Star Trek: Voyager: The Eternal Tide by Kirsten Beyer
As the Voyager fleet continues its exploration of the Delta Quadrant, investigating the current status of sectors formerly controlled by the Borg becomes a key priority. Two of the fleet’s special mission vessels, the U.S.S. Galen and U.S.S. Demeter, are left at New Talax to aid Neelix’s people, while the Voyager, Quirinal, Esquiline, Hawking, and Curie do a systematic search for any remnants of the Borg or Caeliar, even as the Achilles moves to a location central enough to offer aid to the exploring vessels as needed. As this critical mission begins, Fleet Commander Afsarah Eden, who has shared what little she knows of her mysterious past with Captain Chakotay, begins to experience several more “awakenings” as she encounters artifacts and places that make her feel connected to her long-lost home. She is reluctant to allow these visions to overshadow the mission, and this becomes increasingly difficult as time passes. But in the midst of this growing crisis, no one in the fleet could anticipate the unexpected return of one of Starfleet’s most revered leaders—a return that could hold the very fate of the galaxy in the balance.
Angry Voyager fans, rejoice! I guess it’s not a spoiler to say that Janeway is back. Though, I won’t go into details, let’s just say a certain Q is involved. Any story involving the Q has my attention. And this was no exception. We get a brief look into the lives of Tom Paris, Torres, and Kim. But the story mainly revolves around Janeway and Chakotay (being the Captain of Voyager now) and Fleet Commander Eden, whose mysterious past finally comes to light. The final reveal of her history is a bit strange, but satisfying. Seven is personally affected by their latest mission with her Borg past, while dealing with a new romantic interest. And few old friends make brief but memorable appearances.
The Q storyline was the highlight for me. And the Fleet’s adventures were well-paced and exciting. The story ends with a climactic encounter and a satisfying finale. With the return of Janeway, it will be interesting to see where authors take the character in regards to Voyager. With plenty of suspense, drama, heartbreak, and mystery – this latest Voyager installment is well worth the wait.
Star Trek: Titan: Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin
Though the United Federation of Planets still reels from Andor’s political decision that will forever affect the coalition, Captain William T. Riker and the crew of the U.S.S. Titan are carrying out Starfleet’s renewed commitment to deep space exploration. While continuing to search the Beta Quadrant’s unknown expanses for an ancient civilization’s long-lost quick-terraforming technology— a potential boon to many Borg-ravaged worlds across the Federation and beyond—Titan’s science specialists encounter the planet Ta’ith, home to the remnant of a once-great society that may hold the very secrets they seek. But this quest also takes Titan perilously close to the deadly Vela Pulsar, the galaxy’s most prolific source of lethal radiation, potentially jeopardizing both the ship and what remains of the Ta’ithan civilization. Meanwhile, Will Riker finds himself on a collision course with the Federation Council and the Andorian government, both of which intend to deprive Titan of its Andorian crew members. And one of those Andorians—Lieutenant Pava Ek’Noor sh’Aqaba—has just uncovered a terrible danger, which has been hiding in plain sight for more than two centuries. . . .
Now that Andor has left the Federation, Starfleet is trying to pull its Andorian crew from their positions aboard starships to supposedly lower profile postings elsewhere. And Captain Riker has been told to hand over all seven of his Andorian crew. They won’t be forced to repatriate as Andor demands, but Riker and the rest of his crew aren’t happy with Starfleet’s decision.
Meanwhile, the Titan has noticed a planet affected by radiation from a nearby pulsar. And it’s ancient technology has deteriorated to the point of near destruction for the remaining inhabitants. But when an ancient artificial intelligence is awoken, it reaches out to two of Titan’s crew members for help in repairing the planet’s defenses.
This is only the seventh book in the Titan series, but the crew already has a strong bond and camaraderie. The crew is very diverse with fascinating new characters as well as a handful of familiar ones. If you aren’t current in the political climate of the “current” Star Trek universe, don’t let that deter you. Plenty is explained here in regards to the Andorians and as with other series, this is mostly a standalone story. Yet the suspense and mystery builds with the Andorian situation and leaves off in a bit of a cliffhanger ending for several crewmembers. While part of the mystery aboard the Andorian ship is predictable, there is a surprising twist I didn’t see coming in regards to an intriguing alliance. Fast-paced and full of fun adventure, Fallen Gods was an incredibly enjoyable read.