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Star Trek: Voyager: The Eternal Tide [Mass Market Paperback]

Kirsten Beyer
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Book Description

Aug. 28 2012 Star Trek: Voyager
As the Voyager fleet continues its exploration of the Delta Quadrant, investigating the current status of sectors formerly controlled by the Borg becomes a key priority. Two of the fleet’s special mission vessels, the U.S.S. Galen and U.S.S. Demeter, are left at New Talax to aid Neelix’s people, while the Voyager, Quirinal, Esquiline, Hawking, and Curie do a systematic search for any remnants of the Borg or Caeliar, even as the Achilles moves to a location central enough to offer aid to the exploring vessels as needed. As this critical mission begins, Fleet Commander Afsarah Eden, who has shared what little she knows of her mysterious past with Captain Chakotay, begins to experience several more “awakenings” as she encounters artifacts and places that make her feel connected to her long-lost home. She is reluctant to allow these visions to overshadow the mission, and this becomes increasingly difficult as time passes. But in the midst of this growing crisis, no one in the fleet could anticipate the unexpected return of one of Starfleet’s most revered leaders—a return that could hold the very fate of the galaxy in the balance.

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About the Author

Kristen Beyer is the author of Star Trek: Voyager: Children of the Storm, Unworthy, Full Circle, String Theory: Fusion, the APO novel Alias: Once Lost, and contributed the short story “Isabo’s Shirt” to the Distant Shores Anthology.

™, ®, and © 2012 CBS Studios, Inc. Star Trek and Related Marks are trademarks of
CBS Studios, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

VOYAGER

Captain Afsarah Eden couldn’t tear her eyes away from the viewscreen. Voyager moved at maximum warp, the deck below Eden’s boots thrumming with the engines’ strain as stars stretched themselves out in the illusory image that defined this particular version of warp flight.

Eden and her crew were fleeing certain death. And with each second that passed, oblivion was gaining on them. The ship could not maintain its current velocity indefinitely, nor could it safely form a slipstream tunnel to increase its odds of outrunning destruction.

Part of Eden knew that by running, they were only prolonging the inevitable. In some cold, lonely corner of her heart, she had already accepted her own death. But the duty that had bound her to Starfleet and sustained her through the most difficult times of her life demanded that she make this attempt on behalf of those she led.

The temptation, no, the desperate longing she felt to order the ship to come about was becoming more difficult to ignore. Did she need to see the beast, to name it before it devoured them? Was it some absurd definition of honor that called on her to stand her ground, even in the face of annihilation?

Or was it simply the fact that she was tired of running? This monster had already taken too much from her. There was no longer any true victory to be claimed here. She was not fleeing a predator that might grow weary of its chase. She was attempting to outrun something that had all but stripped away every last shred of her own identity. She was incapable of resisting or defying it. It would have her. And given enough time, it might actually bring her to accept that its version of Afsarah Eden was truer than the one she had constructed in fifty-plus years of life.

She belonged to this darkness, and as that certainty struck her with the force of a roaring wave, she began to lose her bearings. Her head grew inexplicably light and her knees buckled. Eden reached her right arm back to steady herself against the command chair in which she knew she would never again sit.

Her eyes briefly registered another person standing beside her, and the motion meant to reorient her became a graceless stagger as she unconsciously rebelled against the sight her mind refused to accept.

I’m dead already.

She had to be.

Eden willed the vision to clear, but the longer she stared open-mouthed at the figure next to her, the more that figure seemed to coalesce and solidify.

“Impossible,” Eden whispered.

Beside her, Admiral Kathryn Janeway’s stone-cold eyes held Eden’s with a painful mixture of determined despair.

“This is a dream,” Eden said, willing her voice to hold steady even as her senses scrambled for an escape route.

“Feels more like a nightmare to me,” Kathryn replied.

• • •

The mess hall was all but deserted this close to the middle of gamma shift. Most of the crew members who had signed off a few hours earlier had already eaten, and those looking to get a jump on their day prior to the start of alpha shift wouldn’t start straggling in for another hour at least.

Still, Captain Chakotay didn’t look up from his padd until the individual who had entered moments earlier made her way toward him and stood silently for a few seconds behind the chair across from his.

