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The Farther Shore by Christie Golden
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330652,044 (3.44)3
When the long-lost Starship Voyager returned home to Earth, did Kathryn Janeway and her crew unwittingly bring with them a deadly Borg infection from the heart of the Delta Quadrant? Many in Starfleet think so, and Seven of Nine finds herself the prime suspect as the carrier of the plague.

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Most of the characterization was on (save, perhaps, for Tuvok), and the book continues the story from Homecoming right where it left off - but I think a little momentum was lost. B'Elanna Torres's story was good, but it could hardly have been more incongruous with the rest of the book. Voyager has been cursed with the ability to make even Borg stories lackluster in the past - and it carries that tradition on through this book. Also, the reader becomes keenly aware that television-friendly effects, like holograms assuming the forms of others, is a whole 'nother ball game in the written form. All in all, though, a cozy read. If you like Voyager, you'll like it. I do, in a guilty pleasure way, despite forever wondering when Harry Kim's character will start to develop. Maybe after another decade of stories or so :) ( )
  Ron18 | Feb 17, 2019 |
The previous book, Homecoming, was my intro to the tie-in novels, and I really enjoyed it. This one was a bit rougher if considered on it's own, but together they make a solid story. It's better to think of it as the second-half of a two-part TV episode than as it's own novel.

While I enjoyed the plot of the last one when it was still a mystery how the threads would tie together, this one tied them together too succinctly. The entire Federation is at stake from the two main plot points, but they are neatly resolved with no indication of consequences, and the Federation-shaking plots overshadow the story of the Voyager crew reintegrating after seven years lost in space. It feels like the Borg and Hologram stories could have been told after the crew had a few books to settle in and face challenges a bit closer to home.

Still enjoyable, but felt like it missed some opportunities. Also, had a number of spelling errors. Come on! ( )
  aulandez | Dec 17, 2017 |
Star Trek Voyager: The Farther Shore by Christie Golden is the direct sequel to Homecoming, and together the two books form a duology. They are more like one longer book that was split in two, however, and neither of them stand alone. This review contains spoilers for Homecoming, and probably some for The Farther Shore, too, but I will put those under a spoiler shield thingy unless they are very minor.

This book made me pretty angry. There were two main elements which led to this. First, the prologue and a bunch of out-take type scenes in Homecoming featured extensive violent and sexual child abuse over many years of the victim's life. I had no idea where those scenes were going in the first book, so I largely filed them away in the "will probably be relevant later" draw. In The Farther Shore their purpose was revealed: the child abuse existed to motive the villain being a villain. There are so many things wrong with this, I don't even know where to start. Let's start with the obvious that most victims of domestic violence don't go on to pursue world domination. Also, while domestic violence is endemic in our society, it really seems like the sort of thing the Star Trek future should have largely dealt with and mostly eliminated. Certainly, I find it implausible that it continued for her entire childhood without the future having given her mother the tools to get herself and the child out of the situation. But more importantly, the whole being repeatedly raped as a child making someone a villain and turning into a literal monster is a very damaging trope. I was very annoyed to find it a pivotal plot element.

The other thing that really annoyed me was a bit of a spoiler, so it is under a spoiler shield.

There was scene where revolting holograms kidnap a bunch of people, choosing mainly based on convenience regarding where they worked. Then, to emphasise how much holograms have been treated as slaves (a point, I might add, that is explored much better in the actual series), the people are beaten and threatened with rape. We see things from the point of view of a male security guard and he surmises that, since the holograms have apparently gone mad and started whipping him, a woman that got carried off by angry holograms might get raped. To be fair, we only see things from this one guard's point of view and by the end it seems likely that she probably wasn't raped (or possibly wasn't real) but it was such an extreme and misplaced way of punishing a few randomly chosen humans for the apparent crime of conforming to society's view on holograms that it pissed me off. Rape as punishment is never OK. Even less so in this context. So that pissed me off.


Overall, there were minimal redeeming plot qualities but the rest of the book wasn't terrible. The hologram revolt sort of fizzled out and the Borg threat was, predictably, stopped by our main characters. The characterisation was all right, but the characters weren't exactly put in optimal situations. Even the well-meaning but mislead character who kept standing in their way had an unsatisfactory about-turn. Libby, a new character who I liked in the first book, still played a pivotal role but did not get enough page time in the resolution. B'Ellana's story line was completely separate from the main elements of the plot. Although it wasn't bad, it really could have been removed without ruining anything. The only relevant part was that she was off elsewhere while Tom was with the other main characters. I assume it's purpose was to set up some future book, but, well, meh.

I have been a bit harsh, though. The first part of The Farther Shore wasn't too bad. Aside from the specific things I singled out above, only the ending was a bit disappointing. On the other hand, from about half-way through my desire to get through it so I could write an angry review, which I have now done, started to outweigh my desire to find out what happened next. The latter, however, is why I didn't just put it down. (Also because it's not that long.)

I don't particularly recommend this book to anyone. Which is unfortunate, because the previous book wasn't bad, but definitely doesn't stand alone. Part of me wants to know more of what happens to these characters, but I think it will be a while before I pick up another Voyager book, alas. (But my TBR rejoices at not having the competition.)

2.5 / 5 stars

You can read more of my reviews on my blog. ( )
1 vote Tsana | Jan 6, 2016 |
I found this book only marginally better than the first in the series, but still found the story rather unbelievable (even for the Star Trek universe). I wouldn't recommend it unless you're a die-hard Voyager fan (which I am), and even then I'd give a warning. ( )
  snitchbitch | Sep 10, 2013 |
I was pretty neutral about the first book and I was hoping that this one would improve. Sadly it went in the wrong direction. By the time I was done I was pretty disappointed in this entire series. Many of the crew hardly get any scenes, instead Libby Webber and a kidnapped Starfleet officer get more time than they do. Again the multiple plot lines result in a lack of cohesion. B’lanna’s storyline is not really resolved and I found myself thinking what was the point of this again and why was it so urgent? For the other two major plotlines, the doctor and the borg plague, there were major developments that just fell out of the sky. Spoilers. I find it hard to believe that the doctor’s holographic technology was so quickly duplicated. The way that wrapped up was almost laughable. After all the duplication using holograms why didn’t anyone think to double check that the man died and not his hologram? To top that off, a Starfleet officer ends up harboring him. I don’t think so. Next the Borg plotline. The Borg are like the ultimate enemy. How could any human, even a really damaged one think that they are the answer to the world’s problems? And there are multiple Starfleet officers involved in it, thinking that it’s not a problem. I didn’t buy it. On top of which, there has never been any indication that Borg debris is dangerous. Instead of feeling like a clever idea it just felt cobbled together to make the story work. ( )
  readr | Dec 5, 2012 |
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Epigraph
Now the laborer's day is o'er,
Now the battle day is past:
Now upon the farther shore
Lands the voyager at last.

--"Hymn," JOHN ELLERTON
Dedication
This book is humbly dedicated
to the Columbia Seven:

Rick Husband
William McCool
Ilan Ramon
David Brown
Laurel Clark
Michael Anderson
Kalpana Chawla

We mourn you and salute you.
May your spirits dance with the stars.
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She graduates at the top of her class, and she has learned more from the Academy than anyone could have suspected.
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