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Book Review: Star Trek Voyager: Children of the Storm July 14, 2011

by Robert Lyons , Filed under: Books,Review,VOY , trackback

How do you take a species that could have been a throw-away contribution to the Star Trek ethos and weave a unique and intricate tale from their story? Well, just ask Kirsten Beyer; or, better yet, read the results in her latest contribution to the Star Trek: Voyager saga, “Children of the Storm.” The TrekMovie novel review below.

 

REVIEW: Star Trek: Voyager: Children of the Storm
Kirsten Beyer
Mass-market Paperback – 432 pages

Pocketbooks – May 2011 – $7.99


As one of the first missions in Starfleet’s jaunt into the Delta Quadrant, three of the Full Circle ships – the Demeter, Planck, and Quirinal – and their crews seek to open relations with the mysterious alien species known as the Children of the Storm. These aliens, first introduced by David Mack in the Destiny Trilogy, had been able to drive the Borg from their system. The Federation’s interest is repaid with a direct and deadly attack.

While these crucial events are happening thousands of light years away, the Fleet Commander, Afsarah Eden, is still coming to terms with the reality of her ex-husband’s identity as she struggles to understand her own. When a tantalizing object comes aboard that might begin to open realms of exploration into her own life, she begins thinking about how the mission to the Delta Quadrant may bring her closer to home than she might imagine.
In the process of investigating the fates of the Demeter, Planck, and Quirinal, the Voyager crew learns more and more about the unique nature of the Children of the Storm, and offer to broker a life changing and perspective altering meeting for the Children, one which holds the key to the safety of the Starfleet ships who have dared to trespass in the Children’s home system.

With “Children of the Storm”, Kirsten Beyer continues to cement the vitality of her relationship with the Voyager re-launch. She owns each and every character in the story, and deploys them with ease. She effortlessly pens fan favorites (several years and life changes removed from their former Delta Quadrant selves) while, at the same time, introducing new and vital individuals to the storytelling mix.

Afsarah Eden’s intrigue and draw manifest themselves with gusto in “Children of the Storm”. The woman is no Janeway clone. She has her own drive, her own conscience, and her own sense of duty and obligation. Her struggles, both with Admiral Batiste’s departure and her own sense of self lend a noble doubt to her façade of control, one which Beyer helps us glimpse in all the right ways throughout the book.

Eden isn’t the only well treated set of new faces, however. The starship Demeter’s skipper and first officer, O’Donnell and Fife, are also treated with an amazing degree of depth – unsurprising in one sense, since, with only a handful of ships in the quadrant, he current Voyager book series has plenty of pages to go around. However, as events unfold, you begin to deeply appreciate both individual’s personal struggles with what is, at best, an unorthodox command scheme. It is not the mechanics of the scheme, so much as the personal interplay between the two of them, and the crew’s reactions to their interplay that make them such a satisfying add to “Children of the Storm”.

Of particular interest is the novel and ‘just so right’ way that the ship’s new counselor uses to attempt to bridge the gap that has developed between former best friends Tom Paris and Harry Kim. Their story, together with B’Elanna’s struggles in assuming the new role of fleet engineer while also re-adapting to life aboard a starship, pay great dividends in giving old favorites a chance to really shine among fans of the show.

For a long time, the Deep Space Nine re-launch held the mantle of ‘best ongoing storyline’ in Trek literature for many readers, but with her recent Voyager books, Beyer has safely placed herself ahead of the pack. Only the Vanguard saga stands toe to toe with the quality and consistency of the new Voyager novels, and at the moment, having blazed through “Children of the Storm”, I can say that the consistency of a single writer gives – at least for me – an added flow to the meta-story over either Vanguard of the DS9 re-launch. Simply put, the Voyager re-launch is currently the best Star Trek out there in the literary world. “Children of the Storm”, for so many reasons, shows why. Drama, danger, family, camaraderie, reflection, and purpose all exude from the pages of this excursion, and even if you, like me, had little love for the Voyager series while it was on the air, you may just find this to be some of your most worthwhile Trek reading in
quite some time.

Star Trek: Voyager: Children of the Storm is available now at BarnesandNoble.com.