“I thought you were planning to turn in early for a really good night’s sleep,” the weary voice of the fleet commander greeted him.

“And I thought the wee hours were the only ones that ever found you sleeping,” he replied convivially as Captain Eden pulled out the chair and sat restlessly.

“Do you mind?” she asked once the deed was already done.

“Of course not,” he replied sincerely. “I’m not going to finish this letter tonight anyway,” he added, stifling a yawn as he pushed the padd aside and sipped from a cup of tea that had grown cold an hour ago.

“It’s unusual to find you at a loss for words,” Eden said lightly as she rubbed her eyes.

A faint smile traipsed across Chakotay’s lips as he replied, “Is that a good thing?”

“So far I’d say, absolutely,” Eden said more seriously.

A few months earlier, before the fleet had crossed paths with the Children of the Storm, Chakotay would have been hard-pressed to imagine himself engaged in such easy banter with Eden. Though she was a distinguished officer and an able leader, he’d found it difficult to warm to her, probably in no small part due to the fact that Starfleet Command had seen fit to assign her to Voyager’s center seat when the fleet had first launched and he was still deemed unfit for duty. Once Eden had assumed command of the fleet and officially requested that Chakotay resume his former place as Voyager’s captain, she had continued to maintain an aloof distance from those she led.

Recent, near disastrous events, however, had begun to bridge the distance between them, as they were forced to stretch the boundaries of the formal command structure and work together to find solutions to a vast array of challenges, including the loss of one of the nine ships that had originally begun the journey, the almost total loss of a second, and the capture of a third by the Children. Eden had also recently seen fit to share some of her personal history with him, including her mysterious origins, and he’d finally begun to see her not just as his commanding officer, but as an individual: complex, devoted to duty, but painfully alone. Now, he found that he had no compunction in returning her confidence and was actually grateful for the opportunity to share a little of his own current burden.

“It’s my sister, Sekaya,” he sighed.

Eden’s eyes left his as she searched her memory. “She’s not Starfleet, is she?”

“No. She has accepted civilian assignments from time to time, but where I’ve seen the possibility of working for positive change from within Starfleet, she’s always been skeptical.”

Eden nodded. “Your people’s experiences with the Cardassians probably had something to do with that.”

“For starters,” Chakotay agreed.

Suddenly Eden’s eyes widened. “She thought your resignation was going to be permanent, didn’t she?”

“She wasn’t the only one,” Chakotay chuckled. “Of course I wrote to her the moment I reassumed command of Voyager, but I didn’t get her response until we regrouped with the rest of the fleet last week.”

“She’s not happy,” Eden rightly surmised.

“No.”

What began as a slight pause was threatening to stretch into a lull when Chakotay added, “I don’t blame her. She never saw what Kathryn’s death did to me, but we have enough mutual friends that word got back to her anyway. Her relief at my resignation was comforting at the time, but I’m finding it harder now to explain my certainty that as much as leaving the service, even briefly, was absolutely necessary, returning now is the best choice I could possibly make.”

“Do you doubt your choice?”

“Not at all,” Chakotay replied firmly. “I know I haven’t ‘taken a step back or retreated from a better future.’ ”

Eden’s eyes narrowed. “She doesn’t mince words, does she?”

“It runs in the family.” Chakotay grinned knowingly. “But beyond assuring her that she’s wrong, and without actually being able to see her and explain myself in person, I don’t know how to convince her. The more I think about it, the more I realize that my choice has more to do with instinct or . . . a feeling I trust but can’t really name. I’ve made peace with my past.”

Eden shook her head and smiled mirthlessly. “That makes one of us.”

Setting his own concerns aside, Chakotay took a moment to study Eden. Tension knotted her brow and lifted her shoulders. Her black, almond-shaped eyes were uncharacteristically uncertain.

“So, why aren’t you sleeping tonight, Afsarah?” he asked kindly.

She sat back in her chair and took a long sip of whatever warm beverage she’d replicated before joining him. “It’s nothing.”

“I doubt that.”

He was pleased to see her countenance soften just enough to let a little light back into her eyes.

