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Diane Carey's by-the-numbers adaptation of the VOYAGER series finale

By Chris Wyatt     October 01, 2001

The Voyager journey comes to an end (thank God) in the novelization of the series finale, ENDGAME.
© 2001 Pocket Books
It took seven years, but at long last the journey of the starship Voyager came to an end this past May in the series' final episode, "Endgame," and Carey's novelization is almost completely faithful to the story and dialogue of that episode. It's nice to see some of VOYAGER's crispest lines of dialogue transcribed to the page, but it's the words that Carey puts between those lines that makes the novelization such a poor effort.

The story begins ten years after the starship Voyager arrived back on Earth. The return home required far too many sacrifices; it took twenty plus years out of the lives of each and every hand on the ship; it robbed Tuvok of his mental health; and worst of all, it ended the lives of two of Janeway's closest comrades.

Janeway's glad to finally be back on Earth, but she feels that the costs to the crew during the last legs of the journey were too high. She's identified a period in the Voyager's history when they would have had a good chance to get home had they only known then what she knows now. If Janeway can succeed in informing her past self, she knows that she can get everyone back safely after only a seven year journey. Janeway soon sets out on a perilous mission to travel back in time and space and rescue her crew or rather, rescue them again, but in a better way.

The presumed rationale behind novelizing a TV show is to give fans of the series a chance to take a deeper look at their favorite stories. The novel format allows readers to explore characters' thought processes in a way that can't be shown visually. It also has the ability to spend time on details that passed by too quickly on the screen. It can even broaden special effects scenes, expanding them beyond the scope of what could be achieved on a TV budget. The best adaptations do all of these things. ENDGAME, however, does none of them, making it an utterly pointless book.

In fact, characters that shined in the TV version come off flat. The greatest example of this is Tuvok. Tim Russ' excellent performance as the mentally disturbed future Vulcan was convincingly manic on-screen. Carey's writing doesn't even try to capture that spark of obsessive flair, instead choosing to report the events like a disenchanted newspaper columnist.

During the course of the plot, the novel is written from many different character's points-of-view. But remarkably, all of them seem identical, as if every person in the book spoke with the same narrative voice.

Ultimately, this book can only be recommended to hardcore VOYAGER fans...and maybe not even to them. Just stick the tape back in the VCR and save yourself some time.


Grade: D

Author(s): Diane Carey

Publisher: Pocket Books

Price: $12.00



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