Spoilers VOY: Homecoming by Christie Golden Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Defcon, Jul 19, 2014.

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Rate Homecoming

  1. Outstanding

    1 vote(s)
    3.6%
  2. Above Average

    6 vote(s)
    21.4%
  3. Average

    7 vote(s)
    25.0%
  4. Below Average

    10 vote(s)
    35.7%
  5. Poor

    4 vote(s)
    14.3%
  1. Defcon

    Defcon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Voyager: Homecoming by Christie Golden

    [​IMG]


    [LEFT]Blurb:
    After seven long years in the Delta Quadrant, the crew of the Starship Voyager™ now confront the strangest world of all: home. For Admiral Kathryn Janeway and her stalwart officers, Voyager's miraculous return brings new honors and responsibilities, reunions with long-lost loved ones, and for some, such as the Doctor and Seven of Nine, the challenge of forging new lives in a Federation that seems to hold little place for them.

    But even as Janeway and the others go their separate ways, pursuing new adventures and opportunities, a mysterious cybernetic plague strikes Earth, transforming innocent men, women, and children into an entirely new generation of Borg. Now the entire planet faces assimilation, and Voyager may be to blame!

    ____________________________________________________

    My review from 2003:

    Like most of the previous Voyager novels the start of the Voyager realunch is below average at best. The way Golden portrays parts of Starfleet in this novel reminds you more of Cardassion torturers than members of the Federation. My impression was that she on the one hand tried to make the Voyager crew more heroic by making the rest of Starfleet look bad and on the other hand tried to keep the we alone vs. the rest of the universe theme of Voyager going. For me this is a sign that she really hasn't new ideas for the series, an impression strengthened by using the Borg and the group of uninteresting new characters. Add to that a plethora of little things annoying me, and you get a truly disappointing start into Voyager's post finale fiction.

    Cover of the German translation:
    [​IMG]
    [/LEFT]
     
  2. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This and Farther Shore were both bearable if not great.

    The next two I really didn't like.
     
  3. Markonian

    Markonian Commodore Commodore

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    I've read the book last weekend for the first time, beginning my overall VOY-R re-reading.

    I liked how Homecoming gave every VOY character a distinct storyline that felt natural to them.

    The moment they switch uniform to the new style is before the dress uniform conference scene. However, there's no scene specifically putting the crew into the grey-shouldered uni. Missed opportunity here to stress being back in the fold.

    Evil Starfleet feels slightly overdone. How Montgomery was rehabilitated over the coming books will be interesting. Was also surprised to learn he's black, which I must have missed in subsequent books. Anyway, I mentally picked Bill Cosby to portrait him. And I lifted Covington from a novel cover of another series.

    Libby's incorporation into the story was done excellently.

    I would've liked to see more Voyager flight action, maybe a scene showing the ship entering orbit or landing on Earth.

    No mention of Ambassador Neelix. Did somebody tell him they made it?

    The HoloStrike was a great setup but the conclusion left no long-term effects. Artificial lifeform civil rights are likely to become a big issue in the Federation at some point.

    Barclay was absent most of the time, unfortunately.

    Love the German cover.
     
  4. borgboy

    borgboy Commodore Commodore

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    Both covers are really nice. Unfortunately, I found Golden's Voyager relaunch pretty disappointing. The novels are dull, too many new characters I didn't care about, just blah. I enjoyed her previous Voyager novels and her Ravenloft novels, so I don't know what went wrong here.
     
  5. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    I was really excited when this book made the stands. I love the idea of post-series Trek books telling us what happened after the respective finales. I liked that people finally got the long deserved promotions and that Voyager's story would continue. I liked this and Farther Shore, but thought the Spirit Walk duology was kind of weak. What came afterwards starting in 2009 was a godsend. I voted average :techman:
     
  6. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    It's been so long since I've read this one, I might need to get it out and flick through it, to refamiliarize myself. I'll say right from the start that I don't envy Christie Golden the task - every viewer must have had their hopes and expectations for how Voyager's return would be handled, and inevitably there'll be a sense of missed opportunity.

    I suppose it's entirely right that this book hasn't really got much of a plot; it's just the characters responding to being home and reuniting with family and friends. Which then causes appreciation of the book to hinge on whether or not you like how the characters are portrayed and how they're reacting.

    I appreciate the efforts to keep some of the later seasons' thematic/character arcs going - The Doctor and hologram legal issues, B'Elanna's becoming ever more connected with Klingon culture (this one in particular will remain important through into the Beyer era). And I appreciate how it's emphasized that the Federation Voyager returns to is not exactly the Federation they left - having suffered a Dominion-shaped trauma in the meantime - but, again, how well it's pulled off is open for debate.

    Still, I did like the sense that Janeway is hoping for her crew to be recognized and given the accolades she feels they deserve, only for Starfleet's general war-weary response to be more along the lines of "Oh, hello, Voyager. Good to see you. Advanced weapons? Good, good, give them here. Nice to have you back - excuse me, things to do".
     
  7. voyager1

    voyager1 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I never bought into the Borg angle... but there were some very good scenes.
     
  8. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

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    I remember wondering whether this book had been cancelled after reading the sample chapters at the end of Diane Carey's "Endgame" novelization, and then not seeing the book materialize on store shelves till almost 2 years after. I remember reading those sample chapters and wanting to go right into "Homecoming". Anyway it was a highly anticipated book (and I remember hearing it went through about 6 printings in something like 14 or 15 months), and it felt like the next part of "Endgame".
     
  9. Tarheel

    Tarheel Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I own this novel, but haven't read it yet. I've been too busy on the DS9 and TNG relaunch series, but plan to get to it someday.

