After seven novels, four novellas, an SCE ebook, and an alternate universe take that engages the series, Star Trek: Vanguard has reached its conclusion. What awaits the reader on this final voyage into the Taurus Reach? Find out in the TrekMovie review…
REVIEW: STAR TREK VANGUARD – STORMING HEAVEN
by David Mack
Massmarket paperback – 368 pages
PocketBooks – March 2012 – $7.99
The entire Taurus Reach is in upheaval as Starbase Vanguard prepares for the fight of its existence. The Shedai remain a threat, the Tholians are on the brink, and political games between the Klingons and the Romulans conspire to ensure that Admiral Heihachiro Nogura and his crew have few restful nights as the conclusion to the Vanguard saga plows forward.
As “Storming Heaven” unfolds, author David Mack ensures that – true to form – the pedal isn’t drawn back from the accelerator for any appreciable length of time. Unlike many wrap-up books, the author presents an ambitious story within the pages of the final Vanguard book.
Following a near-disastrous attempt to communicate with the Shedai Wanderer at the conclusion of the previous novel, “What Judgments Come”, it has become clear that the Federation needs to hunt down some kind of defense against the ancient super-race. Hoping that the remains of the former Tkon Empire will provide such assistance, Admiral Nogura sends the starship Sagittarius to explore a series of coordinates obtained from the Orions by ex-Starfleeter Diego Reyes. While unique discoveries await the scout vessel’s crew, a Tholian task force is also interested in the same set of coordinates, but for very different reasons. Ultimately the Tholians and the Federation stand at the brink of war, as the Shedai look on and prepare…
Throughout “Storming Heaven”, Mack ensures that we get a chance to say goodbye to all of the central players in the Vanguard story. The vast majority of these farewells are eminently satisfying, with the lone exception of T’Prynn, whose arc resolution falls flat. Still recovering from the decades of internal turmoil experienced by carrying the katra of her intended, Sten, Commander Spock of the Enterprise makes a brief appearance to offer his assistance. Having Spock appear necessitated what feels like a useless visit by the Enterprise, which, for a few pages, manages to distract a bit from the overall story – but no real harm is done, and things move forward at a savage pace. While T’Prynn’s resolution is elegant, it feels extremely unimpressive when compared to the vast majority of character conclusions found within this final Vanguard outing.
Equally engaging, while many endings are being shown on the Federation side, is the beginnings of the rise of Gorkon within Klingon circles of power. One begins to sense, in some chapters, that the foundations are being laid for a new series of books detailing Gorkon’s rise to power… though, to be sure, nothing has been announced concerning such a project. Either way, Mack’s gives a fulfilling main course in the conclusion of the series run, and either a tasty dessert or a simple tease of what could come from the Klingon/Romulan storyline.
While not the best book in the series (that title has to go to the 2007 entry in the saga, “Reap the Whirlwind”), “Storming Heaven” brings Star Trek: Vanguard to a fitting conclusion… one worthy of the ambitious nature of the story, and of the setting.
"Star Trek: Vanguard: Storming Heaven" is available in now and can be ordered at Amazon.com.
MORE: new and upcoming Star Trek novels
Other recent Star Trek fiction releases include Michael A. Martin’s Christopher L. Bennett’s eBook "Star Trek: Typhon Pact: The Struggle Within" (TrekMovie review), and "Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions" by David Mack (TrekMovie review),
Greg Cox’s "Star Trek: The Original Series: The Rings of Time," and Dayton Ward’s "Star Trek: That Which Divides" (TrekMovie review).
Also due out at the end of April is the second book in Christopher L. Bennett’s Department of Temporal Investigations series, "Star Trek: DTI: Forgotten History."
I would say that the reason T’Pyrnn’s storyline felt unresolved was because she, out of all the characters in the series, continues to pop up in other series. Likewise with the Admiral, his fairwell consists of unceremoniously disappearing towards the end, and having a line of dialogue explaining what happened to him.
I will miss this series a lot. It was a fun ride though!
Good that is over, now can we get some novels set in the shows(TNG/DS9/VOY) era with the familiar crews? No no I don’t mean the relaunches or post Nemesis. There are too many crew changes in the recent books for my liking. If the writers are reading this, please write something for the fans that don’t enjoy the current continuity.
Vanguard was a great series of books. I do prefer Mack’s entries as they tend to be more explosive, but the other novels were decent too.
#3–I’d like to see a mix of novels. A few each year involving the relaunches and a few standalones that maybe take place during the different series’ runs. They’ve been doing that with the original series, but not so much with the other spin-offs.
It was… fun.
My first thought when I finished this book was that I’d miss this series a whole lot. It’s been my favorite Trek, hands down, and I really liked _Storming Heaven_ as a wrap-up.
My second thought was that I’d love to keep following the Endeavour’s missions.
My third thought was that I really hope they do something else in the era of TOS or its movies, since that period often seems underrepresented.
In general, though, I agree with Damian in that a good variety of stories spanning the Trekverse is usually best.
Sten. Boy, we could have some fun with male Vulcan names in the next movie….S’top, S’tart, S’tomp, S’tent, Sur’vay, S’uck, S’teve, S’ue, S’ock, S’terile, S’ex……
what’s the mirror universe book with the vanguard folks?
what ever happened to that webcomic, ‘Ensign Sue?’
I haven’t read the books so I can’t comment on that but I do hope in the future a larger variety of books will be released. I’ d like to see more books from the TNG and DS9 era or cossovers that are set during the series like the Invasion series. I miss the original crews from the shows and I hope I can read more new stories about them. Or perhaps stories with the original TNG/ DS9/ VOY characters set in the rebooted movie universe (although currently that is impossiblee since the new movie is still shooting but maybe in the future). For the Original series novels are published that take place both after the movies, in the Lost era and during the series, why not for the 24th century shows? After all this is why I (and many other fans) buy the star trek novels so I can read abou tthe original characters from the shows.
8–It wasn’t a separate book. It was a storyline within one of the previous “Mirror Universe” books (I believe it was in one of the trade books).