Quarantine is the fourth book in the Double Helix series and continues dealing with the alien plot to spread a deadly plague through the Alpha Quadrant. This time around, the plague is set loose on an idyllic planet, located in the Demilitarized Zone, called Helena. It is approximately four years after the virus was originally discovered and subsequentally eliminated on Archnia III. (See Infection)
This is a newer and deadlier version of the virus and Helena is quickly quarantined off by the Cardassians. The Cardassians, who encountered and eradicated an earlier version of the same virus on Terok Nor, offer no medical assistance to the Hellenite people. Their plan is to keep them on the planet and let them perish. It should be noted that at this point in Federation history, the Federation had little if any dealings in the demilitarized zone, in keeping with their treaty with Cardassia. The Federation had no knowledge of the situation on Helena or the Cardassian plan.
By a series of chance circumstances, Lieutenant Thomas Riker, a duplicate of the Enterprise's William Riker whom fans of TNG series will recall, finds himself recruited by Captain Chakotay and the Maquis, who are the sole force trying to aid the people of Helena and helping to find a cure. Faced with aggressive and well armed Cardassians, great secrecy from the Hellenite scientists, and an overwhelming number of sick and dying people, Riker and the Maquis battle against time to find a cure....and the person responsible for unleashing this virus on the populace.
An important discovery is made by Tuvok, a "member" of the Maquis. He deduces that the reason the plague was set upon Helena was because it was an experiment. An experiment to learn the speed of the virus, the possibilities of a cure being found in time, and the response, if any, from the Federation. The reader, being privy to information that Tuvok is not, knows that the experiment is not the first and will not be the last. It was set in motion by the man known as "General", the creator of the virus and would be destroyer of the entire Alpha Quadrant.
This reader was very disappointed with Quarantine. While it was interesting to see the character of Tom Riker once again, the entire novel felt rather like "filler". I saw no real reason for the existance of this novel....it did not add anything of significance to the Double Helix storyline and it was simply quite dull.
Author: John Vornholt
Review by: CL4 Liz