Years after the conclusion of operations at Starbase Vanguard, reporter Tim Pennington manages to track down an elusive Diego Reyes and begins to piece together the final act of the Vanguard Saga in the penultimate novel of the Vanguard series, “What Judgments Come”. The TrekMovie review below.
REVIEW: Star Trek: Vanguard – What Judgments Come
by Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore
Mass-market Paperback – 352 pages
PocketBooks – September 2011 – $7.99
As one might expect from the next-to-last book in a series, there is a lot of wrap-up going on in the Ward-Dilmore duo’s final dip in the Taurus Reach. The action is definitely keyed back a touch, but, much like “The Dogs of War” (the next-to-last episode of Deep Space Nine), this installment of the Vanguard saga allows the reader to catch a bit of a breath and enjoy the emotional attachments that half a decade begin to generate.
Those attachments begin to pay dividends as we watch Cervantes Quinn’s life begin to unravel in the aftermath of the events in “Declassified”, as the Starfleet officer in Diego Reyes remains strong and committed to the right, in spite of his outlaw status, and as T’Prynn reaches out to those around her in the light of her story-arc throughout the series.
Unfortunately, there is much wasted space between the covers of “What Judgments Come”, as time is spent exploring Ambassador Jetanien’s participation in the Nimbus III colonization program. The so-called ‘Planet of Galactic Peace’ is a disaster, and while one can only hope that his involvement in it will bear some relation on the final installment of the series, one can only wonder what could have been – both with his character, and with the overall flow of the present story. When you realize that around a quarter of the book is occupied with Jetanien’s new gig, you start to feel a bit robbed, especially when the Shedai side of the overarching story line seems to get significantly sidelined throughout the story.
A major miss in this story is any resolution to the Rana Desai story, so hopefully the final installment, “Star Trek Vanguard: Storming Heaven”, will address her ultimate fate. Fortunately, Doctor Fisher gets some time to shine in his relation to and interactions with Reyes, and their parting scene is one that is to be savored.
A major plus to the story is the adoption of the USS Defiant (and, ultimately, its fate in “The Tholian Web”) into the Vanguard story. While the ship gets a good number of pages dedicated to its discovery of a Tholian experiment in the Taurus Reach, the real payoff, it seems, will likewise be found in the closing book of the saga.
While certainly toned back from most of the other tales in the Vanguard series, “What Judgments Come” sets the stage for a rockin’ final outing (and, most likely, a massive body-count) when David Mack closes out the series next March.
More new and upcoming Star Trek novels
Also just out (and soon to be reviewed at TrekMovie) is "Star Trek: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave The Storm," by Michael A. Martin. Also released on October was the ebook "Star Trek: Typhon Pact: The Struggle Within."
And coming up at the end of November Pocket will release "Star Trek Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions," by David Mack. And finishing out 2011 will be Greg Cox’s TOS novel "Star Trek: The Rings of Time" which is due at the end of December.