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Star Trek Voyager: Lifeline

Series: Starfleet Academy # 1
Author: Bobbie JG Weiss & David Cody Weiss
Published: August, 1997
Review by: Cmdr. Amanda Sielu Paris

I have always had this obsession or at least admiration of Starfleet Academy. My favorite episodes include the Starfleet school and some of my favorite books take place there. Perhaps I'm crazy and perhaps I'm too much like a kid in a way, but I actually enjoy some of the Starfleet Academy stories. You get to see your favorite characters before they had their pips and all their experience behind them. They are usually starting fresh with their dreams wide open for anything. Kathryn Janeway is one of my favorite Star Trek women. She's strong, beautiful in her own way, and she's basically what you would want to be as a woman in Starfleet. This book finds her back to a time when everything was still up in the air for her.

She arrives at Starfleet Academy without her father although the admiral had promised he'd be there. Another mission had pulled him away on this important day and she is forced to face it alone. Kathryn has already made a promise to herself not to get involved with anyone after a romance with a fellow high school student turned bitter after she was accepted to Starfleet Academy and he wasn't. All this is running through her mind as she finds she's a roommate with Disaoman twins named ThrumPol. Because of their delicate situation in slowly learning to live without each other, the twins had to bunk together until their separation became easy. Kathryn is their lucky roommate.

The three girls fail their first room inspections and Kathryn is sure that Commander Etienne Mallet has them marked to watch next time. Their first building drill, as if they were on a ship, is the first morning of classes. Kathryn meets her partner during the drills named Dunkirk Frost. These drills continue and Dunkirk takes an interest in Kathryn, but she involves herself with only her work. She has to do it alone and she has to be on top of every subject. This is to the dismay of ThrumPol and Dunkirk.

During a certain drill, Kathryn leaves her station in alarm for ThrumPol. Both Pol and Kathryn are punished for leaving their stations. Mallet gives them an extra assignment in addition to their classes. They must solve a hologram program all by themselves. No matter how they try, Pol and Kathryn fail each time. This assignment overtakes Kathryn's mind and she starts going without Pol. ThrumPol start getting upset with Kathryn knowing that she is going alone when it's not just her assignment, but also Pol's. But like everything else Kathryn had started at the Academy, she has finish this assignment on her own and she has to get it perfect. That's not always the way to address things as she finds out after a visit from a special admiral she had been missing reminds her.

I really enjoy seeing those experienced Starfleet officers get shoved back to when they were almost vulnerable. Yes, they were courageous, but they are almost like any other high school graduate you know going into the military. As I am in going into the military, I guess I can relate with the Academy story lines. But there are also really good lessons for not only the kids these books are meant for, but even adults can learn a lesson or two from these Starfleet cadets.