    However I can give an opinion of the cover, which I think is awful. One of the worst in the Pocket line. It looks like a painting hanging in an old haunted mansion from a Scooby-Doo episode. I expect some villain to be peeking from behind the eyes. The German version, on the other hand, is excellent.
     
  10. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I can't separate this from it's continuation in This Father Shore. Although it was nice to see what happened next to the Voyager crew, I was bothered by the child abuse stuff, and that it was just used as a means to create a "damaged" monster whose only salvation was death. Fuck that shit, Star Trek should be a world where survivors of even such horrific abuse should be able to move on and live normal lives.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^On the other hand, I can see how, in a future where such abuse has almost ceased to exist, nobody would be expecting it or alert to the warning signs anymore, and its vanishingly rare instances might therefore get overlooked. If the problem had been discovered, then sure, she could've gotten help, but I figure her case slipped through the cracks because it was so anomalous for that era.
     
  12. Elias Vaughn

    Elias Vaughn Captain Captain

    I feel like, unless exceedingly well written, having a survivor of horrific child abuse live a normal life as an adult would trivialize the child abuse itself, even in the mostly utopian Federation.

    But I also don't remember which character we're talking about because I haven't read these books in like six years.
     
  13. Markonian

    Markonian Commodore Commodore

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    Admiral Brenna Covington, chief of Starfleet Covert Operations.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But that's just it -- the reason child abuse is so hard to fight is because the victims often learn to get very good at hiding the evidence, because they know what their abusers will do to them if they don't. So they learn to wear a public mask, and if people don't know what to look for, it can go undetected. If it were always obvious that someone was being abused, it wouldn't happen as much.
     
  15. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan Living the Irish dream. Premium Member

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    Are you talking from experience here then?
     
  16. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    It seems to me that if you're creating a villain who wants to become a Borg Queen and form a new Collective out of the people around her, then they're going to have to be pretty twisted and "damaged". I mean, this is someone whose burning ambition is to enable - indeed, to become - the very thing that her society and culture view with unparalleled fear and loathing. These books make a big deal out of the violent effect the Borg have on Federation citizens as the Ultimate Dark Spectre (Janeway notes that the Voyagers have lost some of that fear through facing the Collective on its own turf, and they're forgetting how powerful it is). We'd need to have something to explain why this person should want their fantasy, why they should come to view the Collective as a positive. Whether a Borg plot should have been included as the first major threat - or at all - is another matter, but there we are.

    The idea that a person could be left so out of synch with her culture is made to work with the backstory she's given, I think; that the Federation couldn't see what was happening, that her life was one of fear until the Borg rode in and smashed a hole in the wall to let in the sweet air of freedom. How could she identify with the Federation and the people around her? They were all blind, they were all operating on a different wavelength from the start. She's part of a hidden culture of one (well, two, since her mother was being maltreated as well). In the Federation, no-one would think such things were happening, because they're probably so very rare as to be almost unheard of. Which, as others have noted, might actually make those rare occasions of severe abuse (full on, sociopathic abuse like in this case) in fact far easier to miss. Such a thing "simply doesn't happen" in the Federation; for people to jump to the, let's face it, extreme conclusion that this child (and her mother) were being severely terrorized by a hidden sociopath, even though it happened to be true, is very unlikely. And the idea of a Starfleet officer behaving so abusively toward his spouse and child would probably be near unthinkable. So I can buy that this could have happened, and that no-one would see it, and therefore that it serves well enough to explain why a person would end up embracing something their entire culture and society considers horrific. That they should see salvation in the Borg, and that the distance between them and other Federates should be too vast for anything to turn her from that goal.

    There's still something a bit hard to swallow about the whole matter, and I'm not saying I think it was necessarily a good idea, but I do think it was an interesting enough premise - that a person could be so out of whack with the rest of their people that they viewed the Ultimate Evil and the Biggest Threat as something wondrous and as a form of personal salvation.

    I mean, having everyone in Starfleet (and others) running around crying "BORG, the horror, oh black day, help, fire everything, tear up the law book because BORG" and this one person at the heart of it all thinking, "Borg. Isn't in wonderful!" is possibly a rather compelling idea. And then you need to have a reason why someone would be like that.

    I guess I'm okay with it all, if not completely sold.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2014
  17. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    As a postscript of sorts, it's almost like a more character-focused trial run of the Indign; the idea that some (some races, some people, etc.) have had experiences and histories so far removed from those taken for granted in the Federation and by the majority that they've developed entirely different perspectives on the Borg. To understand why they would see beauty or worth in that horror and evil is something so very hard for others to wrap their minds around, but in Homecoming/The Farther Shore, there's an effort to sketch in something of that tragic and surprising nature.
     
  18. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Perhaps a 100% recovery could be seen that way. But I think Trek should depict a world where survivors of such abuse can make something of themselves. Not be so damaged that death is their only salvation.
     
  19. Markonian

    Markonian Commodore Commodore

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    Perhaps a 100% recovery could be seen that way. But I think Trek should depict a world where survivors of such abuse can make something of themselves. Not be so damaged that death is their only salvation.[/QUOTE]

    In retrospect, Brenna missed salvation by the Caeliar Gestalt by a few years. That would've been her happy ending.
     
  20. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    For anyone interested, we just published the Literary Treks episode for this novel. Here's the link: Literary Treks 239: Big Box o' Pips.

    I also wrote a review awhile back: Voyager: Homecoming by Christie Golden.

    For the most part, I agree with a lot of what has been said here. I feel like my review from a couple of years ago was much more positive than my thoughts on the podcast. I definitely didn't enjoy it as much rereading it this last time.