Published May 2009
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Spoilers for Open Secrets and earlier novels in the Vanguard series follow! Beware!
From the back cover:
The Taurus Reach is in turmoil.
With tensions mounting between the Federation and the Klingon Empire, Ambassador Jetanien works frantically on Starbase Vanguard to halt the escalation toward war. Commodore Diego Reyes, the station's former commander, awaits trial for treason, while the shattered mind of his intelligence officer, T'Prynn, becomes the battlefield in a fight for her very life.
But even as matters deteriorate, the discoveries made in the Taurus Reach have attracted one of the Federation's most promising scientific minds: Dr. Carol Marcus believes she is close to solving a puzzle that will transform her life's work. Meanwhile, an unexpected defection brings a new perspective to the investigation, and Vanguard's Lieutenant Ming Xiong is confronted with an artifact that could be the key to decoding the Taurus Meta-Genome.
With Operation: Vanguard teetering between its greatest breakthrough and a conflict that could engulf two quadrants, its future may depend on the man Starfleet has selected to replace Reyes as base commander: Admiral Heihachiro Nogura.
About the novel: (Again, MAJOR SPOILERS! You've been warned!)
Following on the events of the previous Vanguard novel, Reap the Whirlwind, the station's new commander arrives: Admiral Nogura (see: Star Trek: The Motion Picture), and the JAG office of Starbase 47 prepares for the trial of its former commander, Commodore Diego Reyes. Reyes is charged with willful disobedience of a superior officer, releasing classified intelligence data to unauthorized personnel, and conspiracy in the second degree. A Tellarite prosecutor by the name of Captain Mosh zelev Sereb arrives, freeing up Rana Desai to work as Reyes's defense attorney.
I love the Vanguard series. It is completely engrossing, and I'm always eager to find out what happens next. Open Secrets is no different. Following the events of Reap the Whirlwind, I was extremely eager to discover the fates of the characters. T'Prynn in a coma, Reyes under arrest... what would happen? The resolutions to these plot lines were satisfying, and at the same time, opened new dimensions to the Vanguard story. Now, of course, in the tradition of any good serial, new questions are begging to be answered.
What will become of T'Prynn, on the run from Starfleet? How does she find her way back into Starfleet's good graces? What about Reyes? How did he survive, how did he come to be in the custody of the Klingons, and what will happen to him now? Although Vanguard doesn't feature characters from the screen-Trek universe front and center, the various authors have created a cast of players who make this on-going story as compelling, and sometimes more compelling, than many other Star Trek stories.
Although Open Secrets doesn't quite match the quality of the previous novel, I enjoyed it thoroughly. I give Open Secrets 8/10. It made me happy at times, sad at other times, and occasionally shocked and awed me. Just like a good Star Trek novel should.
Also by Dayton Ward:
Star Trek: S.C.E. #4: Interphase, Part One of Two with Kevin Dilmore (2001)
Star Trek: S.C.E. #5: Interphase, Part Two of Two with Kevin Dilmore (2001)
Star Trek #97: In the Name of Honor (2002)
"Almost Tomorrow" from Star Trek: Vanguard: Declassified (2011)
Star Trek: Vanguard: What Judgments Come with Kevin Dilmore (2011)
Star Trek: That Which Divides (2012)
Star Trek: Vanguard: In Tempest's Wake (2012)
The next review will be the next novel in the Vanguard saga, Precipice by the excellent David Mack. Until then, as always, LLAP!