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Vanguard: Summon the Thunder

By Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at July 16, 2006 - 1:41 PM GMT

Title: Star Trek Vanguard: Summon the Thunder
Authors: Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore
Release Date: July 2006
Format: Mass-Market Paperback
ISBN: 1-4165-2400-2

Like a television pilot, the first novel in a new literary series has to grab your attention, capture your interest and leave you wanting more. The real difficulty lies in retaining the reader's interest in subsequent books. Summon the Thunder by Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore, the second book in the new Star Trek Vanguard series, is excellent and more than lives up to the potential this literary original series demonstrated in the first novel Harbinger by David Mack (July 2005).


Picking up the story where Harbinger left off, in Summon the Thunder an ancient power is stirring in the Taurus Reach, a power that has been awakened prematurely by the upsurge of activity in the area and the attempts to access their technology. To say that it is pissed off would be a bit of an understatement.

Furthermore, Starfleet’s secret attempt to unravel the mystery of the meta-genome is exacting a heavy price both personally and professionally on those charged with solving that mystery. As they begin to get an inkling of what they are up against the stakes for everyone involved on all sides start to escalate. And to top it all off the Romulans have clandestinely dispatched a cloaked ship to spy on the area in an attempt to discover what all the sudden interest is about in this remote and previously unexplored area of space.

The above synopsis is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the fast moving action filled plot of Summon the Thunder but Ward and Dilmore manage the multiple plot threads extremely well and never lose you. At the same time they manage to seamlessly bringing the reader back up to speed on the events that have previously transpired.

The inclusion of the Romulans in the story is a stroke of genius. Since Vanguard is set very early in the TOS era, the Romulans we meet in Summon the Thunder reflect what their society was like before they ended their long isolation in the episode "Balance of Terror", something we’ve never had a glimpse of before.

Ward and Dilmore have also done an outstanding job of evoking that early TOS era. Through the point of view of the large cast of characters, who represent many different but mostly familiar species, it’s like stepping back in time when you read Summon the Thunder.

The authors have done an equally impressive job with the character development in this story, which gives us the first opportunity to get to know the crew of the U.S.S. Endeavor, one of the starships assigned to the station.

This second book is quite a bit longer than the first. The story offers plenty of surprises and leaves you anxious to find out where the story goes from here. Summon the Thunder is a thoroughly enjoyable reading experience.

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Jacqueline Bundy reviews Star Trek books for the Trek Nation, writes monthly columns for the TrekWeb newsletter and the Star Trek Galactic News, and hosts the Yahoo Star Trek Books Group weekly chat.

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