MoreVoyager re-launch from Kirsten Beyer

If you want to read more of Kirsten Beyer’s take on Star Trek Voyager, then pick up her two novels from 2009: "Full Circle," and "Unworthy"

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More summer Star Trek reading

There are more new and recent Star Trek novels to keep you going for this summer, including Christopher L. Bennett’s "Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations: Watching The Clock" (see TrekMovie review) and David McIntee’s "Star Trek The Next Generation: Indistinguishable from Magic"  (TrekMovie review)  There is also the recently released "Star Trek: Vanguard: Declassified
" collection with stories by Dayton Ward, Kevin Dilmore, Marco Palmieri and David Mack (look for reviews soon). And if you want a story from the new Star Trek movie universe, there is the just-released "Star Trek: Starfleet Academy: The Gemini Agent," by Rick Barba.

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Recently release Star Trek books
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And coming up later in July, James Swallow will explore the relationship between Spock and Valeris in "Star Trek: Cast No Shadow."


The next Star Trek novel – due in late July

Pocket Books provided TrekMovie with a copy of this book for review.

 

Comments

1. "Check the Circuit!" - July 14, 2011

Sure wish they’d let them release the JJverse books that were planned. Sounded like some great story ideas…especially the one about Spock Prime being a target because of his knowledge of the future.

2. The Starfleet Veteran - July 14, 2011

This was a great book! Voyager is definitely the relaunch to read right now!

3. Bob Tompkins - July 14, 2011

Looking at ‘Cast No Shadow’ reminds me of how much I wish Roddenberry had allowed Saavik to be the Valeris character in The Undiscovered Country. What layers it would have added to the story!

4. "Check the Circuit!" - July 14, 2011

Can’t believe Roddenberry had control over a character he didn’t create and had nothing to do with. If Saavik had been in ST VI…it would have had so much more dramatic impact. Instead, you knew Valaris was going to be involved in the assassination plot….she was just a guest-of-the-week. No emotional attachment to the character, so it was like….meh.

5. TrekMD - July 14, 2011

I finished reading this book just last night and I have to say it is one of the best Star Trek novels I have read recently. The character moments are very well done and I have to say I found myself smiling quite often during some of the character interactions. I don’t want to give specifics to not mess it up for anyone who plans to read the book. I do have to say that this was one book that was very hard to set down!

6. Azrael - July 14, 2011

@4 check your facts man, Roddenberry was still executive producer of the Trek franchise until his death, and he did in fact create Saavik. That particular fact was revealed to fans during one of the yearly ST:TOS marathons they used to have every year for the Trek anniversary. Just like so many other facts of Trek history that most people are unaware of. As it happens I am aware of many of those facts since I watched the marathon every year (including the 25th anniversary when they broadcast “The Cage” for the first time ever).

7. Browncoat1984 - July 14, 2011

This is what Voyager should have been from the beginning. Instead of being thrown against their will, Starfleet builds a new fleet of ships to explore the far reaches of the unexplored Delta Quadrant with a new transwarp drive (and it wouldn’t have failed like that stupid episode Branon Braga wrote), with Voyager at the helm.

8. Greenberg - July 14, 2011

#6,
That sounds suspect to me. Roddenberry might’ve ‘come up with’ Saavik, but when you think about the amount of writing that was done without him on 2 and 3, I hardly imagine that he had a lot to do with really creating the character.

I always got the feeling that they didn’t use Saavik because they didn’t want backlash from fans, and they couldn’t afford Kirstie Alley.

9. ncc50446 - July 14, 2011

I haven’t read a new Star Trek book since around the time DS9 ended…
Where do I even start? lol I want to start reading them again, but a little confused where I should start…So much has happened in the books it seems since then…

10. Xaq - July 15, 2011

#9
There’s a lot of good places to start. I personally started with the TNG borg trilogy “Resistance”, “Before Dishonor”, “Greater Than the Sum”, as it’s a fun/epic Borg adventure and is good at updating you on the state of the TNG characters post nemesis. Also, that trilogy leads into the Destiny trilogy, which is also essential.

After that stuff, I finally got around to reading the Titan series, which is generally really good and cool. The Voyager relaunch is shaping up to be really cool as well, although the first book is *really* slow. But the second book was really good.

