Children of the Storm by Kirsten Beyer is the latest in the series of Star Trek Voyager books that traces the adventures of the crew of the Voyager after they return to Earth.
Star Trek novels are a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine – I really enjoyed the various TV series when they were on (although watching repeats on Foxtel sometimes reminds me to never revisit the things I remember loving!). Still, I’ve been particularly enjoying the continuation of the Voyager, Deep Space Nine (my favourite of the TV series) and Enterprise stories in book form.
Children of the Storm continues the story of a group of Starfleet vessels, lead by Voyager, that returns to the Delta quadrant using slipstream drive technology. I think this has been a very clever premise for this particular storyline. In some ways, the Star Trek universe has gotten too big and the Federation too powerful to have really interesting stories. The scale of the threat required to trouble the Federation as a whole are so grandiose that the scale of story telling required to match it had become almost impossible to do well.
The move to a nine ship fleet in hostile space means that the stories can be toned down as well, and that is frankly a relief. I enjoyed that aspect of this story.
The story itself was fairly standard Star Trek fare, with an inscrutable alien race, cultural misunderstandings, the threat of war and inter-species understanding triumphing in the end. The story was competently executed, although there was a significant amount of “set up” work this story had to achieve to help establish the fleet and the main characters. It did this well – in some places it was a little clunky, but only in a minor way.
One element grated a little – the constant reference to the miracle of young life in the form of a precocious child was overblown. It reminded me of the way new parents can go on at length about their wonderful child, when everyone else in the room is rolling their eyes (I was/am not immune to this syndrome myself, but in my case it’s different – my children really are that fantastic). I was not surprised to read in the author’s afterword that Beyer was a new parent. Hopefully that element of her authorial voice will get toned down a little in future books.
Apart from that a well executed novel establishing an interesting story arc for the Star Trek universe. Looking forward to reading more.
I also reviewed this book on Goodreads. View all my reviews.
This work by Mark Webb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Australia License.
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