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More than any other television show, more than any other motion picture series, Star Trek has for nearly thirty years been the most popular space adventures of all time. Now Star Trek: Voyager joins Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as the newest star in the ever expanding Star Trek universe.

Pocket Books is proud to present the novelization of "Caretaker", the premiere episode of Star Trek: Voyager. This is the story of Kathryn Janeway and the crew of the Starship USS Voyager. Transported by the alien technology to the other side of the galaxy, years away from the Federation and everything they call home, their voyage back will be a fantastic odyssey that will take them through uncharted space, into dangers as they travel where no one has gone before.

278 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published February 1, 1995

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About the author

L.A. Graf

25 books35 followers
L.A. Graf reportedly stands for Let's All Get Rich and Famous. Its a pseudonym used by authors Karen Rose Cercone and Julia Ecklar.

They have co-written some eleven Star Trek novels. Their first Star Trek novel came out in 1990.

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5 stars
339 (24%)
4 stars
432 (31%)
3 stars
472 (34%)
2 stars
116 (8%)
1 star
23 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 78 reviews
Profile Image for Lisa :-).
37 reviews3 followers
May 30, 2009
In my opinion, the only reason to read a novelisation of an episode of “Star Trek” (Or any TV show for that matter) is to get something new from the episode. New plot elements, new insights into a character’s thought processes that you simply can’t show on television. I was looking forward to seeing “Caretaker” in a slightly different light. But this book ended up being a tad... lacking. It seemed to me to simply be a re-telling of the events of the episode and it is quicker and more enjoyable to throw the DVD in the player. It’s good if you really need to read some Voyager stuff, but it doesn’t shed any new light on the story, which is what I really wanted it to do.
Profile Image for Krista.
Author 2 books19 followers
October 30, 2020
A good novelization overall, but it did have a few dated "thoughts" from characters. The biggest one being Harry thinking that B'Elanna "would be pretty if she smiled". That line kinda pissed me off. But it was a good read.
Profile Image for Alejandro.
1,141 reviews3,568 followers
January 6, 2016
I was lucky to get the novelization of the pilot episode Caretaker of the TV series spin-off Star Trek: Voyager, right when the book got out in 1995, since that TV series got to Latin America like 1 years or 2 years later on cable, so I was able to know what was about the new addition to the franchise of Star Trek right when the series was premiered on USA, only through the novelization format, that it wasn't something new to me, since many key episodes of TNG and DS9, I knew about them through novelization first of being able to watch them on TV. I don't know if following editions had them too, but my first edition included some extra pages with photo stills from the pilot episode. It wasn't able to deny that some of the elements in the basic premise of this spin-off were much like Lost in Space and/or Space: 1999, mainly on the concept of being lost at 75,000 light-years from Federation space. However it was a bold experiment in another areas, like being the first TV series of the franchise having a female captain as the lead character. Also new visions in technology, like having a hologram doctor and computer systems using neuro-gel packs. Moreover, adding the situation of two different crews: Starfleet and Maquis, having to work together to survive in hostile space. It could be a better pilot? Yes, it could be, but it was very fair enough good. This TV series spin-off had an irregular level on its seasons 1 & 2, but I really think that they found their own status on the cliffhanger between seasons 2 & 3 with Basics and since there, the series became a proud member of the franchise. And everything begun here on this pilot...
Who does she think she is to make a decision like that for all of us?
She's the captain.
Profile Image for Liz.
117 reviews59 followers
December 10, 2022
I'd apparently forgotten how utterly bonkers this first novelization was.

This ain't the Voyager you know.

It's obvious that this was written before filming was complete--although the fact that Janeway's first name is Katheryn shows that Genevieve Bujold had already been swapped our for Kate Mulgrew. The dialogue seems to match with what's onscreen, but the way some characters and scenes are describes is so off, it's often hilarious.

Imagine, if you will, a B'Elanna with pointed Klingon teeth. A bald Neelix. All the men, including Chakotay? star-struck by Kes. (It's not a Voyager novella without some obligatory Kes Mary-Suing, so maybe this one should doesn't count.) Chakotay/Paris shippers will enjoy hearing them call each other "Poocuh." (It's totally an Indian insult, not a pet name.)

This book provides an interesting look at the show that might've been. But as a "Voyager" novel, it basically....isn't. This can only be read as either a behind-the-scenes early draft, or an alternate universe.

That's not the only thing that didn't age well.

These authors--who I'm guessing were white--have some...interesting descriptions of the non-white characters.

Here is how Tuvok is introduced:

"Skin and hair the color of polished walnut blended the Vulcan into near invisibility under the ship's unnatural darkness."

That's on page 2.

Then there's this description of Harry Kim (pagev39):

"...a Starfleet ensign with the guileless Asian face of a young Buddha."

I'm morbidly curious to see what Tim Russ's and Garret Wang's reactions to these passages would be.

Then there's Chakotay, who is consistently referred to as "the Indian," and is constantly grunting and scowling throughout the book. He also has all of two POV segments in the entire book, despite only being the second-in-command and second-billed of this new series.

