Review: Star Trek Vanguard Storming Heaven

“Vanguard: Storming Heaven” is the eighth and final book (seven novels and a collection of short stories) set in the period of the original Star Trek about a Federation space station in the mysterious Taurus Reach far beyond the Federation’s boundaries. The series has been fascinating, and has suffered only because of the lengthy period between publication (on the average about a year between books, in one case almost two years).

This has had the drawback of making it difficult to remember the story arc when a new book arrives. Fortunately the concluding novel fills in a lot of information right at the start, easing that problem.

Photo: David Cross, Simon and Schuster

Another difficulty is anachronism, if the Taurus Reach is so important, why no mentions of it in other Star Trek offerings? This book also mitigates that unavoidable weakness.  A handful of previous Star Trek characters have been in the series, and more are in the final book. Carol Marcus, former lover of Captain James Kirk, and whose research plays a pivotable role in the film “The Wrath of Khan”, is not only in both of the final two books, we learn exactly how she ended up on the research station where Khan tried to steal her work. There’s even an explanation for why the planet Khan was stranded on by Kirk in the original series episode “Space Seed” suffered a disaster.

Best of all, Kirk, Spock, and the Enterprise play small but important roles in the final days of the Vanguard station.

It’s sad this series couldn’t just continue forever, but if it had to end, “Storming Heaven” is a good ending.

Author David Mack’s web page about “Storming Heaven” is here.

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