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- Spirit Walk (#2)
- Part of the Litverse
- Focuses on the Voyager crew
- Published by Pocket Books in 2004
- A Space Opera
- 292 pages
Captain Chakotay has been abducted by the mad scientist Crell Moset. In his place, in command of Voyager, sits a Changeling with an agenda of their own. Only a few suspect the depths of the deception, and even they may not be able to prevent his plans coming to fruition . . .
This was an odd book to read, for reasons completely beyond its own control. The Voyager relaunch was the first Litverse series I tackled, when I read Children of the Storm and The Eternal Tide about a decade ago. Back then a lot of the context eluded me (not least the death of Janeway), and I drifted away from Star Trek books for a long time. It was only in 2020 that I revisited the start of that story arc with Full Circle, and from there read through to the very last Litverse Voyager novel, To Lose the Earth. That, I thought, would be the complete story. But then I decided to take a step back. There were four Voyager novels set between ‘Endgame’ and Full Circle, all written by Christie Golden. They didn’t quite seem to gain the same plaudits as the Beyer novels, but I’m a completionism at heart, and wanted to read them all the same. And so it is that my final post-‘Endgame’ piece of reading is not really a climax, but the middle of a story. More than that, it’s the middle of a story that was picked up by another author, which makes from from very strange reading.
The best part of Old Wounds was seeing Chakotay take command of Voyager. Somewhat disappointingly, there’s little of that on display here. Chakotay is a prisoner, and spends much of the novel’s final act on a ‘spirit walk,’ which is where Golden again shows both more care for Native traditions than the show managed, while also pushing the spiritual element further than I enjoy in Star Trek. But before we get there, we get some truly excellent scenes of Chakotay and his Cardassian captor in conversation. Chakotay was always a calm and reassuring presence on the bridge, and that is amplified here as he takes a more diplomatic approach to a Cardassian than you might expect from a former Maquis. The anger is still there, yes, but now it is tempered by wisdom and experience.
Back on the ship, the stars of the show are Harry Kim and Litverse original Doctor Kaz. The only two aware of the Changeling’s impersonation, they get to engage in some traditional cat-and-mouse adventures, each side trying to outwit the other. Coupled with the political intrigue faced by Janeway and Paris, this makes for a suitably space operatic end to the series. Running behind all the action and subterfuge, there is also a broader plot. In the aftermath of the Dominion War, some planets are seeking to leave the Federation. Then there is the ongoing kuvah’magh prophecy being investigated by Torres. There is a lot packed into this book, which makes the long hiatus between Enemy of My Enemy and Full Circle, and the change in author, all the more unfortunate.
Though it marks the end of my journey through the Voyager relaunch, Enemy of My Enemy feels more like the two-part premiere of a series than a rousing finale. Much of that is an artefact of the manner in which I have read the books, but it is still a lot of setup for events that do not come to pass as advertised.
I’ll be back soon with an overview of the entire Voyager relaunch but until then, here’s to the journey.
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