February 22 2024


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SCE: What's Past Book Four: Distant Early Warning

By Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at June 29, 2006 - 10:02 AM GMT

Title: Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers #64, What's Past Book Four: Distant Early Warning
Authors: Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore
Release Date: June 2006
Format: eBook
ISBN: 1-4165-3309-5

The Starfleet Corps of Engineers returns to the 23rd century in the all new title Distant Early Warning by Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore, the fourth eBook in the What's Past mini-series.

Distant Early Warning brings back the crew of the U.S.S. Lovell, established by Ward and Dilmore in the S.C.E. novel Foundations, and it ties-in very nicely with the new Star Trek Vanguard novels being a direct prequel to the story unfolding told in the new literary series that began with last summers title Harbinger by David Mack.

The year is 2265. Following the startling discoveries made in the Taurus Reach, Starfleet has fast-tracked the construction of Starbase 47, a.k.a. Vanguard but numerous technical problems are plaguing the station and its crew. Called upon to help solve Vanguard's technical crises so that the starbase can become operational on schedule the U.S.S. Lovell, with its S.C.E. team led by Lieutenant Mahmud al-Khaled, soon realize that many of the problems afflicting the station aren't technical in nature, they are actually tied to the larger mystery of the Taurus Reach.

The Lovell's crew has appeared in other Starfleet Corps of Engineers stories but in Distant Early Warning Ward and Dilmore have to tread a careful path. Some readers of Vanguard might not be familiar with the characters so in writing Distant Early Warning they had to insure that those unfamiliar with S.C.E. do not feel lost.

Mission accomplished; the story is accessible both to those who follow the S.C.E. series but might not have read Harbinger, as well as Vanguard readers who plan to seek out this story even though they don't normally read the S.C.E. tales.

Distant Early Warning is firmly rooted in the 23rd century and consequently it does not feature a “wraparound” story with the S.C.E. series' regular characters from the U.S.S. da Vinci. Instead the authors waste no time getting to the point, they vault the reader right into the fray from the opening sentence and while the story is attention-grabbing and enjoyable on its own, it also allows the reader to know both the station and some of its personnel a bit better.

It is always a pleasure to revisit the crew of the U.S.S. Lovell and the story told in Distant Early Warning will definitely whet your appetite for the upcoming Vanguard novel Summon the Thunder (July 2006), also penned by Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore.

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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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