-this review contains major spoilers. Proceed with caution-

full circle.jpg

Era: Post-Voyager

Series: Voager: Full Circle (#1)

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Genre: Space Opera

Pages: 561

Publication Date: 2009

Verdict: 4/5

A year after Kathryn Janeway led her ship and its crew back to the Alpha Quadrant, Starfleet prepares for the next mission of the USS Voyager. But before it is even revealed, their dreams of a new age of exploration are shattered by a series of crises, both Galactic, and strikingly personal . . .

Full Circle is an odd book. Though it launches a new era for Voyager and its crew, it’s also rooted in the events of the past. Full Circle isn’t the first Voyager novel of the relauch era, and thise who are less than familiar with some aspects of this new age of Star Trek may find themselves more than a little lost as events proceed. And proceed they do, for the book covers events over a two year period, and they’renot always as connected as you might expect. At least, not internally. What it does connect to is not only past episodes and novels of the Voyager‘s adventures, but to wider elements of the expanded Star trek universe. generally speaking, I’m a fan of these intertextual references, as they make the universe feel more connected. As Full Circle shows, however, an overreliance on these connections can be detrimental to the reader who is unfamiliar with the other works cited.

While the Next Generation and Deep Space Nine relaunches have done a fair bit of heavy lifting in this expanded universe, Voyager has largely been left to do its own thing. Full Circle threads a line through the larger events of the continuity, pulling in character such as Worf, Troi and Martok, while keeping the Voyager crew at its heart. The first half is largely devoted to Paris and Torres as they are dragged into the murky world of Klingon religion. While the Klingon Empire has boasted several of Startrek’s strongest story arcs over the years, I’ve never been that enamoured of them as a culture. Their leather-clad, growly, honour-driven culture brings to mind too many of the Edgelords I’ve been stuck in RPGs with. That said, this section is a fine example of the Voyager team doing what they do best for one final time before they go their separate ways.

The second half of the book is both more scatterhsot and a lot more grim. After the detah of a major character (which happens off the page, in another book) we follow a broken and grief-stricken crew as they wage war against the Borg, running parallel to the events of David Mack’s Destiny trilogy. Being familiar with that trilogy, I found this to be the strongest act, even if it held few surprises in terms of plot. The deeper exploration of loss and PTSD that follows feels like a natural extension of these apocalyptic events, and it was a nice change of pace to have Star trek characters facing the consequences of their actions on a personal level.

Ending on an open note, Full Circle does a lot to set up more adventures down the way. I’ve read the third and fourth books in this saga around a decade ago, so I’m glad to see that things get a little cheerier for our heroes further along the road. Though this opening act can be confusing at times, Beyer’s take on the Voayger series is one I’m definitely going to be continuing in the future.

This probably isn’t the best way to get into the Voyager relaunch, but it’s still a strong book. One I’d recommend for those fans of Star Trek who’d like their adventures spiced up with some great character work.

9 responses to “BOOK REVIEW: Full Circle, by Kirsten Beyer”

  1. BOOK REVIEW: Unworthy, by Kirsten Beyer – At Boundary's Edge Avatar

    […] Full Circle was a weighty novel, not just in pages, but in content. For a lot of the Voyager crew, it was their lowest ebb. A very good book, but not a terribly happy one. Nowehere was this more apparent than with the character of Chakotay. At the end of Full Circle, Chakotay turned down a chance to retain command of Voyager, and resigned his commission. Along with Seven of Nine, Chakotay remianed behind as the fleet left for the Delta Quadrant. Torres too was not part of the fleet, but snuck along for the ride in order to desert with husband Paris. It was a lot of interesting set-up, presenting a real shake-up of the Voyager series. […]


  2. AUDIO REVIEW: The Autobiography of Kathryn Janeway, by Una McCormack – At Boundary's Edge Avatar

    […] at almost every turn, and was generally a lot of fun from start to finish. Kirsten Beyer’s Full Circle novels went some way to filling the Voyager shaped hole in my life, and I still have more novels […]


  3. BOOK REVIEW: Gods of Night, by David Mack – At Boundary's Edge Avatar

    […] then shakes up the status quo. And after this, so much is built on the foundations laid by Mack. Kirsten Beyer’s Voyager novels are born directly from this conflict, and without Destiny there would be no Typhon Pact. […]


  4. BOOK REVIEW: No Time Like the Past, by Greg Cox – At Boundary's Edge Avatar

    […] you enjoy this book? If so, you may also like:Full Circle, by Kirsten BeyerHarbinger, by David MackThe Latter Fire, by James […]


  5. BOOK REVIEW: Homecoming, by Christie Golden – At Boundary's Edge Avatar

    […] you enjoy this book? If so, you might also enjoy:Full Circle, by Kirsten BeyerResistance, by J. M. DillardInferno Squad, by Christie […]


  6. BOOK REVIEW: The Farther Shore, by Christie Golden – At Boundary's Edge Avatar

    […] you enjoy this book? If so, you might also enjoy:Greater Than the Sum, by Christopher L. BennettFull Circle, by Kirsten BeyerBlood and Fire, by David […]


  7. BOOK REVIEW: Old Wounds, by Christie Golden – At Boundary's Edge Avatar

    […] you enjoyed this book, you might also like:Full Circle, by Kirsten BeyerMars, by Ben BovaHomecoming, by Christie […]


  8. There And Back Again: Looking Back at the Star Trek Voyager Relaunch – At Boundary's Edge Avatar

    […] absence, Voyager‘s missions were directed by a woman. The first of Beyer’s novels, Full Circle is a weighty tome with the unenviable task of fulfilling the promises set up in Spirit Walk while […]


  9. BOOK REVIEW: Fire With Fire, by Bernd Perplies & Christian Humberg – At Boundary's Edge Avatar

    […] you enjoyed this book, you might also like:Taking Wing, by Michael A. Martin & Andy MangelsFull Circle, by Kirsten BeyerRevelation & Dust, by David R. George […]


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