The unironically good stuff.

The continuity issues are really a shame, because some of the added scenes are actually legitimately good.

Stadi, Cavit, and the human doctor each get a POV paragraph for their deaths, that provide a little backstory. Stadi's death is also compounded with her receiving some of her shipmates' thoughts, and a brief insight into life as a full Betazoid. The human doctor and Vulcan nurse get names (Fitzgerald and T'Prena).

Tom Paris's arrival at DS9 includes a cameo from Odo, and a rundown of Tom silently keeping score of Harry's argument with Quark before finally deciding to intervene.

Bonus hilarity

The book also has no shortage of unintentionally hilarious descriptions. In addition to the aforementioned racism, we also get Chakotay reminiscing about his "young virgin face" first being tattooed (on Eath, with his father still alive), and Harry coming to see B'Elanna as "a Hellish Klingon angel." Romantic.

If you thought the Kazon couldn't get any stupider, try to imagine the Kazon leader literally shaking his fist up at the sky while describing the Caretaker.

In conclusion

This book is a jumble of legit extra scenes, pre-series drafts, and so-bad-its-good bad fanfic writing.
Profile Image for Kerry.
6 reviews1 follower
August 22, 2015
I love this episode, it was a great start to the series and the book of it is fantastic!
Profile Image for Gemma.
56 reviews1 follower
July 31, 2016
The only thing better than watching voyager is reading it
Profile Image for Christine (KizzieReads).
1,378 reviews93 followers
April 1, 2017
Actual rating is 3.5 stars. I only really liked Voyager out of all the Star Trek series. However, I never got to see the pilot episode. It was great to see how the crew came together and how they were essentially lost in space. I did watch the pilot after reading this and some things were a little different and the book shows some character flashbacks as well as internal thoughts, emotions and the like, the the show was really not able to show. I look forward to reading more from this series, and even potentially, going back and reading the other series books.
Profile Image for Daniel Kukwa.
4,120 reviews92 followers
April 23, 2022
Out of the 80s/90s era of Trek, this is the pilot novelization that is closest to its source material. Unlike DS9's "Emissary", it's clear this time the authors had either a final script or a rough cut of the first episode to assist them...although there are a few odd character notes. It's an easy to read, straightforward adaptation without too much deviation or enhancement...but it's still not a patch on the TNG pilot novelization by David Gerrold.
123 reviews6 followers
July 31, 2011
A good read. This novelization focuses on Janeway and Paris mostly, and introduces briefly some of the original crewmen of Voyager, who end up dying whilst the ship is whisked off into the other side of the Galaxy. This novel was well written but what I would've liked to read more on was the struggle that Janeway must've gone through to make the decision which results in the ship and its crew being stranded 75 years on maximum warp from home. These novels are a brilliant chance to elaborate on what one can only hint at on the tv show so I expected more. This was well achieved with the introduction of Tom Paris and his background. Indeed it would've been interesting to read for example how Janeway and Chakotay came to an understanding about the matter of their journey together.

I have to mention though, that how the EMH's "thought" and reaction processes were written was brilliant. It really made me appreciate the fact that he started out as a non-person, a mere computer-generated hologram, and only became his own man later.
8 reviews
October 27, 2020
Utter trash. I did not get very far into this book before throwing it aside. Overstuffed writing, sometimes approaching incomprehensibility. The author(s) took the script for the TV episode and could not figure out how to flesh it into a full-fledged novel except to describe in excruciatingly turgid detail the meaning behind every glance any given character makes at another character. I understand why the two writers who collaborated on this book decided to hide their names behind one moniker.
Profile Image for Gabriel Mero.
Author 4 books5 followers
August 24, 2018
A faithful adaption of the two-part series premier. Very well-written, I would recommend this to anyone looking to relive the episode in a new way or someone interested in Voyager, but not sure I'd they want to actually watch it or not.
August 9, 2019
Well written. A very enjoyable and fast read. I read it just after I finished the Voyager series and it was a nice way to remember where they started.
Profile Image for Jason Vargo.
144 reviews
November 29, 2016
The novelization of the Voyager pilot episode fairs better than it really has any right to be. This version of the story focuses very heavily on Janeway and Paris, providing a touch more insight into both their characters than the actual episode does. For instance, there is a deeper understanding of Paris by Janeway on display here; she initially has contempt for him, but grows to respect him over the episode.

