Deep within the Taurus Reach, an ancient and powerful alien
mind has awakened from aeons of hibernation, alerted to the
upstart civilisations now daring to encroach upon the worlds
in her care. With the stakes for all sides escalating rapidly,
the alien lashes out with deadly force against the interlopers,
propelling the personnel of Vanguard station and the starships
Endeavour and Lovell on a desperate race to
understand the nature of the attacker and to prevent the region
from becoming a war zone...
greatly enjoyed the previous Vanguard novel, Harbinger,
I was really looking forward to reading this follow-up. Unfortunately,
this book isn't as strong as its predecessor and takes even
longer to get going. Whereas Harbinger took 120 pages
for the excitement to kick in, Summon the Thunder doesn't
really come into its own until just over halfway through its
416 densely typed pages.
Prior to this point, too many disparate plot strands, including
a light-hearted but barely relevant segment in which the privateer
Quinn and the disgraced journalist Pennington have to collect
a Zakdorn accountant, all jostle for the reader's attention,
with the effect of slowing the entire narrative down. The
most exciting section of the first half of the book more or
less rehashes the most dramatic events of the previous novel:
a research team is attacked on a planet's surface, a starship
is attacked in space; a female officer aboard that ship receives
a nasty dental injury.
once you get past the halfway stage, all those various plotlines
begin to come together and snowball into a kind of critical
mass. From this point on, the novel makes far more intriguing
there's no Starship Enterprise this time around, other
elements from Star Trek mythology add to the appeal
of this 23rd-century-set narrative. As before, Dr M'Benga
(who will go on to become a medic aboard the Enterprise)
puts in an appearance, as do the Tholians, Romulans, both
types of Klingon (smooth- and lumpy-headed), the aforementioned
Zakdorn, Andorians, Denobulans and a couple of Tellarites.
little continuity points include a Romulan Commander's appreciation
for the reliable, long-lasting design of Klingon spaceships.
This not only acknowledges and explains why similar-looking
Klingon craft have been seen in three different centuries
- the 22nd (in Star Trek: Enterprise), the 23rd (The
Original Series) and the 24th (The Next Generation,
Deep Space Nine and Voyager) - but also sows
the seeds for the Romulans' brief adoption of Klingon ship
design in The
the Thunder bears investigation - so long as you can summon
the will to trudge through the plodding first half of the
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