internal politics - granted, their stance towards women's rights is appalling, as is the way people go hungry when it would be possible, but not profitable to do something about it. It's a mirror image to how the world works right now, and I find it terrifying that enlightened Starfleet isn't able to remember its own past and to not just see the horrors, but also the potential to evolve... like Earth did. It's not just this moral highground that's bothering me, it's also the fact that moral conflicts didn't prevent the Federation from allying themselves with the Klingons - or later on with the Cardassians, Ferengi etc. So, is it really the appalling moral stance on important issues? Or rather the fact that the Confederation doesn't pose a direct threat? Or that it doesn't offer an immediate benefit to the Federation to form an alliance? They are after all quite a distance away... Honestly, I find that double standard harder to swallow than I found the social issues within the Confederation. And that Mattings in the end advocated for "The Source" - when Janeway and Chakotay were all for destroying this being without knowing about it, without making any effort to contact it (safe for using the protectors)... well, what does that say about Starfleet?

 

The intriguing and redeeming aspect of this book certainly was Seven and Paris' revealing the one-man conspiracy surrounding the plague. Although, again, I'm not sure whether Starfleet really learned from the past. Where is a system of checks and balances? How is it possible for one man not only to create and perpetuate a plague, but also to recreate an extinct species? I liked the way Julia Paris finally felt useful again (which was the reason for her being so ridiculous in the previous books, I suppose), and I liked seeing her on her home turf - organizing things, moving with and handling prominent figures. Again, that's a nice allusion to nowadays politics, I guess, where the experienced elderly are often shoved to the side instead of making use of their experience and connections. As said before, just giving her a purpose and letting her see her son in his professional environment seems a bit simplistic to make all the familial trouble vanish. But then again, it came pretty out of the blue, and that's where it should go again. Garak's appearance felt more like a plot-device, used as a link between what's happening in the Tamarian Embassy and getting the higher-ups to listen. I really love Garak, and his voice felt right here... but it also felt a bit like small-universe syndrome. I mean no one thinks about using the media without having Garak pointing it out?!?

 

Interestingly, Beyer's strength is to introduce diverse and 3-dimensional original characters - O'Donnell is one example with his unique style of command (or, rather, relinquishing command), Dr Sharak is another. I'm not too fond of the episode which introduced the Tamarians, but his interaction with Wildman becomes one of the highlights of this trilogy. I'm unsure as to how much we'll see of the Wildmans in upcoming books, though, since they're all relocating to Ktaria and settling down nicely. Which, as mentioned before, made Icheb to sole loose end on Earth - which gets tied up as well. Admiral Akaar who takes command over the Voyager fleet personally lets him graduate early because of his actions during this trilogy, claiming that he reminds him of Kirk... First of all, I don't agree with that assessment at all since Icheb's actions were a result of his loyalty to the Voyager crew, not his own initiative. And I'm not sure how Admiral Akaar who was born during Kirk's 5-year mission can be reminded of Kirk - wouldn't that require some more personal acquaintance? Kirk died when Akaar was in his mid-20s... so how much of Kirk's intuitive actions can he have witnessed to be reminded of him a century later?

 

Then there's Seven's development as a person, an adult woman - and boy has she grown into herself. Her handling of Axum, of not being persuaded to join him but instead still reaching out to him whenever he's ready to accept his reality as an individual, is an immensely important step for her as an individual. And it feels real and consistent. Perhaps that's why Cambridge's reaction to her returning to Earth and his angsting over their relationship feels so juvenile and immature. It's quite interesting to see the triangle between Cambridge, the Doctor and Seven develop - and to see the more probably emotionally stunted beings be more in tune with the situation than the ship's counselor. Overall, the Doctor experiences quite an interesting development in this novel as well, choosing to sacrifice part of himself for the greater good. His conversations with Cambridge and especially the reunion with Seven were highlights of this novel. Understated, yet deeply emotional. Well done.

 

This novel felt like the ending of season 1 of the VOY-relaunch (or re-relaunch if you will) as many of the plotthreads opened in earlier books, mainly Meegan, were picked up in this trilogy and resolved. I'm not going to get more into that plot than I already did at the beginning of this review as it didn't really pull me in in any way. Maybe if Kashyk's possession had played out differently... It remains to be seen whether the transmission of Janeway's trial will make an impact on the species VOY alienated during its first mission in the Delta Quadrant. And it remains to be seen whether the original characters, like O'Donnell and Fife or the Vesta's crew, will continue to play an important role - or whether they'll be sidelined. Unfortunately, I'm always a bit wary of a big cast of characters in a series where there are only 1 or 2 books per year.

 

And I'm still not sure whether I like Beyer's Janeway who's just so perfect. And I keep returning to that one aspect, unfortunately. Of all the VOY characters she comes across as the most 2-dimensional one, yet the one overshadowing everyone else, even if she's not on screen so to speak. Is Chakotay in particular now going to be only defined in relation to Janeway? Or is he allowed to be his own person - because how else should their romantic relationship even work if they're not equal? 4 books into her resurrection I still wished she had remained dead, honestly... also because the current trend in TrekLit to resurrect anyone borders on the ridiculous. Is it too much to ask that being dead is permanent? That it can't be undone on some editorial whim?