But I mean, I think the important thing is to pick a path that leads into Destiny. Destiny affects what’s going on in every ST book series right now. The Voyager relaunch basically starts after the TNG trilogy I mentioned, so… I guess in short, I recommend doing what I did. The TNG borg trilogy.

11. Xaq - July 15, 2011

#9
I mean, you can start Titan and follow that into Destiny as well, but for the most continuous plotline, the TNG ones are best. And since Destiny is a big crossover with four ships, (Enterprise, Columbia, Aventine, Titan) you can follow any of those stories out of the end of Destiny.

Hope that helps!

12. Jim Nightshade - July 15, 2011

Children of the corn? Janeway vs stephen king zombie kid veggie lovers? Alright–more trek mashups–hah–ohh mmm maybe not nevermind–

13. Damian - July 15, 2011

Beyer’s Voyager books are top notch. The Christie Golden Voyager books were average books, enough to hold my interest but not superior. In some ways, the Voyager novels are better than the TV episodes were. I haven’t read Children of the Storm yet but should be able to read it in about a month or two.

I was reading on Memory Alpha that the Vanguard books will end early next year. They were excellent books and will be missed. I enjoyed the Titan books and DS9 relaunch and am starting to get bothered that there are no books from either those series currently in the pipeline. I saw David Mack has a trilogy planned and am curious to see what that will be about. There is a lot going on in the Star Trek universe post-Nemesis and I’d like to see those stories continue. I’d also like to see how they handle what happens to Nero and Romulus by 2387 when they get to that point.

Looking forward to the next Romulan War book also but it drives me crazy that there was a 2 year gap. That is much too long. Pocketbooks is not going to keep people interested in the various continuing storylines if there is such a long gap between books. It’s too easy to forget about them with such a long time between books.

6–Roddenberry was an executive consultant, not executive producer, of Star Trek II through VI. He was an executive producer of TNG until his death. As executive consultant, he held no real power, but they generally went to him for approval of the overall story and characters.

14. Chris - July 15, 2011

I loved this book and finished it last month. One hell of a story too. Felt like an episode at times too. I hope the fleet doesn’t experience another lost and the slipstream still works like it has.

15. Alex Rosenzweig - July 15, 2011

#6 – “@4 check your facts man, Roddenberry was still executive producer of the Trek franchise until his death, and he did in fact create Saavik.”

I’m afraid it is you who may have to check your facts. After the release of “The Motion Picture”, Mr. Roddenberry was moved to the role of Executive Consultant, and Harve Bennett became the film series’s producer. Mr. Roddenberry didn’t return to a producer role until the advent of “The Next Generation”.

The Saavik character was developed over the course of multiple script drafts by Mr. Bennett, writer Jack Sowards, and director Nicolas Meyer. She was not created by or owned/controlled by Mr. Roddenberry. His voice still carried weight at Paramount, and his displeasure with the idea of Saavik being the traitor in “The Undiscovered Country”, along with the discomfort of a number of other folks involved with the production, led to the character being renamed late in preproduction.

Back on topic, though… I thought _Children of the Storm_ was pretty awesome, and as I mentioned last weekend to Ms. Beyer, there used to be a time when I finished a VOY novel with a feeling of, “Okay, yeah, whatever…” After this one, I felt like, “I want more Voyager…right *now*!” :)

16. Robman007 - July 15, 2011

@ 15:

Was just going to say that. Nicolas Meyer made the comment during the pre-production of 6 that he was upset about being told to do with a character that he created. I agree, it would have been a really, really neat character development, especially after what happened to David. Valaris had no real reason to be the way she was.

@8: That was what Meyer claimed was Roddenberrys excuse for not having her be the traitor. Too much fan backlash because she was a “beloved” character.

The discomfort with the production was a bit sad, I think. The film managed to tackle topics that TOS tackled all the time, it just spun the table around and made our heroes the ones with the issues. I did not find it one bit surprising that Captain Kirk had the beliefs that he did. Look what the Klingons cost him, throughout his career and just recently. They cost him his ship, his son, and a multitude of young crew members as well as friends in other engagments, and almost cost him saving Spock. Not surprising one bit….also made him and the others HUMAN.

