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JF Reviews

Current reviews up:
The Badlands, Book 2 of 2 - Voyager's story
The Hologram's Handbook
Invasion! Book #4; The Final Fury

The Badlands, Book 2 of 2 – Voyager’s story
By Susan Wright

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Review by: Kate

My whole impression was that Ms. Wright had not watched much more than “Caretaker”. The story takes place in the Badlands, before Voyager is taken to the Delta Quadrant. I saw many flaws in the plot, but at least she got the number of decks correct.

One flaw is that Voyager, having left Deep Space Nine, picks up the distress signal of a Cardassian ship, the same one who’d been chasing the Maquis (as seen in “Caretaker”). But Janeway had told Paris that the Maquis ship - with Tuvok aboard – had been missing several weeks, and the Cardassians who’d been after them gave Starfleet the last known coordinates. Therefore, for that to be possible, the Cardassians must have been drifting in space for around a month. It also says that four members of Chakotay’s crew had to go to their bunks due to slight radiation sickness, and that it was “one fifth of the [ship’s] crew”. Judging from the number of Maquis seen over the course of Voyager, I would think there’s more then 20 members! The EMH is also activated twice before Voyager is taken to the Delta Quadrant, directly contradicting the fact that he stated, multiple times, his first activation was after Voyager was in the Delta Quadrant (“The Swarm”, for example). This may be excusable were it written in Voyager’s first or second season, although I don’t believe there’s any real excuse. According to the book, Voyager didn’t go straight to the Badlands, but first evacuated the crew of the afore-mentioned Cardassian ship. In the process, the doctor (not the EMH), mentions his other medical staff. Isn’t it interesting that the fatalities of Voyager’s trip to the Delta Quadrant appear to have only been the first officer, helm officer, chief engineer, transporter chief (“Parallex”), and ENTIRE MEDICAL STAFF?
I have read Ms. Wright’s other Voyager novel, “Violations”, and I must say that from her past record, she needs to stay in the Alpha Quadrant and leave the Delta Quadrant alone.

The Hologram’s Handbook
By Robert Picardo

Rating: 5 out of 5!
Review by Kate

This book is the most believable Voyager book I have ever read! Written, by Robert Picardo, who played the Doctor, the whole book is written from the Doc’s viewpoint. It is extremely funny, and having been on Voyager, Robert Picardo wrote things that were completely canon.
It’s written post-“Endgame”, and is the Doc’s advice book to holograms and organics wishing to understand holograms better. With a terrific introduction by Brannon Braga (executive producer on the show), it also has many cartoons and pictures.
For the size, it’s slightly expensive, but I considered my money well spent once I read it. This is a must read for any Voyager fans! It also includes the Doctor’s views on Voyager crewmembers, including Captain Janeway (“decisive in all things – except how to wear her hair.”), Tom ( “…an impulsive, self-centered, adolescent, egotistical ex-con…[who has] on occasion given me insightful advice which I’ve been forced to ignore once I’ve considered the source”), B’Elanna (“A half-Klingon, B’Elanna is half obnoxious and intransigent. She is also half charming and intelligent. I simply learned to concentrate on the half I liked. Our hate-hate relationship has blossomed into a love-hate one and I couldn’t be happier about it.”), and other members of Voyager’s crew. It’s also a D/7, anti C/7 book! What more could you ask for?
In a interview I read, Robert Picardo mentioned that he hoped all Star Trek fans would buy a copy and keep it on the back of the toilet, to read during bathroom breaks. This book is so funny, if you do, people will be wondering why you stay in the bathroom for hours on end, laughing your head off!
If there were other books like this written from all the other characters, it would be one of the best things that ever happened to the Star Trek world. Whether you’re a fan of the Doctor, a fan of Voyager, or a fan of Star Trek in general, this is a must read!

Invasion! Book #4; The Final Fury (Voyager book #9)
By Daffyd ab Hugh

Rating: 4 stars out of five.
Review by: Kate

I have read several other books by Daffyd ab Hugh. He mostly writes Deep Space Nine books, and if you like Deep Space Nine, he’s a must read!
This is, so far, his only attempt at Voyager. It is a hilarious book, and I’m constantly discovering some other funny phrase that I missed before.
The story is part of a mini-series that takes place across the four separate series. In this book, Captain Janeway and her crew are becoming very space sick, since the gravimetric stabilizers broke down, when they get a distress call from a Starfleet shuttle. They investigate, and find a planet with an artificial moon, a sun which is entrapped in a giant cage, and a planet containing 27 billion people. When Neelix, Janeway, and Tuvok beam down, Janeway and Tuvok are literately scared speechless at the sight of their host, Navdaq. It turns out that the Furies, as they’re called, enslaved the Alpha Quadrant in the past. Eventually, the slaves rebelled, and the Furies were thrown into the Delta Quadrant. Ever since, they’ve been planning on taking over the Alpha Quadrant again. It’s up to Captain Janeway and the Voyager crew to stop them.
This book contains many hilarious parts. One of my favorites is when Neelix, Janeway, and Tuvok are thrown into jail, and Janeway’s wishing she had a comm badge so she could try to contact Voyager. Neelix takes off his boot, and out fall two comm badges. She then starts to ask if he carries spare phasers, when he takes off his other boot and out comes a phaser. They can’t cut through the bars, and so Janeway uses her hairpin to pick the lock. But her arm gets stuck, so Neelix has to shoot her so she’s relaxed enough for Tuvok to pull her arm out.
This book is among the funniest, and I would love to see more Voyager books from this author.
If you are a DS9 fan, I also recommend “Vengeance” (DS9 #22), and the Rebels trilogy (DS9 #24-26).

Star Trek: Voyager #14 – Marooned
By Christie Golden

Rating: Four stars out of five
Review by: Kate

Christie Golden is the only author I’ve noticed who doesn’t give Voyager at least 19 decks, or call the Doctor “Doctor Zimmerman”, or give some other major flaw to the book. I have read all her Voyager books, and I’m eagerly awaiting the two due next spring. I did notice one flaw in this book, and that was a HUGE difference in stardates. The first one mentioned puts it between “Unity” and “Darkling”, in the late third season. This is exactly where it should be, since the book deals with Kes being kidnapped. However, the second stardate mentioned puts it between “One” and “Hope and Fear”, at the end of the fourth season. It also mentions it only took nine days. So it’s not very good there. You also have to have seen a lot of the previous episodes of Voyager in order to understand the references in some parts.
But the story is very good in all other aspects. The storyline is that Kes is kidnapped by Aren Yashar, the leader of a band of pirates. Janeway, Tuvok, Torres, Paris, Neelix, and Ensign Bokk (notice the person no one’s ever heard of before, and guess his fate…) take a shuttle down to Yashar’s home base. He refuses to let Kes go, and instead has an ion pulse disable the shuttle, causing it to crash on the inhospitable planet.
With the help of Hrrrl, a member of the Sshoush-shin, they start towards the headquarters of Yashar. But Tom is bitten by a poisonous bug, and Ensign Bokk dies (like we knew he would), and Neelix runs off on his own to rescue Kes. Add in to the equation disgusting food, criminals running around loose, and acidic quicksand, not to mention the ships constantly searching for them. Not a fun time.
The only complaint I have is that it really seems to wrap up quickly. I think another chapter could have potentially been added.
But it was, all in all, a good read.

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