SELECT * FROM uv_BookReviewRollup WHERE recordnum = 627 Spirit Walk: Old Wounds, by Christie Golden Book Review |

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Spirit Walk: Old Wounds, by Christie Golden
Genre: Star Trek
Publisher: Pocket Books
Published: 2004
Review Posted: 7/21/2005
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated

Spirit Walk: Old Wounds, by Christie Golden

Book Review by Heather Hunt

Have you read this book?

Christie Golden has cornered the market on Star Trek Voyager novels. She knows this universe and its characters inside and out and also knows how to tell a good story. Her latest series Spirit Walk is a perfect example. Book One is called Old Wounds and centers on Chakotay, but also explores the old wounds of other characters, both canonical and new.

Non-Voyager fans will find this novel slow-moving at the start, but Voyager fans will enjoy the vignettes involving regulars, such as the Doctor and Seven, Janeway and Chakotay, Janeway and Seven, Tom and B'Elanna, and the finally promoted Harry Kim. In fact, much mention is made of Kim's promotion, probably as a nod to fans' long-running joke that Kim would be an ensign forever. Golden also gives fans the obligatory Star Trek scene of new captain Chakotay arriving in a shuttle to take command of Voyager, coming onboard, and greeting the bridge crew.

Minor character, Lyssa Campbell, who was promoted from transporter room duty to replace Harry Kim on the bridge, is also promoted to a major storyline, one that involves tensions between veteran Voyager crew members who survived the Delta Quadrant and new crew members who survived the Dominion War in the Alpha Quadrant. These two groups are as about as accepting of each other as the Maquis rebels and the Federation crew were in the television show.

Indeed, Golden liberally scatters references from both the television show missions and her own Voyager stories throughout Old Wounds. She also uses cultural references, such as Gilbert and Sullivan operas, to ground this science fiction in relatable Earth terms.

Media tie-in novels tend to be plot-driven adventures and this one has its share of space travels and planetary encounters, but the characters also receive their due. Golden weaves several stories including:
* Chakotay attempting to find out his sister Sekaya's secret
* Tom and B'Elanna on the Klingon world, Boreth, researching prophecies about their daughter Miral
* Refugee colonists attempting to return to their planet
* Janeway's efforts to prevent several systems from withdrawing from the Federation
* Onboard tensions between Alpha and Delta quadrant survivors

In other words, there are more than enough storylines to warrant a sequel. Book Two is set up when Janeway calls Tom away on her diplomatic mission so she can polish him off into 1st officer material. Previews of the sequel indicate that Janeway's story will meet up with Chakotay's story.

Readers need to beware that this book cannot be read with satisfaction alone. It is not like the Captain's Table series, for example, which are separate stories thematically linked by the captains of the four missions. Old Wounds is the first part of a two-part episode and ends with an abrupt cliffhanger. If you don't want to wait to find out what happens, make sure you have Book Two, "Enemy of My Enemy" at hand.

Because Chakotay is my least favorite of the main STV characters, I give Old Wounds fewer stars than if the story focused on, say, Janeway, Seven, or the Doctor. I credit Golden's storytelling skills, which allow me to enjoy a Chakotay story, for my generous rating. Her media tie-in books are high quality, easy to read, well plotted, and engaging.
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