17. Jay - July 15, 2011

Does Anthony have any contacts that can give him any information as to what is going on with the Trek12???

Just wondering. The sports blog I follow for my favorite sports team is written by a guy that actually has contacts in the organization and in the league and posts information to keep readers informed.

Seems there is nothing on this site that isn’t a repost or link to some other publication. Nothing “insider” like.

Especially when we were told on this site about a month ago that JJ was going to make a big announcement “soon”. To me, soon is days, week at most. Not a month or more.

What is going on???????????????

18. Hallbjorn - July 15, 2011

Anthony often posts Trek12 news when he gets them, so relax, we’ll get the news hopefully soon

19. Of Bajor - July 15, 2011

#9

Personally I took the Titan route (awesome) into the Destiny series (awesomely awesome).

Just started to read Full Circle.

I would kill to see some of these stories made into a mini series, particularly Destiny.

20. CaptainDonovin - July 15, 2011

I finished ‘Childern of the Storm’ last weekend, loved it & loved the appendix in the back about the Full Circle fleet.

21. Jay - July 15, 2011

#18 Not really. I haven’t seen much of any original “hey, I’ve heard from my contacts in Paramount…blah blah”

I can easily find most everything posted here elsewhere.

Hey, another interview with JJ from 2 months ago…. yipee!

Hey, some other publication published a new article on Star Trek. Nothing to do with Trek12 though.

This is getting rediculous. 2 years since the Abrams movie came out and basically nothing. No script. No confirm release date. Nothing.

And a month since we were promised “big news soon”. Crickets.

22. Jay - July 15, 2011

It would be nice to see some informed opinion pieces from Anthony as well.

I’m use to a blog site that is centered around a particular subject I’m interested in to have more “insider” information.

I really expected this site to develop into that. I thought we would see more pieces about what he’s heard is going on behind the scenes. What the delay is about. Are cast members having to juggle other commitments to accomodate a new production timeline for Trek12? etc.

Even what he “thinks” is going on would be nice.

That is what a real blog usually provides when it’s very centered on a specific topic.

That’s what I get from the blog about my sports team that i mentioned. Inside info on players they are pursuing in free agency or trades, what people in the organization think about certain players, the real feeling about certain players’ injuries or performance. Things that you would never know reading the local paper or ESPN.

Is that expecting too much from this blog?

23. sean - July 15, 2011

#21

I know of few other sites where the writers and producers interact with fans so often. I’m not clear what it is you’re expecting? You have Bob Orci commenting in every other article on here.

As for what Anthony thinks is going on, he’s offered his opinion several times. I doubt he wants to write about it every single day.

24. Telly Follows the Will of Landru - July 15, 2011

20/21

Feel free to stop frequenting trekmovie.com and start visiting those other “blog sites” that are frequented by one of the screenwriters of the new movie. Just quit trolling around here. Your negativity helps nothing.

25. Mel - July 15, 2011

This is the summary of the new movie universe book:

“In The Gemini Agent, as first-year final exams week kicks off, several incident reports with serious allegations against James T. Kirk end up on the Commandant of Midshipmen’s desk. None of the allegations are true, of course… or are they? Kirk is being plagued by mysterious blackout periods, so he finds the allegations difficult to refute. During these blackout periods, he has no recollection of what he did, save for some very disturbing and disjointed memories. Kirk needs his friends, Bones and Uhura to help prove his innocence. Who is targeting Kirk, and why is he being targeted? And how far are they willing to go? Someone close to Kirk holds the answers to all of these questions, but can he put the pieces together before it’s too late?”

Personally I don’t get the impression in the movie, that Kirk and Uhura were friends at the academy. They seem to be only acquaintances, not really friends. It seemed even, that Uhura found Kirk annoying. It really didn’t look like there was a friendship between them.

So I wonder if the description is misleading or if the characters relationship is really different than in the movie? Does anyone know?

26. Andrew - July 15, 2011

#25

Well, I get the sense that they might have been kinda friends because of their interactions and involvement in the previous Academy stories, but these stories also take place early in their Academy tenures so maybe they become less of friends as they get closer to graduating.

