Spoilers VOY: Atonement by Kirsten Beyer Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Defcon, Aug 7, 2015.


Rate Atonement

  1. Outstanding

    48 vote(s)
  2. Above Average

    21 vote(s)
  3. Average

    4 vote(s)
  4. Below Average

    1 vote(s)
  5. Poor

    0 vote(s)
  1. Brefugee

    Brefugee Living the Irish dream. Premium Member

    Oct 12, 2007
    The Republic of Ireland
    Just had an email from Amazon, this is out on delivery so should have it in the next few hours.
  2. SAS

    SAS Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    May 3, 2004
    still not available in the UK for ebook sale, very disappointed
  3. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2008
    Washington, DC
    Usually I knock out a new Star Trek book in a couple days, but two days in I'm not even close on this one. God damn there is a lot going on... the storylines in this trilogy cover so much ground, it's kind of incredible. I feel like I'm reading an entire season of television in 3 books.
  4. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    The week's holiday has put me behind on orders again. I'd better go order it now; I'm looking forward to this.
  5. Kiwein

    Kiwein Ensign Red Shirt

    Apr 27, 2015
    Hello, everyone!

    This is my first posting in this forum and I am quite excited about it.

    I registered already a while ago, but now is the time to write about Atonement/the whole trilogy.

    I am not a native speaker, so forgive me when I pick the wrong words.

    That said, I must admit that I doubt I understood everything the whole trilogy offers. I am still not so sure if I totally got what proctors, protectors and ancient ones really are. But it seems the trilogy won't be out in my language until 2017/2018 and I really didn't want to wait reading the books.

    About Atonement: I love the conclusion, I love that not the whole novel is about the tribunal for Janeway, but that it goes rather deep and we finally learn what happened to Meegan.

    I really adore how the relationship between Tom and his mothers evolves, though, at the beginning I had a hard
    time believing her really quick change of heart. But maybe I do not know enough about Julia Paris.

    Sometimes I felt it was hard to follow the different plots in different places (but that goes more for Acts of Contrition).

    The parts about the Confederacy reminded me of Earth in many many parts, it's philosophical for me, I still think about the starving people (who are meant to be starving on Earth, too) and all the other sick things that happen on our planet and are described for the Confederacy, too.

    General Mattings grew a lot on me, thanks for giving him a big part in Atonement! :)

    I had hoped for a bit more Janeway/Chakotay passion action and I still hope there is more to come in the next
    book. In chapter 7 I really wondered if all they can do is fight - it's just not them (in my little world). Fortunately, all turned good in the end.

    So, what else is left to say? I can't wait for "Pocket full of lies" and I would love to know if more novels are coming after it? I really hope so, because I think Kirsten Beyer is the best Voyager author I read so far. The characters are to the point (I do ignore the J/C fight here), the plots are immense, every book is an amazing journey for me!

    I had some problems to follow all the ships that are mentioned and I always imagine the author to have something like a scrapbook with all the names, crew and further info. It's hard to keep track and at the beginning of the Full Circle Fleet I had to make notes with all the ships' names and crew, I admit...

    So... to make it short: I really loved Atonement, thanks for another great novel.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2015
  6. Kilana2

    Kilana2 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jan 31, 2015
    May I ask where you're from?

    I have the pleasure to read the Voyager relaunch both in German and the original.
    The German publisher is going to release Children of the Storm next month. It will be a pleasure to re-read it, especially with the new cover.
    I have Atonement, I need several days to get going, as I have to finish another short story.

    I had the same difficulties with all the different ships and characters when I started to read the novels including the DQ fleet. Kirsten Beyer did her best to put the focus on central locations and characters. It helped me to get my bearings. ;)
  7. laibcoms

    laibcoms Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Dec 23, 2014
    Philippines, ASEAN

    And I'm glad to know I wasn't the only one who noticed how the Federation and Confederacy represent our "ideal" nation and "current" nations (intentionally plural). How we're being taught by a fictional government or idea of how our society and government should function and work for the people instead of the other way around as it is today in our world.

    As well as, it showed how the Federation is not really a "utopia" because through the Confederacy and the Seven's adventures, the flaws of the Federation and its people were put to light. Even made us realize that the Confederacy also made sense, and why they are who they are when the Federation met them. In the end, the Confederacy grew to something that we'll love and want to see again, and no doubt, the Federation as well.

    One thing I like with the Confederacy, they're willing to learn. They were afraid at first because they had beliefs they were superior, but this did not lead to being unfriendly. When the Federation refused to share tech, they made effort to understood why. In fact, I'd say they did all the steps to be friendly with the Federation and not the other way around!

