Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Seekers #2

Star Trek: Seekers #2
Point of Divergence by Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore
Story by Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore and David Mack
Release date: August 26th 2014
Read September 5th 2014


Previous book (Seekers): #1: Second Nature

Next book (Seekers): #3: Long Shot


Paperback: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk
Kindle: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk

Spoilers ahead for Seekers #1, #2, and the Vanguard series!

From the back cover:
The Taurus Reach. Once the conquered realm of a powerful alien species, this region remains largely shrouded in mystery even as it brims with potential for exploration and colonization. The Federation has sent in two of its finest starships on a quest to uncover the secrets it may yet hold...
The Tomol are a primitive civilization occupying a lone island on a remote world. Their culture is an enigma, centered on every member’s commitment to a painful, fiery self-sacrifice upon reaching maturity. But one of their clan has shunned this obligation, triggering a transformation into a new, powerful life form. Answering the distress call of the U.S.S. Sagittarius—which has crashed on the planet following a fierce battle with the Klingons—Captain Atish Khatami and the crew of the Starship Endeavour must now attempt a rescue mission…even as they are locked in battle with the evolving, increasingly malevolent Tomol who, if allowed to escape their home world, pose an imminent threat to the entire galaxy!

My thoughts:

Among my favorite aspects of Star Trek: Vanguard were the dual crews of the U.S.S. Sagittarius and the U.S.S. Endeavour. The Sagittarius, a small Archer-class scout, was quite unlike any other Starfleet vessel seen on Trek before. The other, the Endeavour, was a little more familiar: a Constitution-class heavy cruiser like the Enterprise. The Endeavour takes center seat in this, the second of the Seekers novels.

The U.S.S. Endeavour is the focus of Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore's entries in the Seekers series.
There is a great deal to like about this novel. The writing team of Ward and Dilmore is back writing Trek together again for the first time since Vanguard: What Judgments Come back in 2011. Together they have crafted a solid second entry in this fledgling series, topping off an exciting story with a conclusion that is ultimately quite satisfying.

Much like the previous novel, one area in which this book excels is with the character work. The relationships between the characters are a joy to read, particularly the interplay between Dr. Leone and nearly every other character. Also a treat was the captain to captain relationship that developed between Captain Khatami of the Endeavour and the Klingon Captain Kang. The grudging respect that Kang initially shows towards Khatami evolves into a true recognition of her skill and honor as a ship master, and I loved Kang's comparisons of Khatami and Kirk.

The legendary Kang is the Klingon foil to Captain Atish Khatami in Seekers #2: Point of Divergence.
The pacing of the novel is quite good, and I found that I finished it quite quickly. It was a little slower than book one, but still a very engaging and a fun read. While the action sequences aren't quite as nail-biting as the ones in Mack's Second Nature, I still found the story very gripping.

I very much enjoyed the twist with regards to the nature of the Tomol and the role that both the Shedai and the Preservers played in their history. The end of the novel and the resolution to the Tomol crisis had a very Star Trek feel to it, in the best sense of the term. Throughout both books, the Changed among the Tomol have been set up as an implacable foe with no discernible reason governing their actions. However, the final resolution shows that even the most fearsome enemy can be reasoned with, and that there is no such thing as absolute evil. As I mentioned above, it is a very Star Trek ending.

Blink and you'll miss it:

On page 214, keep an eye out for a reference to Fight Club. It's not exactly subtle, but it was still a pretty cool reference to catch.

Final thoughts:

As usual, a very fun, well-paced outing from the team of Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore. With the conclusion of this two-part story, the Sagittarius and the Endeavour are ready to head out on their dual missions of exploration in the Taurus Reach. If this story is any indication, I am very much going to enjoy following these crews on their voyage into the unknown. More Seekers, please!

Further resources:

Also by Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore:

My next read:

Coming up: The new Deep Space Nine e-book novella by Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann: Lust's Latinum Lost (and Found)!