Plus, maybe Kirk and Uhura were casual friends throughout the Academy and then right as they neared graduation, Kirk kept taking the Kobayashi Maru test and made Uhura keep taking part just like McCoy. That combined with sleeping with her roommate was maybe why she didn’t seem to like Kirk that much in the movie.

27. "Check the Circuit!" - July 15, 2011

@16

I also understand that a key factor in the Saavik/Valaris decision was the producers could not convince Kirstie Alley to return as Saavik. She was too famous for Star Trek by then….said with dripping sarcasm.

28. Ryan Gromm - July 15, 2011

speaking of Voyager.. does anyone know of any way to find an online copy of elite force 1, the game, anywhere?? I’m about ten years too late in trying it out..

Help please– write at email below if you have any suggestions!
:)

29. Joshua J. Slone - July 15, 2011

I did not like Children of the Storm as much as this reviewer. For one, it heavily involves several of the non-Voyager ships we’ve barely seen before, so rather than trying to learn the usual new/guest characters of a book, we have to try and keep up with the major players of three before unknown senior staffs. Second, I just kind of felt it dragged on without getting anywhere for too long.

However, I will agree that the Demeter stuff was pretty great. A captain and first officer pairing extremely unlike anything I’m familiar with from previous Trek, which made for both a lot of tension and some very far-out methods by the unusual Captain O’Donnel. We’ve seen captains who came from a science background before, but here’s one who had very little of the normal command background to go with it.

30. ncc50446 - July 15, 2011

@10/11/19 – Thank you, I will look into those very quickly :) I need of some new books, so will order a couple of those. Been wondering what happened post Nemesis…With no Star Trek, and having seen all the re-runs too many times, need a new fix of Star Trek lol

31. NX01 - July 15, 2011

I am glad Pocket Books is Still around. Before there were fan films we had these. I just found a box of Star Trek Next Generation novels from the same company”Pocket Books” published around 1995. I just kind of forgot I had them, however I am going to read them like it is still 1995.

My point is if you love Star Trek there , and there are so many of these novel that have been published over years, so the fans have a lot of choice even if it is older books published from years ago.

I am really glad pocket books is still around and still publishing Star Trek Novels. New Novels mean more choices for fans, and a bigger catalogue of books to choose from.

I am really looking forward to stories published in the JJ verse. At least we know that they are done. I am sure it will not be much longer.

32. Red Dead Ryan - July 15, 2011

#22.

“Is that expecting too much from this blog?”

Of course it is…..BECAUSE THIS IS NOT A BLOG!!!

33. TrekMadeMeWonder - July 15, 2011

#1 “Check the Circuit!”
That is one of the many problems with the current Trek Alternate Universe.
That’s why they SHOULD fix it.

#5. TrekMD
I may just pick up Children of the Storm based on your recommendation.
Sound advice from a Trek MD. Especially as we cross the expanse between movies.

34. Bucky - July 15, 2011

Savvik into Valeris Star Trek 6 had a whole bunch of different reasons behind it, from reading different sources. Roddenberry did gripe but his word didn’t carry much weight with the movie crew. Basically, it came down to the actresses: they didn’t want to use the ST3-4 Savvik and couldn’t get Kriste Alley. Since they cast Kim Cattrall they didn’t want to have a third actress play the role, hence Valeris.

I think Cattral is great in the flick, however I do agree it would have had more punch if it was Savik as originally intended. I’m not sure if it would make that much sense from a character perspective, but enough.

35. Keachick (rose pinenut) - July 16, 2011

#24 What “blog sites” have one of the writers of the new movie frequented?

@Jay – What you suggest would turn this site into some sort of gossip column. Well, it sort of is at times already. What we don’t need from Anthony or anybody else is heresay and speculation etc. There is more than enough of that already. Besides, a lot of the people working for the studios and production teams have usually signed confidentiality agreements which means that they can’t say much, if anything, even if they did know something until if/when they get told that they can…

36. Aussie Ian - July 16, 2011

I know this was originally a book thread, but now that it’s morphed “Odo style” into a discussion on Valeris / Saavik, here’s my 2 cents worth…

There is no way Saavik could have been used in VI the way Valeris was …… in ST III, during Ponn farr, Spock hooks up with Saavik (sings “Here’s to you Mrs Robinson” in head) and in STIV there is a look between them of “I can’t look at you, you’ve really changed since that night!” which I think confirms the mrs Robinson scenario.

