The saga of Star Trek Vanguard continues with the third book, Reap The Whirlwind by David Mack. This novel straddles the events laid down in the original series episode 'The Corbomite Manoeuvre' in the series continuity.
Set a week or so after the events of Summon The Thunder, Commodore Reyes' position in the Taurus Reach becomes more untenable by the day as the Klingons and Tholians push their boundaries outward and the spectre of war draws ever closer.
Lt. Xiong tracks the original pulse signal that was discovered when the station was first built to the Jinoteur system. Boarding the small Archer class scout ship Sagittarius, the crew hope to get there before the Klingons can and before their enemies and claim the system for their own ends.
Meanwhile Federation colonies, aware of the tense political situation, begin to withdraw from the Federation in an attempt not to draw fire from enemy powers. This brings Reyes directly into conflict with his ex-wife who is now Governor of the newly established colony on Gamma Tauri IV, a planet with a Shedai conduit hidden on it.
When tensions reach breaking point a storm is let loose as Klingons, Tholians and the Federation vie for control of the Shedai artifacts, but they realise too late that the Shedai are now awake and will not tolerate interference in their domain.
Reap The Whirlwind is one of the best Star Trek novels in ages. David Mack has a talent for writing engaging witty dialogue against the backdrop of action packed moments.
The book is essentially three stories in one, each tying in threads from the first two novels and setting up things for the future.
There are too many moments in this book worthy of praise but the adventures of the Sagittarius at Jinoteur, revelations from the Tholians and the shock events at Gamma Tauri IV keep the reader riveted and you'll find you won't want to put this book down.
All the characters get a chance to shine, particularly Reyes and Xiong. The crew of the Sagittarius are all fleshed out including a spotlight on the first officer, a certain Clark Terell.
There is also a substantial development for the character of T'Prynn and the conclusion of the book leaves you with more questions about her than you had when you started.
Add to that some great chapters with Tim Pennington and Cervantes Quinn which culminates in a brilliant moment with T'Prynn at the end.
This all leads up to the inescapable conclusion that sets up the framework for book four nicely. The last few chapters lay several dramatic events down with shocking consequences and the little epilogue at the end adds another layer of mystery as Zett Nilric engages in a rather unusual deal.
An excellent read so get a copy of Open Secrets for the next instalment.
on 20 May 2010
I had a bit of a hard time trying to track this down at a reasonable price, so assumed that was an indication of what to expect from Reap the Whirlwind. The third instalment in the Vanguard series is just as strong as the previous two outings. I was surprised at how much David Mack managed to cram into this book, with a number of plotlines all running concurrently. Nearly every character we've been introduced to thus far gets a chance to shine; and more importantly, they are nearly all expanded upon so they feel more fleshed out and real to the reader.
I was expecting a lot of hints and mysterious threads in the story (with no real expectations of getting answers) to try and guarantee some more books, but was pleasantly surprised at how many answers are given to the reader, and the overall plot of the series is advanced significantly. If that wasn't enough, David Mack has cleverly set the foundations for the next stage of the story and given us a reason to dive straight into the next book.
Well worth the read!
on 25 February 2014
“Reap The Whirlwind” by David Mack is the 3rd novel in the Star Trek Vanguard series and it really highlights how these novels are getting better and better. The novel is full of engaging philosophical and moral dilemmas set amongst a thoroughly engrossing and enjoyable space adventure. Simply put, I believe this novel and the series in general is proving to be Star Trek at its very best.
The story itself picks up several weeks after the events of the previous novel, “Summon The Thunder”. The ancient and powerful alien race known as The Shedai continue to awaken throughout the Taurus Reach and are continuing to threaten the various Federation colonies that have spread across the region. The crew of Starbase 47 and its various support ships continue to try and protect these colonies from both the Shedai and the Klingons with whom tensions have continued to rise. However, trying to keep the information on the Shedai a secret is proving a strain, especially when one of the leaders of these new colonies turns out to be Commodore Reyes’ ex-wife.
Mack has really ratcheted up the tension in this book which helps to turn the book into a addictive page turner as the reader. This tension is expertly released via various exciting action sequences that don’t pull any punches as the body count continues to rise due to the dangers of the Taurus Reach. All of this is supported by some really wonderful characters that continue to grow as they face various challenges, both personally as an individual and professionally as a member of Starfleet etc. I now really feel for these characters and can’t help but feel for them as they are forced to face the wide ranging consequences that have resulted from their actions in both this and previous books.
What I also have enjoyed about the book is that Mack has continued to try and give the reader differing viewpoints to that of our usual Federation heroes. We get to see things from the view of the Klingons, Tholians and now even the Shedai themselves which provides so many interesting layers to the story. Seeing things from the Shedai’s position in particular was a clever move as it manages to give this potentially super powerful enemy a real face that the reader can try and understand and opens up future avenues to explore in greater detail as the series progresses.
I have finally come to the conclusion that none of the Vanguard novels are going to have any real standalone stories that would make me recommend the book as an individual read. Yes, there are two superbly enjoyable central plots to this novel, the first being around the colony being set up by Commodore Reyes wife and the scouting mission being undertaken by the USS Sagittarius but neither of them would mean much to a reader who doesn’t know the overall storyline. Basically, if you haven’t read the previous book in the series and/or don’t plan to read the next ones then I wouldn’t waste your time picking this novel up.
Overall, this is another fun and entertaining book in the Vanguard series which now has me well and truly hooked. If you have enjoyed the previous books then you are really going to be thrilled by this book.