Earlier this year I reviewed book one in the Star Trek Vanguard series. Long story short – it’s a series set in the time of the original Star Trek tv show. It’s about the Federation and the rest of the known universe encountering technology that is simultaneously very old and very advanced.
While I liked many of the ideas in the book, the writing felt a little hammy and dated. Summon the Thunder is book two in the series. While some plot points carry over from book one, this feels almost like a different series. It’s more mature, more nuanced, and more interesting. Do you know how sometimes a tv show finds its rhythm and voice in the second season? This is like that.
In book one, I loved the low-level criminal Cervantes Quinn (again, what a name). That character isn’t featured as much in this book. Instead, the political machinations between the Federation, the Klingons, and the rest of the regular rogue’s gallery takes center stage. The events of book one have complicated relationships between the major players in the galaxy, and they are collectively starting to realize that something else may be going on. Alliances may need to shift, at least temporarily. There’s some real cloak and dagger stuff going on.
The political stuff is fun, but one of the things I enjoyed the most in this book is how writers Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore capture the horror and otherness and awe of something alien and beyond our comprehension.
While this one isn’t quite in four-star territory, it’s definitely better than three stars. I’m probably read book three this summer and report back.