The rest of the characters, however, come up short in the novel. To be fair, they also came up fairly short in the televised episode, so I can't hold that against this adaptation. Events move rapidly, but there isn't a ton of new information presented. That works for me, if only because anyone reading this book will know how the events play out in the long run. There isn't a real need to drag the story on longer than it needs to be.
Profile Image for Erik Snell.
54 reviews3 followers
March 30, 2023
Just a quick easy listen to break up any potential monotony from what I normally read. Now I’ve seen the pilot episode of Voyager many times and have watched the complete series all the way through two or three times so I didn’t necessarily go into this expecting anything new. The doctor as the narrator was fun, though it seems a number of the pronunciations of alien names and words weren’t “finalized” yet when this was recorded so that through me off. The added sound effects weren’t too distracting and added a bit too it since they were familiar from the show. A wee little bit was added to the story to minimally add to the conclusion but it’s not enough that I’d bet everyone who has watched the pilot before reading this would recognize it. All in all a nice callback to something very familiar.
Profile Image for Levy Mclaurin.
130 reviews
March 18, 2020
5/5 Warp Nacelles

Of course I’m going to give this book 5 Stars because I’m blinded by my love of all things Trek! However it was exactly what I knew it was going into the reading which is a direct replica of the TV episode Care Taker!

If you’re looking for new information or expanded information on the characters you will not find it here. I was ok with that!

I’m reading this book while deployed to Afghanistan do to have Star Trek Reading Material at all I consider myself Lucky!

I’m trying to read through all the voyager books in order! Will it be the the most exciting reads of my life probably not since I have seen the series two or three times over. However I enjoyed this book for what it was. A quick read and good story!
Profile Image for Craig.
311 reviews2 followers
January 18, 2018
Never was the biggest fan of the Caretaker episode. It's great for establishing how they got there but it's kind of a weird story. I enjoyed Paris's perspective in the novel and I didn't care for how Janeway viewed him in this book as I don't think she was as mad with him in the episode as she was giving him a second chance. I thought it was pretty hilarious how the book tried to get you to know the characters that were going to die as they were about to die and not before - seriously, it was 5 pages of this character only to get snuffed out in an instant. Why did they even waste their time? The episode didn't.
Profile Image for Rob.
1,362 reviews
May 21, 2019
It has been a while since I saw the episodes and it was fun to return and meet the crew for the first time again. but I know they were stranded because Janeway freaking chose sides and broke the prime directive, On the first episode, OMG, That used to drive me crazy, She has morals only when it's a choice of going home or breaking the prime directive later throughout the series, I wanted to fire the writers. This was a good read.
Profile Image for Hannah.
425 reviews
June 4, 2019
Voyager is my favorite of the Star Trek series, which makes this book perfect for me! I always like novelizations, and enjoyed the peek into the thoughts of the characters. The perspective switched, which I often find annoying, but it was very well done in this book! It was hardly ever slow. The EMH’s part was fun but frustrating to read.
Profile Image for Benjamin Hall.
39 reviews1 follower
December 17, 2019
This is simply a novelization of the first episode of Voyager. It follows pretty near identically, but does add a few more details and allows you into a window of what the characters were thinking more than a tv show is able. All in all, it works and is a quick read, especially if you've watched the episode as many times as I have.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
711 reviews
October 14, 2020
I have entered a hard core Star Trek fan phase. This book is the first of many Star Trek books I will be reading. This one is a novelization of the Voyager pilot. I tried to listen to the Audible version, read by Bob Picardo, but it was heavily edited so I read the book-book. It added some back story to marginal characters, which was kinda interesting.
Profile Image for Sophie HT.
97 reviews
February 6, 2021
✓My rating system;
1* = DNF, the book was so awful I couldn't finish it. Life is too short.
2* = Finished it, but dear God I wish I hadn't!!
3* = Enjoyed it at the time, good page turner. Can't remember much.
4* = Thoroughly enjoyed. Retained lots of detail. Possible re-read.
Profile Image for Amy Tudor.
121 reviews1 follower
July 3, 2021
Well adapted from the first episode of Voyager - I enjoyed reading the inner thoughts going on in the characters heads which I didn't pick up from the original episode. Paris in particular is far more empathetic and I thought the way the Doctors processes were described were interesting. Looking forward to reading the rest of the series and some original stories!
July 22, 2021
I'm a huge Star Trek fan so this was on my TBR pile alongside several, hundreds, other Star Trek novels. This was based on the first ever Voyage episode and although it didn't really add any depth to the episode it was a good read.
9 reviews
August 4, 2021
If you liked the shows this is almost (if not exactly) the same. I loved the voyager crew on the show. The book was a good read and I liked it.
Star Trek at its best or just the theme I love? Definitely recommend it if you like the shows
Profile Image for Stephen.
221 reviews6 followers
July 16, 2022
Novelizations seldom work because they bring nothing new to the table, and this is no exception. However, if you read carefully, you will realise that almost every problem the Voyager encountered henceforth was because of a poor (or at best questionable) decision made by Captain Janeway.
Profile Image for Chris.
712 reviews
January 3, 2018
This read better than the pilot episode. The audio version was narrated by the Doctor himself
Profile Image for Coleman Wigger.
199 reviews
August 24, 2019
Took me awhile to get into DSN but when I did this was the first book from that series I checked out.
Profile Image for Katie.
40 reviews2 followers
May 13, 2020
Great novel of the pilot episode of Voyager. Would have been nice if there were more fleshed out and extra scenes from what's seen on TV.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 78 reviews

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