Star Trek: Review: Voyager: Atonement

Bstar-trek-voyager-atonement-9781476790817_hry Kirsten Beyer

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Admiral Janeway is on trial for her life as Seven and Tom Paris risk their careers on Earth…

The culmination of the many plotlines that Kirsten Beyer has been juggling in the recent Voyager novels doesn’t disappoint in the slightest. Although Beyer provides plenty of aide-memoires for the reader, this is very definitely not a standalone book, with both plot and character oddities from the last few novels explained. It’s clear that the author had a firm idea of exactly where all these threads were going from the start; Janeway’s return to the series might not necessarily have been the creative choice everyone would have made but it has provided an underlying personal element to the Full Circle fleet’s story that would have been hard (not impossible, just hard) to duplicate using other characters.

The Earth-based sections – which tie the series neatly into the Typhon Pact set of books that came out a few years back but are set around the same period – are as strong as the parts set in the Delta Quadrant, with both emphasising the moral tenets on which the Federation was founded. In the case of some people, power tends to corrupt; in other instances, power actually shows up the fault lines in their personalities in other ways.

There’s an air of “end of season” about this novel, which extends to a tag scene between Janeway and Chakotay that sets their relationship on a strong footing while providing a nice twist that the readers – but not the characters – will appreciate. It’s one of Beyer’s strongest contributions to the range, and one can see why those looking to tell a Star Trek novel over thirteen hours brought her on board.

Verdict: A strong finale to this part of Voyager’s return to the Delta Quadrant. 9/10

Paul Simpson

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