Pocket Books, out now
A routine day in the Taurus Reach… i.e. unexpected invasions, new races and a whole new set of problems for the crew of the USS Endeavour…
The fourth of the Seekers books maintains the series’ tradition of solid characterisation, fast-paced action sequences and intriguing questions, as an apparently unprovoked attack on a planet throws up a set of moral quandaries – particularly with regard to the definition of slavery. It’s interesting coming to this shortly after reading Ben H. Winters’ recent Underground Airlines (set on a parallel of our world where slavery wasn’t abolished in the 19th century in the US), with some of the same debates in terms of the way that people treat others of equal intelligence. The novel also tackles questions of the morality of survival – is there a time when one person’s right to survive is more important than another’s to live their lives the way they want to? – as well as touching on elements of Stockholm Syndrome.
Ward and Dilmore tell their story on multiple fronts, switching perspective regularly so that those who want their fix of space adventure get it, while those who prefer the greyer areas of debate are well-served. If you’ve not followed this particular thread in the Star Trek universe before (and if not, why not? Go and read Vanguard book 1 now!) you won’t feel lost – the authors provide plenty of backstory where required.
Verdict: Another fine entry in the series. 8/10