    It's really amazing. Outstanding. Perfect for our time.
  8. Kiwein

    Kiwein Ensign Red Shirt

    Apr 27, 2015
    @Kilana2: Germany as well. And I can't wait to read the Children of the Storm, too. I hope to understand then what I missed in English.

    @laibcoms: I totally agree with everything you wrote and there's nothing to add, really. Thank you for pointing it out so well.

    I still have to find out how to quote, but then I am still on holidays in Sweden's outback with a bad internet connection and all I have is my mobile.... but I just had to comment today after I spent the last days reading only.
  9. Space Goat

    Space Goat Cadet Newbie

    Aug 27, 2015
    Washington, DC
    I've loved this trilogy, but I don't understand the Full Circle Fleet's rationale for rejecting an alliance with the Confederation. The Federation are allies with the Klingons and Ferengi, who have less in common with Federation values than the Confederation do. Later in the lit timeline, the Federation ally with the Cardassians as well. In that light, it's strange the Confederation isn't up to snuff.

    One could argue the alliances in the Federation's own part of the galaxy are necessary to keep the peace, whereas the Federation can be more choosy in the Delta Quadrant. In that case, exploration of that concept would have been welcome.
  10. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 16, 2003
    Hadn't read Atonement yet, but if the Confederation is not up to snuff as you say, it is likely that they have not moved past some things such as providing for their own people and doing other basic things (whereas the Klingons, Romulans and even Cardassians managed to do at least that much).

    Plus, the Klingons and the Cardassians are closer to the Federation in technological development than the Confederation - and on a geographical level are closer to the Federation (and I would imagine that they prefer keeping the peace in that part of the galaxy as its closer to home).

    Most of the technologies the Confederation gained from an alliance with the Federation would likely be used in an unchecked manner where the rich would use it to get richer and the poor would simply continue to rot away.
    In the Alpha/Beta Quadrants, these 'nations' (if you want to call them that) are more or less on par with each other and have known each other for a LONG period of time.

    The Confederation is thousands of light years away, and unless the Federation created a permanent residence in the DQ, I don't think they would consider an alliance any time soon.
    Perhaps simple trade for raw materials and humanitarian aid when it comes to keeping up good relations on a long term basis (until the Confederation evolves more - because they likely have the potential for it), but other than that... not really.
  11. laibcoms

    laibcoms Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Dec 23, 2014
    Philippines, ASEAN
    Yep, that. The basics were not met, for example, women in the Confederacy are stuck as breeders. They can only do other things after they're no longer capable to carrying a child. They also have a very 21st century earth market system that we cannot even compare to the Ferengi or Orion slave trading.

    And that's just the social and economy aspect. Technological, the Federation have to be careful sharing technology because it will drastically shift the balance of power in the quadrant. For example, some in the Confederacy were eyeing the transporter and universal translator. At least the latter, some nations already have it (TV series), but many still doesn't have it. Same with the transporter tech, only few have that tech in the delta quadrant.

    Not to mention, the DQ at large is in a constant war, even to the point that they'll delete who race from history.

    What if, for example, if the Federation gives these tech and others to the Confederacy and they cannot defend themselves from invasion. In this finale novel, that almost happened if not for the ingenuity of Admiral Janeway and Full Circle fleet. Once this tech goes uncheck, the war that these races are always at will change.

    The Voth may suddenly disappear, and those that the Voth keeps in check will suddenly become strong. Then there's the Vaadwaar too, they respect the Federation but still consider them enemies.

    It's very delicate. A friendly status is more beneficial at this time than any type of alliance. An alliance will bind both nations to the letter of that alliance, and if it's broken, they'll be making enemies of each other. Unlike without it, there will always be room for errors and rectification.

    I'm sure the Confederacy will become an ally of the Federation soon. But they have to strengthen the Talaxians first. If the Talaxians will join the Federation, then they'll be able to start forging alliances in the DQ. A base of operation where the DQ races can take an actual look as to who they are, is the best option. Currently, only the Voth can visit the Alpha/Beta, and they're being careful too. With all their might, they respect the Federation.
  12. Paul Weaver

    Paul Weaver Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Apr 12, 1999
    Cheshire, UK
    According to the amazon site:

  13. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 16, 2003
    Since the Federation uses an 'incomplete' version of Resource Based Economy (as proposed by the Venus Project in real life), I would imagine that distribution of economic wealth in the Confederation along with caring for their own people greatly affects a possibility of an alliance (at least from the Federation's point of view).

    The Federation is more willing to compromise with cultures whose economies aren't as evolved as their own but are technologically and geographically closer to them.
    This compromise also likely stems from the notion of necessity to maintain stability for themselves, and neighbouring cultures in their part of the galaxy.
    And besides, even for a lot of Klingons and Cardassians, monetary wealth doesn't seem to correlate with happiness - or at least, all these cultures demonstrated the ability to work with the Federation in a responsible way (from the Federation point of view).