 

Still, I guess I'll keep tuning in to the ongoing drama in the Delta Quadrant - but how about transferring Seven to the Demeter and setting it loose in its own series? There wouldn't be any doubt about whether I'd pick up that one...

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2014-11-16 14:23
Star Trek: Voyager: Acts of Contrition by Kirsten Beyer
Star Trek: Voyager: Acts of Contrition - Kirsten Beyer

This is the second part of a trilogy that began with Protectors earlier this year. I have to say that this book leaves me ambivalent - there are strong points, but also passages that simply made me angry... angry enough to want to abandon it.

 

Let's start with those - and they almost exclusively pertain to the trial between Paris and his mother over custody of his daughter. Miral's wellbeing wasn't in any danger, she's a happy, well-adjusted child, living with parents who adore her and would do anything to protect her. So what's really in question here? Tom and B'Elanna's fitness at parenting clearly not. Their characters? Having lied to protect Miral? Having hurt others while doing so? But actually, what does that have to do with them having custody? I don't dispute that Tom and B'Elanna made questionable choices. Choices that had an impact on the people around them. But then again, nobody is exempt from making bad decisions. But if we start there, who's left to be allowed to have children?

 

Then there's Julia Paris who admits herself that she apparently made mistakes raising Tom... so shouldn't her claim be turned around to herself? Can't it be said: Well, you messed up the education of one child, who says you won't mess up another one? So, what makes her fit to raise Miral? She's a woman who has so much anger for her son that it's not a far leap to predict she'll influence the child against her parents. And while we're at it, her anger stems from the fact that Tom simply doesn't meet her expectations in him, he's a disappointment - but is that Tom's fault? Or is she at fault for not being able to let go of her wishes and see her son for who he really is... with his faults but also his qualities.

 

And now Starfleet's way of dealing with this issue. First of all, there never should have been a trial or mediation - the claim should have been dismissed from the start because Miral's wellbeing was never in question, Tom and B'Elanna's characters were and their relationship with family. Do I think this relationship needs work? Sure. But not in a court of law. At the first session at the latest the matter should have been redirected to family counseling. The final ruling, while at least factually correct (thank God, I feared it would go the other way), left quite a bit to desire: Tom's selfish? Where did that judge get that idea from? I grant you he was selfish back in the early TV-seasons, but now? Julia's the only one who acted selfishly in this whole case. *She* felt slighted. *She* was disappointed by her son. *She* felt it necessary to remove Miral. It was all about her feelings, but did she ever wonder why Tom felt he couldn't confide in her? Why their relationship doesn't work? No, it's easier to put the blame squarely on his shoulders.

 

Secondly, the whole concept of the trial, the possible consequences (every child of B'Elanna and Tom's being removed!) just reeks of the American judicial system where everyone can sue everyone on some ridiculous notion or other. There's got to be some due process, especially in family law - so where was social services, investigating Miral's situation? How's it supposed to be possible to make an objective ruling over what's best for the child if said child's living conditions aren't researched? How's it possible to even consider ruling Tom and B'Elanna unfit parents for all time, thusly making it possible to remove any future child as well? That's just ludicrous... and makes me angry. Removing a child from its parents should be based on the welfare of the child, on the current situation and be judged on a case-by-case base. Not like this. This just goes against everything I believe in a judicial system. And if this is the way Starfleet/the Federation handles such sensitive issues... well, let's leave it at that.

 

Of course, raising children while on a space ship is, generally speaking, an issue which should be addressed. Is it wise to take children on missions that are potentially dangerous? Is it good for them to have practically no companions close in age and be surrounded only by adults? And how do you get around that general issue? Forbid couples to have children while in service? Or on ship-duty? This, along with the Paris/Torres-family situation, both having their childhood traumas, both being raised by single parents (Tom because his father was on ship-duty, B'Elanna because her father left them), both left with trust issues because of their upbringing. That should have been explored instead of the whole issue being reduced to one woman's problems with her own son and lonely existence. The appearance of B'Elanna's father raising just those trust-issues were very much appreciated. I'd like to see more of him in the future.

 

Sadly, this whole matter dampened my enjoyment of the rest of the book quite immensely.

 

The Voyager fleet explores options of an alliance with the Confederacy it met back in Protectors. Again, it's not so much the what, it's the how it's written that bothers me. Everywhere, the Starfleet ships find issues that go against their philosophy: a strong influence of a commerce consortium that withholds technologies from the population to rule the market, minorities being barred from health care, women being relegated to child bearing, no regard for ecological balance in agriculture and the list goes on and on. There's a certain sense of superiority that all the Starfleet officers display that just rankles. Because even if all of the above is going against Federation ideals, one should not forget his or her own history. Just 400 years ago (Star Trek-time), Earth was at the same stage as the Confederacy - and look at where they are now. So instead of frowning, of criticizing, of looking down at the Confederacy's way of life, of judging and finding them lacking, they should just accept things the way they are. And if those differences turn out to be insurmountable, well, then just move on. Is there room for improvement? You bet there is. But it's one thing to address the issue, it's another to try and force your own point of view on others.

