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The Homecoming

Series: Star Trek Voyager
Author: Christie Golden
Published: June, 2003
Review by: CL6 Amanda Sielu Paris

After seven years of waiting to come home, Captain Kathryn Janeway has made it home. After the Kazon, Seska, the Borg, and many other species she has met along the way, her crew is safely home in the arms of their families and loved ones. But something doesn't feel it right and it's not the homecoming they were looking forward to. Huge parades and large dinners were just the start of what the Voyager crew expected when they returned to their home quadrant. None of that, however, really happens. The Dominion War has put a dampener on their welcoming parties and Starfleet has more interest in the ships additions then the crew themselves. And people they knew all their lives until they joined the ranks of the Voyager crew are suddenly not the same. This isn't what Captain Janeway had worked for all those years, but it's still good to be home. Things had changed, yes, but they were home. That had to be enough.

Libby has returned in the life of Harry Kim after following in his footsteps of becoming a highly decorative musician. Janeway makes peace with the fact Mark has moved on and married another woman that he has a child with. She accepts it and becomes another member of the family. B'Elanna Torres reunites with her father only to leave her new baby and husband, Tom Paris, to venture on a quest to find out what really happened to her mother. Seven of Nine tries a life of normalcy with her Aunt Irene while Icheb becomes quite a popular kid at Starfleet Academy. Chakotay visits home and the doctor searches for someone to fawn over him. The lives of the Voyager crew on the outside seem to be getting back into place even if it is with them being split apart after all those years of depending only on each other. That's just from the outside though. Some of Starfleet's most prestigious officers are being questioned in a conspiracy theory and Libby isn't just a talented musician. Nothing is quite right back at home.

More and more is released about a disease that children and older people on the planet are getting. The information is supposed to be top secret, but every now and then a piece falls out of the loop. The work is so secret that the doctor can't even help with this outbreak. The Federation and Starfleet assures everyone that it's not a big deal. But as time goes on, Janeway and her crew know it's not just any big deal. With this outbreak, suddenly all the holograms all go on strike and the doctor is blame. And then Seven of Nine is taken from her home she now shares with her aunt in connection with this outbreak. Janeway calls back her crew for one last heroic effort. They have to get back to Voyager and find the source of this outbreak, because their worst fears that the disease is actually from the Borg and came back with Voyager is on everyone's minds.

I always wanted to know more in-depth what their return was actually like after all the hoopla had settled down. According to this great continuation, the Voyager crew doesn't get much downtime before another call upon them is made. They've got some help this time, but it's going to take everything they have to save not just their ship this time, but the whole planet that they worked so hard to come back to. There's a lot of desperation in these characters and you feel it as a reader. Your heart is racing right along with Janeway's when she makes the discovery and suddenly you're rooting for Libby as the underdog. This is one of the best Voyager books since Mosaic and Pathways to come out. Christie Golden does a wonderful job with all the emotions that crash in on the crew as they each take it a different way. Each character has their own reaction to the return home, but that's how they've always been. Each crewmember sees it a different way, but they always come through together. There's no way this tight-knit crew would fall apart and go on living normal lives after their adventure. Coming home is just the start of another one.