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The Escape

Voyager # 2

Series: Star Trek Voyager
Author: Dean Wesley Smith & Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Review by: Lt. Cmdr. Amanda Sielu Paris

As the first real book of the Voyager end of the Star Trek book series, this one goes a little out of character for some of Voyager's regulars. Perhaps that is to be expected. There is, however, a very interesting look at Voyager and the Federation from an outsider's point of view.

Gene Roddenberry created Star Trek to sort of open up the minds of the people viewing it to what he believed humanity could be if they only tried. This story introduces a culture that travels through time and actually finds traveling through space an unnecessary risk.

At the beginning we find Chief Engineer B'Elanna Torres on a desperate mission for parts she is lacking in storage. In the most critical need are the warp engines and a failed attempt she thought would solve their problem almost killed Tuvok and herself in the process. The crew is at a loss for the solution to their problem until Neelix tells them of an 'abandoned' station called Alcawell. Abandoned ships after abandoned ships line the planet, but are rarely touched because many believed the station to be haunted.

In such desperate need to ensure her warp drive, Captain Kathryn Janeway sends a team down. And once again, Neelix, who is on the away team for his local knowledge, sends himself, Ensign Harry Kim and Torres into trouble. What kind they are unsure. All they know is that they are stuck on a planet that turns out to be Alcawell where people can apparently jump through time like Starfleet transports and there seems to be a lot of regulations with numbers that they had broken without knowing it. As they soon find out, Alcawell is very much alive in other times. The species chooses different time periods in which they live on their planet and the time that Voyager exists just happens to be one that no one wants because of the weather in that time. However, there are strict rules about jumping within a certain 'period' set by their government, called Control, and they seemed to have broken every one. Their odds of survival and making it back to Voyager aren't looking that good either.

Janeway, not knowing any of this, just watches as a singular life form replaces her team on the same abandoned ship that had disappeared and reappeared. Running from Control himself, Kjanders, a native of the planet, sets a plan ahead to take over Voyager. Not trusting any of what Kjanders has been telling them, and after much debating, Janeway sends down another away team to investigate the ship that took away her first away team and brought Kjanders back. Only, this time, Tuvok and Lieutenant Tom Paris find out firsthand why Alcawell is considered haunted. Fighting a 'ghost' and a government who doesn't accept an accident, Janeway sets it upon herself to get back the away team. No ghost, no timeframe, nor any government can discourage the captain from saving members of her crew that already seemed doomed.

This is only the second book of the Voyager series, the first being written as the book version f the show's debut called "The Caretaker", so there are details that won't seem right to us. The doctor, although humorous and stubborn as always, seems to be written a little over-board. And Tuvok's dry comments hold almost too much humor for the character we've gotten to know over the whole series. But all in all, the book is entertaining, but it's not one that will probably stick out in your mind as one of your favorites.