When you look at the forced mind-meld that Spock inflicts on Valeris, it is barely one step back from the Shinzon mind rape of Deanna in “Nemesis”. I found both scenes a little disturbing and out of place for Star Trek movies.

had the character been Valeris, are you saying that Spock should mentally rape the person who mentally saved him from his own sexual urges? You couldn’t get any further from Gene Roddenberry’s intention of a better future than that!

IMHO

37. Geek_Girl - July 16, 2011

All I want to know is is Vorik in these books? H was the only character apart from the Doc that I liked.

38. Father Robert Lyons - July 16, 2011

#37 – Vorik is in the books. He was chief engineer of the Voyager until he requested to serve as chief engineer of the Hawking. The Hawking is in the Full Circle Fleet.

39. Daoud - July 16, 2011

Boring and original as paint-by-numbers.

40. Enterprisingguy - July 16, 2011

Thanks for another great review, Father Robert!

I just received this book from Amazon yesterday. I’m looking forward to enjoying it this weekend!

Just one question, though. Does the story leave them somewhere to go from here at the end of the book? I’ve enjoyed KB’s take on Voyager so far and I’d hate to see her tenure on the book end.

41. Joshua J. Slone - July 16, 2011

#40: Well, I hope I’m not giving too much away by saying the book doesn’t end with them all deciding to go back to the Alpha Quadrant and live happily ever after. :)

42. Father Robert Lyons - July 16, 2011

40 – Oh no! The hints of a personal, tantalizing mystery for Eden are developed, and some emotional exposition of it is present throughout the book. There is also a nice scene at the end of the book between Chakoaty and Eden concerning the path ahead and what lay in the immediate past.

This series is moving forward… and like you, I hope KB keeps writing. I would say her pen is essential for the continued development of the Voyager relaunch.

Rob+

43. Enterprisingguy - July 16, 2011

42. Father Robert Lyons

Thanks for the glimpse ahead. It’s reassuring to know that the Voyager saga is in capable hands and continuing to move forward.

With the flow of prime universe Trek books down to a trickle, it’s good to see that the ones still coming out are doing the franchise a good service!

44. MJ - July 16, 2011

“I also understand that a key factor in the Saavik/Valaris decision was the producers could not convince Kirstie Alley to return as Saavik. She was too famous for Star Trek by then….said with dripping sarcasm.”

I think they should bring back Kristie Alley and William Shatner for the next movie, and call it:” “Star Trek: Journey to the Fatta Quadrant”. That would be so phatt to see them play these inconic roles just one more time. To see Shat sit in the “reinforced” captains chair again, and to see him in the tubolift with Alley’s beautiful long hair…err. wig…would be just wonderful! Come on Bob, try to find a way to get em in this move…just one last time!

:-))

45. Red Dead Ryan - July 16, 2011

#44.

This thread isn’t about William Shatner yet you still have to bash the man. Grow up already!

46. Telly Follows the Will of Landru - July 16, 2011

44

Childish and unnecessary.

47. MJ - July 16, 2011

What a grumpy lot! :-))

48. woody - July 16, 2011

Is The Doctor part of the crew again?

49. Father Robert Lyons - July 16, 2011

#48 – Yes, but not aboard the Voyager. He is the CMO aboard the USS Galen, a sort off 24th century Hospital ship that accompanies the Full Circle Fleet to the Delta Quadrant.

50. Alex Rosenzweig - July 16, 2011

#48 – The Doctor is in the fleet, but not on Voyager. He’s over on the USS Galen, an advanced medical ship.

51. Siskoz - July 18, 2011

#22 next time Anthony is speaking at a convention pay your money to creation or whover and you could get your news…until then why dont you show anthony and the rest of the people posting a little respect.
And where in hell does it say that this is a damn blog

Sorry anthony for the language..
You got a great site and you or none else need to be jacked up

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