    Interestingly, a cursory investigation of the Confederation patent system from the Full Circle fleet in the earlier book indicated they wouldn't even need transporter or replicator technology from the Federation to make their own.
    Actually, they wouldn't need either to end shortages of food... simple automation in combination hydroponics, aquaponics and aeroponics would do the trick (no reliance on soil or external weather conditions is needed) - I was actually surprised that Kirsten never used this approach for when the fleet was assisting the Talaxians (but she might not be aware of it).
    Agriculture seems very outdated and inefficient in real life already (it is) when compared to the concept of fully automated vertical farms that use hydroponics, aquaponics and aeroponics which can grow food up to 5x faster because the crops fight against gravity and use over 90% less water - just imagine how outdated agriculture would be for the Federation in the 24th century (I can see the benefit in knowing how it works and perfecting it for restoring the ecosystems of different planets, but not when it comes to actually feeding people effectively who have highly advanced technology).

    In many ways... Kirsten is effectively showcasing how the Confederation has everything it needs to create a much better system, but they don't do it due to a portion of the population benefiting from the current system immensely who prefer things as they are.

    Same thing is happening in reality.
    We have had all the technology and resources (and still do) to fix ALL our problems decades ago, but we don't do it due to a combination of people who reap the benefits of the current system and fear change (one that could even improve their own lives as well as everyone's else) and lack of exposure to relevant general education, critical thinking and problem solving (creating individuals that much more prone to being manipulated and used by others who will sooner conform to the current system than rise up to create a better one) - not to mention insistence on doing the same things over and over while expecting a different result (namely, using the monetary system to fix problems when its the monetary system itself causing the problems - it clashes too much with science and technology and is basically fit for 19th century... not the 20th, let alone the 21st century).

    Well, the Krenim were much more prone to violence when they were at a position of power to threaten others - and they likely lived in environmental conditions which created propensity towards this behaviour without actually moving past that - or the system in power snuffed out (or possibly suppressed) those who called for change in policy.
    Living with nearby cultures such as the Zhaal who were comparable in technology seems to have kept them in check though.
    Annorax was an unstable individual who took things too far, but subsequently, once the timeline was reset, the Krenim captain of that initially small ship at the start who threatened Voyager was not bent on capturing the ship anymore.

    The Kazon on the other hand were more like a primitive slave civilization that just never had the time to evolve past their behaviours.
    Getting/taking the tech from the Trabe never fixed the problem since the Kazon didn't seem to have a chance at developing a civilization of their own and adjust to technology by advancing it themselves.

    The Vidiians... not intricately driven by war or warlike... were mainly trying to find solutions to end the Phage - which they did with the help of the Think Thank it would seem.
    I would imagine their previous harvesting of other species would give them a bad reputation, but the Federation might be more forgiving since Voyager did have a success with Denara T'Pel.

    Not too many wars in the DQ (if you go by the canon at least). Seems less stable though from what we saw, but then again, we've only seen a minute portion of the quadrant.
    Voyager did manage to initiate friendly contact with many races during its original voyage though.

    Only in the sense that the technology will fall into the hands of the invaders who defeated the Confederation in the hypothetical scenario, empowering them, and giving the option to attack other races that are not war-like (even the DQ seems to host numerous races that aren't warlike and are much more like the Federation in their approaches).
    This is why they need to be very careful on whom they give their technology to.
    Heck, even providing humanitarian aid can be seen as shifting the balance of power or potential interference - and on a long term basis, the Federation probably wants good relations with EVERYONE.

    I find this interesting since the Voth didn't really strike me as a species that likes to meddle in other species affairs (from what we saw initially) or keep other species in check.
    Then again, 'Atonement' might address this view in better detail than the one episode of Voyager.

    And let's not forget that the species that do not like the Confederation for example might also automatically perceive the Federation as the enemy simply through association (though, this always seemed particularly stupid on the aliens part as it only gives way to unconfirmed assumptions without basis to flourish - which actually leads me to question, how did these people actually developed into a post-industrial civilization to begin with?).
    Too many Humans today project bias and assumptions on others simply because they don't know any better and without checking the information (which would realistically mean they only have theories, and in that case, they should be presented as such, not as 'facts').

    The Talaxians are much closer to the Federation (16 000 Ly's from Earth it would seem, but an unknown distance away from the nearest Federation border - and the Federation is over 8000 Ly's large), so the likelihood of them joining the Federation is there.
    Neelix certainly seemed like a good bridge between the 2 cultures, and the Talaxians as a whole do seem like the kind of people who would flourish (but likely wouldn't abuse the benefits) by joining (if the Federation makes the offer in the first place and the Talaxians decide to join).

