Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Star Trek: Vanguard: Reap The Whirlwind - David Mack



Title: Reap The Whirlwind
Author: David Mack
Genre: Sci-Fi
Published: 2007
Formats: Paperback/Ebook

Available at:
Amazon
The Book Depository
Amazon UK

Review:
“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.