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Star Trek Voyager: Children of the Storm

I never much liked Star Trek: Voyager.  It was always by far my least-favorite of the Trek TV shows.  However, I’m quite enjoying Kirsten Beyer’s post-finale series of Voyager novels.  (Click here for my review of Full Circle, and here for my review of Unworthy.)

It’s interesting that Pocket Books has given one single author, Kirsten Beyer, sole control over these Voyager novels for now.  The post-finale Deep Space Nine series, as well as the post-Nemesis Next Generation series, have all been guided by multiple authors working in collaboration.  It’s an interesting choice to give one author control over the Voyager books, and so far I am enjoying the tight continuity and consistency having a single author, with a single voice, gives to this series of books.

Children of the Storm picks up immediately following the events of Unworthy.  Eden Afsarah has replaced Willem Batiste as Fleet Admiral, allowing Chakotay to resume command of Voyager.  The Voyager fleet of nine starships is proceeding on their mission of exploration of the Delta Quadrant.  Their first order of business: to follow up on Captain Dax and the Aventine’s brief encounter (chronicled in David Mack’s Star Trek: Destiny trilogy) with a mysterious race called the Children of the Storm that was apparently able to defeat the Borg.  (When Dax and the Aventine used one of the Borg’s transwarp conduits to journey briefly into the Delta Quadrant, they encountered an enormous field of wreckage from hundreds of Borg vessels, apparently destroyed somehow by the Children of the Storm.)  Unfortunately, the Voyager fleet’s return to this area of space does not go well.  The xenophobic Children of the Storm destroy one of the fleet’s vessels, capture another, and wreak havoc on a third.  This leave Voyager and the rest of the fleet in disarray, struggling to determine how to proceed.

The set-up for this series of Voyager novels is that Voyager isn’t returning to the Delta Quadrant alone, but rather with a fleet of nine vessels.  One of my favorite aspects of Children of the Storm is the way Ms. Beyer began to explore the different ships of the fleet, and the different characters on those vessels.  Over the course of this novel, we get to know several of these new ships in-depth.  There’s the U.S.S. Demeter and its captain, Liam O’Donnell, a brilliant academic who leaves most of the business of actually running the ship to his XO, Lieutenant Commander Fife.  That arrangement works well until the Demeter gets captured and the two men disagree strongly on how to proceed, with Captain O’Donnell certain that a scientific solution can be found to their predicament, while Lt. … [continued]