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The Trek Nation - The Nanotech War

The Nanotech War

By Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at November 24, 2002 - 8:23 AM GMT

Title: Star Trek: Voyager: The Nanotech War
Author: Steven Piziks
Publication Date: November 2002
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0-7434-3646-6


The Nanotech War by Steven Piziks took me by surprise. Thankfully it was a pleasant surprise. I must admit that based on the description I had initially received, I was going to pass on this novel, but after reading the cover I decided to give it a go and to my delight I found myself thoroughly enjoying it. In this case, judging a book by its cover led to a very entertaining and engaging story.

Set during Voyager's seventh season before the episode "Human Error," Voyager is riding out a severe ion storm when the crew rescues a small experimental alien craft that is no match for the forces pounding it. The craft turns out to be the first warp vessel of a nearby civilization, the Chiar, a world heavily dependent on nanotechnology. Having sustained heavy damage themselves, Captain Janeway accepts the invitation of the grateful Chiar government to utilize their planets orbital repair facilities. The Chiar are a deeply troubled society, divided both politically and socially, and the arrival of Voyager sets in motion a series of events that brings the bitter civil conflict to a terrifying climax.

While I would not go so far as to call The Nanotech War fantastic, I would definitely recommend it, especially to Voyager fans. Author Steven Piziks has produced a well-executed plot that reads like an episode of the television series. The characterizations are excellent, particularly Captain Janeway and Seven of Nine, and it is quite easy to visualize both the characters and the settings as you read.

The author has done a particularly good job in creating the Chiar characters. Too often previously-unfamiliar one-shot alien characters or societies in Star Trek novels are uninteresting and one-dimensional. In The Nanotech War you will find yourself cheering for some of the Chiar and despising others, but ultimately you are left hoping that as a civilization, the Chiar are able to get their act together.

The biggest surprise for me was that the characters were what made this story so enjoyable to read, that and the humor. Prior Voyager novels, with a few exceptions, have usually left me either disliking the characters more than anything else or unable to care what happened to them. I took great pleasure in the crafty little digs at Starfleet regulations and the personality quirks of some of the characters.

All in all The Nanotech War might not be fantastic, but it’s well worth reading if you feel the need for an original Voyager adventure that will leave you with a smile on your face and a new appreciation for how far the characters traveled both literally and figuratively in seven years.


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Jacqueline Bundy reviews Star Trek books for the Trek Nation, writes monthly columns for the TrekWeb newsletter and the Star Trek Galactic News, and hosts the Yahoo Star Trek Books Group weekly chat.