Star Trek: Voyager: Protectors
Following the destruction of four fleet vessels at the hands of the Omega Continuum, the U.S.S. Voyagerand U.S.S. Demeter set course for a region of the Delta Quadrant far beyond anything previously explored. Captain Chakotay is determined to prove to Starfleet Command that the fleet’s ongoing mission is vital to Federation interests . . . and the key to doing so may lie in a distress call Voyagerreceived nine years earlier but could not investigate.
Meanwhile, Vice Admiral Kathryn Janeway is recalled to the Alpha Quadrant for an evaluation period to determine her next assignment. Given the trauma she has recently endured, Admiral Akaar, Starfleet’s commander in chief, is questioning Janeway’s fitness to command the fleet. Janeway’s primary concern remains the fleet’s safety— for their mission to continue, she must find a way to secure the resources they require. But the uncertainty of her superior officers has left her powerless to act in their best interests.
* I read this book a few months ago and am just getting to the review now — so my memory may be a little hazy… and I may be a little light on specific details… *
I found Protectors to be a fantastic follow-up to the previous volume, The Eternal Tide. Whereas Tide was, I felt, a bumpy entry in the series, Protectors brings Voyager back to its strengths and excellence. Beyer does a great job of continuing with the characters where we last left off with them, both emotionally/development-wise, and plot-wise.
By killing off so many characters in the previous book, that narrows the scope of Voyager books considerably, such that it is much more focussed and forward-moving. Voyager’s strength has always been exploring the total unknown without any Starfleet backup — and while they now have Starfleet backup due to the invention of the slipstream drive, Voyager has returned to exploring the furthest reaches of the unknown. But where the TV series faltered due to having very few returning alien races and characters (since Voyager was always flying in one direction to return home), Protectors returns us to a number of alien characters and races and does interesting things with them. And the final couple chapters seem to indicate that the Voyager line will be opening up in a very interesting and completely new direction.
I eagerly await Acts of Contrition later this year to follow-up on the Voyager crew and see where there adventures take them.