Vanguard is a Starfleet space station charged with the exploration and colonization of a region of space that holds a highly coveted, mysterious, and potentially cataclysmic secret - one that the Federation must solve before anyone else. The race is on and at the centre of this intrigue is an eclectic mix of Starfleet and civilian protagonists unlike any crew previously seen in "Star Trek".
Reviewed on 26th July 2009
I don't really know what to say about this one. I don't even really know why I picked it up and read it in the first place - I usually ignore original series based novels, and have learned to ignore book-only spin-off series after disliking the Challenger, Stargazer and Gorkon series.
This one was a bit different. The characters are easy to pick up, but the question is really how long they will stay with me and whether I will still know them if I try to read book two. In contrast to the previous spin-off series this one is written by multiple authors, so perhaps it will be more open?
The cast are a mix of a starfleet crew (represented by the station's gruff commander), the JAG office, diplomats, spies and civilians, with the Enterprise crew from the second pilot guesting. The civilian population is probably the most interesting, particularly a journalist and a collection of criminal gangs, who it's hard to believe are able to operate on a starfleet base.
Overall it's a good start to the series, killing a good number of characters off before you get to know them and focussing on a good core. The plot itself though seems a bit hard to follow - there's some secret reason that the base has been built and it's a bit of a let down not really understanding it at the end. I'm not sure whether any further books in this series will make their way onto my reading list.