The Captain's Table 4 : Fire Ship Mass Market Paperback – 1998
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Top Customer Reviews
While this book is not, in my opinion, the best of the Captains' Table series, it is quite a good story in its own right. Captain Janeway's attempts to fit herself into an alien culture and crew with a quasi-Victorian view of women are interesting, and her growth into compassion for a woman of the mysterious "Menace" race is touchingly realistic, as she struggles to overcome the hatred for them which is almost all that has kept her going since the destruction of the USS Voyager, which she has witnessed. Plus, there's a special twist to the ending, but I won't tell you what it is, except to say this: the story does not end exactly the way one might expect it to. Buy it, especially if you like "coming-of-age"-type stories.
Like Sulu, Picard, and Sisko before her (Kirk had been there before), Janeway stumbles into the incredibly dopey "Captain's Table", a bar exclusively for captains of ships from all times and places. Like her predecessors, Janeway must tell a story. But there the comparisons with previous Captain's Table debacles ends. Carey boldly ignores the Captain's Table conventions and lets Janeway tell her story without the constant interruptions that plagued the previous books.
And what a story it is. Janeway finds herself alone with an alien crew, forced to adapt to no longer being in charge and literally swabbing decks. Carey has found her stride as an author (see the atrocious TNG novel Ghost Ship for an earlier effort), weaving a narrative that is compelling, interesting, and evocative. There are, inevitably, some bits that do not entirely "work," but this was the first Trek novel in a long, long time that I a) didn't want to put down and b) looked forward to picking up again. It is also the first Trek book in recent memory that I actually *want* to read again.
An observation about the negative reviews. I have never been a big Voyager fan. I am familiar with the characters, of course, but, except for the Doctor, am not attached to any of them. So, the lack of other Voyager crew did not bother me in the slightest. Similarly, I am by no means a Janeway afficionado. Is "Fire Ship"'s Janeway a realistic portrayal of the original?Read more ›
That being said: Yes, Janeway is out of character. But guess what? It's a story that Janeway's telling. Maybe it happened, and maybe it didn't. That's what we're left to guess at. Here's another way to think about it: Chakotay making up Indian stories to prove a point to someone. Jesus coming up with a parable. Did it happen? Probably not. Or maybe not that exact way. It's a story and you just 'go with it' and enjoy the ride.
Anyway, back to the book... Basically, Janeway is exploring and comes upon this little bar where all these captains sit around telling 'war stories'. She's asked to tell a story and begins. The whole novel is her story, basically.
What did I think of the book? I loved it. It was an interesting story and I really couldn't put it down when I first read it. And get this: I've read it several times after. Now that's a good book!
So do yourself a favour and read 'outside the box...er, ship' this time. Well, unless you hate Janeway - then don't read the novel.
The fact that it takes place away from Voyager and the rest of the crew was a bit daunting to me at first. (I was in a rut, and liked it just fine.) But I quickly realized that that fact alone made this book unique and memorable. And Diane Carey delivered all the way through. The story was well thought out and entertaining from beginning to end.
This was a look at a side of Janeway we never saw on Voyager. Can you imagine Kathryn Janeway swabbing the deck? Wonderful! And the thing I loved the most about this book was that Carey portrayed Janeway with dignity and grace, even in the worst cirmustances imaginable. And on a far more shallow note, it also answers the question about what happened to her long hair.
If you are a Janeway fan, you simply must read this book.
Another thing I didn't like was the lack of other Voyager characters. They were mentioned, but appeared only at the beginning and end of the book. Half the fun of seeing everything from the captain's point of view is watching how she deals with some of the members of her crew. Take Tom, for example. If he makes one of his characteristic remarks, does the captain mind? Does she feel annoyed?
On a more positive note, I did find the book entertaining, and the lack of Voyager made me more happy to see it in the end.
Most recent customer reviews
I was expecting this book to be good, but it was more than good, it was excellent. An excelent plot that keeps the book up non stop until you are done.Published on June 11 2003
This was indeed a very thrilling book because you dont know the characters and its makes it very unpredictable! Read morePublished on Nov. 8 2002 by Mylene Tan
"Fire Ship" is a particularly intriguing and well written book by one of "Trek's" best authors. Read morePublished on July 21 2002 by K. Wyatt
A totally wonderful book! At first I did not warm up to the idea of Janeway 'losing' everyone on Voyager, but Diane Carey did a great job! Read morePublished on March 23 2002 by friendlyvoyager
It's a very good story. The way it put every thing into a first person point of view. It's different from a 3rd person point of view. Everyone in the story was well laded out. Read morePublished on Oct. 24 2000 by jonathan
I generally don't like Captain Janeway and it was hard at first to get hang of her being the only one present, but this story was well written. Read morePublished on June 10 2000 by Mel Orr
I love "Captain's Table" series, and while I am not a big fun of Janeway, this book embodied the best of Star Trek attractions, even though some of the elements are not... Read morePublished on Jan. 24 2000 by Thorn