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Series: Voyager
Author: Diane Carey
Published: October, 1999
Review by: Lt. jg Steve Norton

Equinox is one of many installments in the Voyager book line that mirrors an episode. In this case 'Equinox Parts 1 and 2'. This book goes into the darker side of the decision a captain with a stranded crew must make. It also has a brighter side as two lost ships, long lost sisters, are reunited to form a short lived fleet of two.

The novel begins with Captain Rudolph Ransom and the crew of the USS Equinox trading with a race called the Ankari. During the encounter the Ankari perform a ritual for good luck to the hallowed crew. A summoned creature appears and is found to be rich in the fuel the Equinox desperately needs to return home, to the Alpha Quadrent. Ransom is able to secure a device with which to summon these creatures and works to find a way to exploit the creatures to help his crew. With all his good intention, Ransom is not able to keep the creatures alive during the experiments and makes the decision to continue killing the lifeforms to get the Equinox home faster. A decision that will make some people lose sleep, but at least they may one day sleep on Earth again, a fair trade is it not?

The crew of the USS Voyager eventually stumbles upon a crippled, and seemingly lifeless Equinox being attacked by the very same creatures they had been exploiting and murdering. Filled with a sense of purpose once again Captain Kathryn Janeway and her intrepid crew rush to their comrads aid. A new Starfleet is borne in the middle of the Delta Quadrent where no Federation influence can be felt. Ransom however did not recieve the same training as Janeway, and therefore made different decisions. These differences in opinion lead them to eventually part ways, in phaser fire.

Voyager, with the help of the Ankari are eventually able to subdue the mystical creatures that had plagued the Equinox and Voyager, but this was not the only battle fought or victor decided. Janeway and Chakotay once again would come to a head on how to deal with the situation. Captain's perogatives are also tested, and how far is too far when it comes to the line that all commanding officers must walk. Lastly, the battle of comrade turned against comrade all for an ideal. Did good prevail at the end of the book? I hope so, but where should the line be drawn on the value of a crew, and the value of belief?

While being slightly predictable for the avid Voyager fan, the book is still a good read. I read it before the I actually watched the episodes it depicts on tv, and without prior knowledge I would have missed some of the finer points of the shows. I recomend this for any Star Trek fan as it illistrates the what if... of two veiw points under one flag that most shows normally avoid.