“For the last few weeks, I’ve been having this recurring dream.”

“Really?” he asked, genuinely intrigued. Though he was no expert in dream analysis, it, like all manner of subconscious exploration, had been a subject of deep inquiry throughout his life. His curiosity was grounded in his people’s unquestioning acceptance of a spiritual realm that coexisted with reality and could be entered willingly with enough practice. But this belief was rare among Starfleet officers—so rigorously grounded in reason, logic, and science.

Eden took another sip before going on. “I’m alone on the bridge. At least at first.”

Chakotay kept his expression neutral as he nodded for her to continue.

“We’re moving at high warp away from something terrible. We need to go faster, but we can’t. I’m absolutely certain the ship is about to be destroyed. And then . . .” Her voice trailed off.

“Then?”

“I shouldn’t be bothering you with this.”

Chakotay was puzzled by her abrupt retreat. “Then?” he gently coaxed.

Eden studie...

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4.0 out of 5 stars Wow. Dec 10 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book was very good and interesting. The Voyager series sucked as a TV show but all the books that take place where the series ended are very good.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  113 reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complex and ever-unfolding narrative Aug. 28 2012
By Coleen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Read it in 7 hours. Didn't stop. Not only is a great multi-faceted story line, but the open threads at the end leave so much to see.

It's refreshing to see the Q in mixed into such a complex tale that they aren't able to just *snap* and solve. That coupled with the deep-felt emotion seen in everyone's favorite "Q-Family" speaks to Kristen Beyer's ability to build a solid, imaginative plot that really connects with all the preexisting elements of the Star Trek universe... or should I say multiverse? :)

*Spoilers below*

Once you get over Janeway's return - which is pretty heartfelt and cool (J/Cer rejoice!)the immediate juxtaposition between Eden and Janeway is interesting, though predictable. Tall and short, dark and white, short hair and long hair; the side-by-side of these two was all the foreshadow I needed to know what was up. But, it was still nice to read myself right in the end.

All other characters aside, because there's not a lot of character development going on in the middle of a plot that shifts side-ways every chapter (no offense to the author - it's just hard to do in 400 pages), Hugh Cambridge is the best addition to the relaunch cast. Just when I thought he was stepping up to take the Doctor's spot in the sarcasm department, he turned out to creatively ambivalent in all the right ways making him the most dynamic character on the cast.

Well done to Beyer and her support staff. Well worth the wait.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Voyager Excellence Aug. 30 2012
By Chesh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A thoroughly enjoyable read from start to finish. Beyer does an excellent job of continuing the Voyager relaunch novels while also giving Janeway fans the event they've been waiting for.

The book is much more than a return of Janeway. Depending on how you count them up, Beyer presents at least 4-5 different story lines with multiple ships and distinctive characters all trying to get through the Delta quadrant as best they can. The adventure never lags as you follow new and familiar faces through personal quests, interstellar phenomena, and unexpected discoveries.

I teared up, I got chills, and from the moment I picked up the book I didn't put it down until I finished reading! Thank you Mrs. Beyer for a great reading experience and giving Voyager fans the ship and crew they've grown to love.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for Janeway Aug. 28 2012
By Lev T. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Contains spoilers:
Admiral Janeway makes her triumphant return in this book. The publishers of Star Trek made a grievous error in killing off Janeway in the first place. She is a popular character especially among women. The publishers have rectified this act of stupidity. The plot itself is fast paced and the intellectual scope of this book was a pleasant surprise. The book is not solely about Janeway. As a matter of fact it takes quite some time before Janeway makes her reappearance. Other Voyager characters are also there and dealt with in a good way. I liked the interaction between Tom and B'lanna. At the end of the book there is also a pleasant surprise for Janeway fans but I wont tell you what it is.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What I've been waiting for Aug. 29 2012
By SGFan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I will start out with this disclaimer - I am a Janeway/Chakotay fan. So with that in mind, you may take my review however you like. Ever since I read Before Dishonor and Full Circle, I've been hoping and waiting for Kirsten Beyer (or some other author) to bring back Janeway. It wasn't just because I liked the J/C potential romantic relationship in the early years of the show. Voyager plots, story lines, books, whatever just were not the same without the driving force of Janeway. Even in her death in past books, the story could not be told without referencing her.

