Star Trek: Review: Vanguard 3: Reap the Whirlwind

by David Mack

Pocket Books, out now

Keeping the secret of the Taurus Reach has devastating consequences for the crew of Starbase 47…

The only original novel concept set at the time of the original Star Trek series continues in fine form, with its third novel penned by its co-creator. David Mack maintains an unflagging pace throughout the book, revealing some of the secrets of the Shedai while setting up further mysteries.

It’s also a tale about unintended consequences. Two of the lead characters lose loved ones as a direct result of the necessity for total secrecy around the Vanguard project, and the way in which they cope with that leaves the Starbase hierarchy set up very differently at the end of the novel from its start. A key guest star from the Star Trek movies also makes an appearance towards the end of the book, giving the first clues as to how the Vanguard saga is going to fit into the grand tapestry of the Star Trek universe.

Although there is a lot of high drama and tension throughout the book, there are some great moments of humour: the sabotage carried out on board the Klingon ship should win awards for its concept and writing, while the repartee between Quinn and Pennington continues to make them a fine addition to the new literary Trek characters.

Mack says in his afterword that he was thinking on a grand scale, and if you like well-written sci fi, let alone well-written Star Trek, then this is for you.  8/10

Paul Simpson

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