    The Federation would also likely want to build a starbase in the Talaxian system, or work with the Talaxians to create a new design - subsequently, the Talaxians could easily live on that Starbase seeing how just spacedock alone is able to house at least 100 000 people.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2015
  14. Kiwein

    Kiwein Ensign Red Shirt

    Apr 27, 2015
    That are exactly the thoughts I had while reading and it really striked and made me feel ashamed for many things and people that happen on our planet right now. The resemblance is striking and I would love to know if Ms. Beyer had exactly this in mind when she evolved the plot.
  15. Idran

    Idran Commodore Commodore

    Apr 17, 2011
    Keep in mind, that's a very small colony of Talaxians that's so close, not the homeworld. The homeworld is around 70,000 ly away, back in the vicinity of the Ocampa homeworld.

    Also, to be fair, it's a little misleading to say that the Federation is over 8000 LY large; its furthest points are that far apart, but it's not a single contiguous territory since that's infeasible in space. It's like how both the US and Chile are about 4,500 KM long in their largest dimension; it's technically true, but that doesn't mean anything without more context.
  16. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 16, 2003
    The Federation was described to spread over 8000 Ly's (though that was by First Contact movie)... so theoretically, the Talaxians colony might be approximately... 12 000 LY's from the nearest Federation border, or possibly less.
    Novels-wise, the Federation brought other races into the fold after FC, and the novels indicated other species joining as well.

    But yes, I am aware that we aren't really talking about the homeworld Talax.
    Still, the Federation might grant this small colony provisional membership status due to Neelix and his association with Voyager (plus the Talaxians in general helped Voyager to go after Seska and what they thought at the time was Chakotay's baby - plus Paris enlisted their help to retake Voyager as well) - heck the Full Circle fleet has already been using New Talax as a regrouping area.

    I think the fleet will need some time to study on how to reverse the effects of the Metreon cascade, and it would be interesting to see how they deal with this once they reach Talax (plus to see what happened with the Kazon... not to mention the Ocampa... and how curing the Vidiian phage changed the Vidiians stance towards other species and the situation in that region of the galaxy).

    The Full Circle fleet might actually get some headway with the Vidiians and Ocampa, plus the Talaxians - or at least act as intermediaries to create a rapport between these species and see how this affects the Kazon (though the fleet might end up seeing this happening either way and that the Vidiians were the ones making first strides helping the Ocampa by perhaps increasing their lifespans and assisting in adjusting to live on the surface to show they really did change and are no longer hunting others for their organs).

    The Federation doesn't HAVE to be the catalyst for every cooperation that happens... plus, there's the group of Humans with Amelia Earhart who evolved into a peaceful colony in the DQ itself and Janeway seemed to have noted that they took a very similar path like the Humans in the AQ.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2015
  17. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jan 9, 2008
    what's going on? Why is this not on UK Kindle but available as others have noted on US, CAN and others?
  18. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 16, 2003
    Beats me.
    I also do not understand why is it impossible to get something like an e-book on Amazon.com even if you are in UK?
    Its a digital download...

    Btw, is it possible to purchase this e-book from Simon & Schuster while in UK?
  19. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    You know, you people of the Trek BBS break my heart on a daily basis.

    Always so close and yet never actually breaking through.

    You don't know how much I wish I could trust in the illusion of a willingness to change. But you can't change hardwiring, and the vision will always be warped.
  20. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 16, 2003
    How much exactly do you know about neuroscience and epigenetics?
    - Honest question btw. -

    Not to be condescending here, but 'hardwiring' seems to be a myth at best.
    The Human brain for example appears to be highly malleable, and gene expression has been shown to be subject to change depending on environmental stimulus.

    Humans do not appear to be born greedy, selfish, racist, etc.
    These are taught patterns of behaviour - and there's billions of factors in the environment which can influence how a person will behave... from something as trivial to colours and viewing angles, not to mention environmental conditions in the womb (does the mother smoke, exercise, what kind of diet is she on, what kind of lifestyle is she implementing, etc), not to mention more complex notions like speech learning, mimicking of parents in how they behave (and the peers, etc.) - a Human is BOMBARDED with environmental stimulus... ALL of which will likely impact their behaviour.
    We can also be born with a tendency towards something, but whether this tendency lays dormant, emerges and/or changes, depends on the environment entirely.

    You could look into David Gabor various interviews on 'human nature' for more clarification (I'd post a link but don't want to derail the thread too much).

    And there's also Dr. Robert Sapolski who talks extensively on this subject as well (his lectures are quite informative).