 

One of the things that bothers me most in ST is the fact that there's very rarely a grey area in first contact situations. Either they're with us, which also includes they conform to Starfleet ideals (or learn to do so very quickly and/or at least recognize the error of their ways of life...), or they're against us. It's friend or foe. But can't there be a treaty without it being all-encompassing? Well, of course, one grey area is: Let's just ignore moral issues if they have something we want (oil... er... dilithium, right of passage...). So it's mostly what's best for us, sometimes regardless of the cost. In this case the Voyager fleet meets someone who in turn asks, what's best for *us*?

 

Anyway, that plotthread twists and turns - Janeway twists and turns... and considers self-sacrifice when it turns out (again) that her decisions in the past might have unknown consequences. Duh... live with it and move on. But is that a reason to suddenly interfere with internal Confederacy-politics? To actually side with them in battle? And then there's the fact that the Indign and that advanced hologramm Zimmermann created as companion for the Doctor might be influencing the political landscape of the Confederacy... and everything is put in question. I liked the way old enemies turned up - but apparently not of their own volition... So what's coming next here? And how'll the apparent coup d'etat in the Confederacy turn out? And what about the fragile alliance between Chakotay and Mattings, O'Donnell's interference etc? There's quite a lot of room to cover yet.

 

And that brings me to the last issue - to me the most interesting one which is the catomic plague. Well, and isn't that a mess. Starfleet Medical and its "Commander" reminds me awfully of Section 31 - secrecy, lack of morals in experimentations on living sentient beings, no access... and no one to question it. I wonder why that is. This is another one of those annoying things that puts a dark shadow over Starfleet while it itself frowns upon other peoples' customs. So, what's the Commander really after? Trying to cover up his mistakes? Genetically reviving extinct species - to what purpose? Using Coridan as a huge experiment? Using Seven, Axum and other former Borg as guinea pigs?

 

While Sharak's plot trying to uncover more about the plague was interesting enough, Seven's was quite lacking. I really don't want to know more about her sex life - and that's what she's been reduced to lately. The Doctor, Cambridge, Axum... Seven's perceptions of her relations with Cambridge contrasting those with Axum - boring, boring, boring.

 

I was looking forward to seeing her interaction with Axum, because I thought he was the only good thing that happened in "Unimatrix". So I was glad to see him return. But what has he been reduced to? Someone who, again, only lives in a fantasy, and forces others (i.e. Seven) to conform to his wishes? His mentally influencing Seven was just creepy, the deliberations of the sex scenes and the emotions they evoke in Seven due to their mental link... it really gave me the shivers to read this, and I wonder if Seven actually had a choice in any of this, being overwhelmed (subdued?) by Axum's presence in her mind.

 

From the beginning I doubted if any of it took place in the real world... the isolation, Axum's overwhelming presence, his apparent neglect of events happening around them - something just smelled wrong. And I was happy to be proven right when Seven finally managed to escape her gilded cage and returned to the real world - but to what end?

 

And then, finally, perhaps the most tragic part of the whole story was the Doctor's disintegration. It reminded me a lot of what happened in "The Swarm" and "Latent Image". Zimmermann tampered with his programme to make him forget his love for Seven - forgetting that the Doctor evolved beyond his programme. How could you excise something so vital to his very being without damaging everything else? And was it right to do that, even if the Doctor himself wanted it? On the other hand, do we "real" people have the chance to just make ourselves forget/not care any longer if something gets too much? And isn't that where many psychological illnesses have their origin - coping mechanisms running awry? So why should it be any different for the Doctor?

 

Again, there's much shade in this book, but there are the occasional rays of light as well which keep me interested in the overall story. So I guess I'll keep reading and hope that some of the issues will get properly addressed in the final book of this trilogy. There's one thing I've been afraid of since Janeway's return - that is that the focus of the relaunch will once again return to her, with Seven and the Doctor in second place (interspersed with the occasional B'Elanna-Klingon issue) and everyone else taking the backseat again. Cambridge is reduced to pining over Seven, Chakotay wasn't present much, either. B'Elanna's is reduced to her pregnancy, and Harry... well, at least he had something to do other than sitting at some console. O'Donnell had the opportunity to irritate his first officer by being unconventional, again, so that's something. I exaggerate but you catch me drift, I guess.

 

I think right now the Voyager-relaunch is at a crossroads. Since Children of the Storm, which to me still is its highlight, the quality went down considerably. Some characters, which where so painstakingly introduced, feel stagnant now, some, who where finally allowed to take the spotlight, lost their forward momentum... and the whole character dynamics are on the verge of falling back on old patterns. Which would be a real shame. So I guess, Atonement will be a deciding point for me on whether to keep following the Voyager relaunch.

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