Children of the Storm
Three Federation starships - the Quirinal, Planck and Demeter - have mysteriously vanished, and a contingency plan is developed for the Voyager crew to search for the missing ships. An unknown alien race who call themselves the Children of the Storm is at fault, announcing to the Federation that they do not negotiate with destroyers of worlds - and it is not the Borg being referenced, but the Federation itself.
Reviewed on 29th July 2011
I really enjoyed the last two Voyager novels - both also by Kirsten Beyer - and have been looking forward to this one for a while. I was a tad disappointed though. Voyager is now part of a small fleet which has returned to the Delta Quadrant on a mission of exploration and diplomacy. Three starships have gone missing while attempting to make contact with a hostile alien species - the Children of the Storm - and Chakotay and his crew must try to find them.
The first thing to note is that the previous two books are prerequisite. You'll need them to know a lot of the characters and to understand the situation. I read the last one when it was released and had trouble remembering where things were, so I'd recommend refreshing your memory if you read it a while ago too.
I found the beginning of this book to be quite weak - possibly because of my poor memory of where things stood - and quite a lot of the book focusses on inter-personal relationships among the crew. There are a number of new relationships, and quite a lot of focus on Miral, the toddler of the Paris family. It seems this has been inspired by the author's own recent parenthood, and in some places it's really cute, but occasionally goes a little over the top. One particular sentence had to be the soppiest and corniest thing I've read for a long time.
Once the plot got going though it switched back to the brilliance I've come to expect from this author, and I was very pleased with her descriptions of the aliens and the crews' interactions with them. Overall the range of new characters work really well and it's a good extension to the Voyager series without feeling forced. Once again I find myself looking forward to more.