Star Trek – Harbinger by David Mack is a prequel series to the Original Star Trek tv show, called the Vanguard series since all the action involves Vanguard Station. Vanguard Station is Starfleet’s furthermost station in the Federation, the station is in-between two enemies the Klingons and the Tholians and also a warp lane to the new frontier. This story is full of political intrigue and introduces a lot of characters. This is a ensemble story about corruption the USS Enterprise plays a part of it but can’t say it is the main focus. I know this will disappoint some seeing Kirk and Spock as part of an ensemble than the leads. I did not mind it and liked the new characters that all have their own agendas. The Vanguard series is 9 books and this first one set up a lot, of characters and a lot of conflict some that was resolved and some to come. Since this book has so many characters the only crew members of the USS Enterprise that we have any interaction with are Kirk, Spock, Uhura, and Scotty ( the book does mention that the new doctor McCoy will join them soon, all other crew members are not mentioned). I was happy to see a new female character that is a total bad ass and is the root of a lot of conflict. The novel has two LGTBQ characters, I like what it adds to both characters who are both from different alien races. I liked a majority of the story lines for new characters and how they intertwined with others, the plot was complex and made me read a couple things over, but overall I was entertained and want to read the next novel.
The Plot: In 2263 a Starfleet ship makes a discovery of a possible new species with an incredible DNA make up as they’re headed home. Just two years later the Vanguard Space Station is built near the discovery. The discovery has been made secret as Starfleet has setup the space station as a peace deterrent between two species The Klingon and The Tholians, but really the station was set up so the federation can research and keep the two species from finding and using it. The USS Enterprise has just docked at the station, and already is indirectly involved in the cover up, will Kirk and Spock realize they are pawns in this game of chess?
What I Liked: I like the political intrigue, it was written really well and I feel I got all sides of it, Starfllets side, the Underworld’s side, Klinglon’s Side, Tholian’s side, and the scientist’s side. There was a really clever plot twist that I did not see coming that kind blew me away. Of the non USS Enterprise side charcter’s I loved the journalist Tim Pennington (which this character is supposed to be who the school on Deep Space Nine was named after) and I loved the Vulcan T’Prynn who is one of the strongest new character’s to this series. For the brief LGTBQ storyline I liked how it was two different alien races and we get them to think how are they going to be accepted by their race. The cast is very international and inner species.
What I Disliked: We didn’t get enough of Uhura she has one scene that was almost all exposition, she deserves better than that. The dialogue was stale in some places, mainly when character use idioms, and there far too many idioms used in this novel.
Recommendation: I recommend you check this novel out. I think it is a good intro to the Star Trek novel universe, since it does not focus on solely on the Star Trek crew. I think people that just want to have a Kirk and Spock adventure might be a little disappointed, but when Scotty, Kirk and Spock make an appearance it is a good time. I thought this story was a good mix of both Chris Pine and William Shatner’s Kirk, wile Spock was all Leonard Nimoy. I rated Star Trek – Harbinger by David Mack 4 out of 5 stars.