Regarding this book, I was glad that there was a purpose behind her resurrection, albeit one that is hard to grasp (but it's science fiction). Honestly, for the most part, I could have cared less about Eden and the other ships. In some parts, I just had to go with the plot and technical jargon because it got abstract and difficult to imagine. However, I think the relationships between all the characters were paramount to the story. The family dynamics between Q, female Q, and their son were also very interesting - a nice look at the Q Continuum.

For those wanting an intriguing story, The Eternal Tide is thought provoking and engages your mind.
For those wanting the return of Janeway, this book does not disappoint. She is the same strong admiral/captain we knew before.
For those wanting to see the continuation of the J/C relationship, this book is a must. The Eternal Tide is a welcome resolution to the cut short relationship in Full Circle.

Personally, I hope this character is now used in other books and that this Voyager series is continued.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty big adventure - oh and that babe on the cover shows up too. Jan. 4 2013
By Ultraaman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
***MOSTLY SPOILER-FREE REVIEW***

Well gee, if you didn't know that at some point Janeway was going to come back after dying 5 years ago our time - about a year in Star Trek time - in a rather unceremonious shuffling off as a temporary Borg Queen then you really have no business reading a book where her face is right there on the cover [I'm looking at you, reviewer who gave this book 1 star because you demand that "dead is dead"].

Truth be told, I hate 'back from the dead' story lines too but I when I read her not-half-bad-but-nowhere-near-satisfying death 9 books ago, I had no doubt she would return at some point ESPECIALLY given the visit from Q that she got just prior to being assimilated. All I cared about was that her return happened in a way that matched the importance of her death. Janeway is my favorite captain (and probably my favorite Star Trek character, period) and has been since about Season 5 of a show that never lived up to the gravitas that Kate Mulgrew brought to the role. But in the books that Kristen Beyer has written, now her 4th in a row, the voices of the Voyager characters ring as true as they ever have and with the Admiral back it's like an old friend has just walked back into my life.

This adventure takes place a week after the previous book and wastes no time pulling back the curtain on a massive and dangerous menace that threatens more than anyone could imagine. Captain Eden's story takes an unexpected, and gosh I hate saying this but also rather boring, turn even though it is a pivotal plot point. Seven gets a nice chunk of a story that moves her past her doubts and finally after all these years looking like she is coming into her own. We get mercifully very little of Paris, Torres, or Kim, get jipped a little by getting barely any Doctor, but get rewarded with some great moments from the counselor, Hugh Cambridge. Chakotay's immense evolution in the previous books reaches its apex here and - this really shouldn't come as a shock - his reunion with Katherine is very emotional and yet manages to stay true to character. Truth be told there is a lot of crying in this book, a lot of crying in all of Beyer's book actually, but whatev she makes it work and it doesn't come off schmaltzy.

Due to the immensity of the main threat, major story arcs from throughout Voyager's seven seasons play a role here though enough detail is provided I think to put it in context. My one gripe is that in more than one place I couldn't visualize what Beyer was trying to convey. It reminded me of what I experienced when reading science fiction from the late 19th Century when writers had no concept of what science was necessary to make their space exploration tales possible. They just made up a bunch of nebulous hooey that gave the impression that whatever was going on was just too complex and out there for a normal person to comprehend when in reality the author had little to no idea what he was trying to convey.

In the end it works but like other parts of her previous books where I've felt the need to skip a page or two, Beyer does a great job of providing recap in-story in a believable way to keep you from getting lost or being taken out of the book by an info-dump. Oh, and just to sweeten the pot, the big climax of this book (which is done quite well) brings back into the fold one of Star Trek's most dangerous foes who puts Janeway squarely in his/her/its cross hairs.

Yes, the guest-stars hijack the book and the story barely hold true to the 'seeking out new life' mantra of Star Trek at large. If you feel the need to cling to that kind of purity that's your choice (and probably means you don't like DS9, the best Trek series by leaps and bounds). This was a big adventure and I'm glad to have taken the ride.
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