Book Review: Star Trek: Vanguard – What Judgments Come

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.

 "Star Trek Vanguard: What Judgments Come" is available now at

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.

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Always love the Vanguard covers! Wish they could make a series based on them! First?

I love the Vanguard series…but I’ve got some catching up to do!

This is disappointing. I’ve come to expect a roller coaster ride with the Vanguard books. I hope the finale by David Mack is up to his usual thrill ride standards and blows us away like he did in Destiny!

I’m was not a TOS-era-fan until ST:VGD! Hopefully the series ends with a bang and an happy end.

Fourth! ^^

The Vanguard series is just about the best Trek series to date. In fact the whole thing would have made a great TV series. It will be missed, but at least it’s ending at it’s best, not floundering as Peter Davids once great New Frontier series is. Anyone know if that series will even continue, or is it canceled?

Is it wrong that I want to buy this novel merely for that sexy, sexy cover?

Cause if it is, I don’t want to be right. :)

That is an awesome cover!

Good book.

The Nimbus III subplot did seem frustratingly detached from the rest of the saga. I have not entirely understood the detour of the Jetanian character into this subplot. It’s as if they still wanted to keep him around although it would seem he would still be needed on Vanguard. I’m kind of still waiting for a real connection or thematic statement about Nimbus III that ties in with Vanguard, but right now I’m not really seeing it.

I adored the great continuity tie-in with SCE’s “Interphase” from a little more than a decade ago. Also apparently Ward & Dilmore’s first collaboration. It beautifully dovetailed from that story into Vanguard.

So I’m not really sure you’re going to get a pay-off to the Defiant subplot because in many ways, the pay-off was in a book published ten years ago.

I too was a little disappointed that the book wasn’t more action-packed or covered certain storylines, but it was a good warm-up for the final book.

The cover was a bit misleading as what happens to the ships shown isn’t quite what appears on the cover, but perhaps it would have been hard to put what actually happens in the book on the cover. Oh well.

Can’t wait for the final installment, though I’m not sure how they can wrap up so many storylines in one book, but if any author can do it, it’s David Mack.

I have loved this series and its going to be missed. I thought it was nice to finally get a TOS era station story but also the support ships showing up as well. The twist and turns were awesome.

Makes me wonder if the Enterprise will make a apperence in the last book, which would be nice.

my cheif complaint is where the ^%$^ am i gonna get a paperback (Derp? The Public Library? LOL)? With the closing of Borders, i -THINK- there is a B&K somewhere near me…

Looking forward to reading this book. I just finished with Declassified. I also should be able to read the last Romulan War book soon (as soon as I finish another book I am reading). I have a feeling that may be our last Enterprise book. It’s a shame they didn’t stretch out the War books over a couple of books, much like Vanguard (though more frequently than once every 2 years would have been nice).

I am glad to see a new Titan book in the wings for next year. Most of those books were pretty good and I was getting worried there would be no more. I am currently reading the Stargazer books as well, which are a good read. A shame they have since stopped. Someone should pick up on that series again, if Friedman is unavailable.

Is that supposed to be a pre-refit Reliant on the cover? NCC number kinda looks like 1864.