This week Pocket Books releases its second Star Trek Voyager of the year, following on Kirsten Beyer’s excellent "Full Circle" released in March. And so the Library Computer journeys again to the Delta Quadrant with a review of Beyer’s new “Star Trek Voyager: Unworthy” to see if she can do it again.
Star Trek: Voyager – Unworthy
Pocket Books Mass-market Paperback
Written by Kirsten Beyer
[SPOILERS for this and other recent books]
Back in March we took a look at “Full Circle”, the first Voyager novel set in the post-"Destiny" timeline. In that book, Kirsten Beyer brought fans through several years of major developments to set the stage for a return to the Delta Quadrant, this time with a fleet of Federation vessels, on a mission with so many facets that it would make a gemologist smile. The setup from “Full Circle” pays off in spades as Voyager and her companions engage their slipstream drives in “Unworthy”.
Beyer’s book is, perhaps, best summarized from a character perspective as a series of bittersweet ‘homecomings’. Voyager’s return to what was once her place of seemingly-eternal exile serves as an outstanding analogy for the evolving stories of Seven, Chakotay, and Batiste. As their futures play out, so too does the future of the Indign, a race discovered in the Delta Quadrant in proximity to the Borg’s old stomping grounds. Of course, they aren’t aware that the Borg are no more, which presents some interesting quandaries for the Prime Directive minded Captain Afsarah.
Admittedly, after the detailed and engrossing writing of “Full Circle”, “Unworthy” jumps out of the gate a bit off, needing a few chapters to get back on pace. Several early moments of the story, particularly those revolving around Seven seem to be handled too quickly and tidily, especially given the depth that Beyer brought to her last tale on a page-by-page basis. By the time the narrative transitions permanently to the Voyager side of things, however, the problem is solved, and the bulk of the story grows and develops with the same strength and skill that March’s release brought to bear. The problem reasserts itself in the wake of the conclusion of the tale, almost giving the feel that the bulk of the novel was written independently of the first and last chapters. The differences aren’t completely jarring, but an extra fifty pages or so on either side the book’s meat would have been helpful.
“Unworthy” is not a status quo story. Things are changing… constantly. One needs to keep an open eye to little details throughout the book; they come back to enhance the reading experience later on – unusually and delightfully so. The conclusion was also unexpected, and while I personally haven’t come to decide how I feel about it, I suspect many Voyager fans will be very pleasantly excited.
While it isn’t quite the powerhouse that “Full Circle” was, “Unworthy” is definitely worthy of a spot in your reading queue this fall as the journey of the starship Voyager begins anew.
I, for one, can’t wait for the next installment.
The official release date for "Unworthy" is September 29th, but is available at some stores already and was is now in stock at Amazon.
UP NEXT: Romulan War
In October Pocket Books releases the trade paperback for "Romulan War: Beneath The Raptor’s Wing" by Michael A. Martin. Look for an early review for that and read an excerpt here.
"Romulan War: Beneath The Raptor’s Wing"
available for pre-order at Amazon