Storming Heaven



Storming Heaven I WAS THERE UNTIL THE END, MATE THE BITTER, BLOODY END Vanguard Is Under Siege Surrounded By Enemies, Admiral Nogura Sends The Scout Ship Sagittarius To Find An Ancient Weapon That Might Be The Federation S Only Hope Of Stopping The Alien Threat Known As The Shedai Qo NoS Is Wracked By Scandal Councillor Gorkon Fights To Expose A Romulan Plot To Corrupt Members Of The Klingon High Council, Only To Learn The Hard Way That Crusaders Have Few Allies, And Even Fewer Friends Tholia Teeters On The Brink Of Madness To Prevent Starfleet From Wielding TheShedai S Power As Its Own, The Tholians Deploy An Armada With One Mission Kill The Shedai By Destroying Vanguard THE EPIC SAGA S EXPLOSIVE FINALE

  • Kindle Edition
  • 324 pages
  • Storming Heaven
  • David Mack
  • English
  • 28 August 2018

About the Author: David Mack

David Mack is the New York Times bestselling author ofthan thirty novels of science fiction, fantasy, and adventure, including the Star Trek Destiny and Cold Equations trilogies.Beyond novels, Mack s writing credits span several media, including television for produced episodes of Star Trek Deep Space Nine , film, and comic books.Follow him on Twitter davidalanmack or join his fans on Facebook.


10 thoughts on “Storming Heaven

  1. says:

    Storming Heaven is a reasonably satisfactory conclusion to the Star Trek Vanguard series, and as usual it s largely due to Mack s skill as a writer and his ability to weave a skein of disparate threads into a solid piece of cloth Not another Bayeux tapestry, perhaps, but definitely a well stitched T shirt that won t fall apart after a few rounds in the washing machine.I do have two problems with how the series worked out One is the relegation of Diego Reyes to a passive observer of even Storming Heaven is a reasonably satisfactory conclusion to the Star Trek Vanguard series, and as usual it s largely due to Mack s skill as a writer and his ability to weave a skein of disparate threads into a solid piece of cloth Not another Bayeux tapestry, perhaps, but definitely a well stitched T shirt that won t fall apart after a few rounds in the washing machine.I do have two problems with how the series worked out One is the relegation of Diego Reyes to a passive observer of events He was the most interesting and dynamic of the characters, and his absence sucked a lot of energy out of the story I hope Mack revisits Reyes career at some point in the future The second problem was the anticlimactic resolution of the Shedai view spoiler They were reduced to impotence and destroyed by the literal flick of a switch, and then only because the Federation lucked onto a piece of alien technology Deus ex machina ism at its worst In Harbinger, a handful of Shedai are enough of a threat to make Reyes invoke General Order 24 and sterilize an entire planet and every living thing on it, including his ex wife in order to stop them but in Storming Heaven, Ming Xiong traps the entire species in crystalline matrices and blows them up hide spoiler Any tension and excitement comes from the Tholian attack on Starbase 47 as they try to stop the Federation from awakening the Shedai and unleashing them on an unsuspecting galaxy Though they re undeveloped as yet, the Tholians are an example of a truly alien race not simply one with bumpy foreheads or funky noses In the context of their history, their xenophobia and murderous actions throughout the series are perfectly understandable, and could have been played up a bitto emphasize the tragedy of the situation.While Mack hasn t surpassed his achievement in the Star Trek Destiny series, I d still recommend this one for the dedicated Star Trek fan, and for any SF fan who wants to relax with a well written adventure that doesn t demand too much from the gray matter

  2. says:

    This is the final volume of the Star Trek Vanguard miniseries, which has taken quite some time to see its conclusion It s hard to believe that there were only eight main titles in the series, and that the story as a whole managed to remain relatively tight and self contained There s no doubt that this is the definitive ending to the saga, and it unspools at a blistering pace.I look back fondly on the Deep Space Nine Season 8 series of books, and when it was clear that the momentum of Season This is the final volume of the Star Trek Vanguard miniseries, which has taken quite some time to see its conclusion It s hard to believe that there were only eight main titles in the series, and that the story as a whole managed to remain relatively tight and self contained There s no doubt that this is the definitive ending to the saga, and it unspools at a blistering pace.I look back fondly on the Deep Space Nine Season 8 series of books, and when it was clear that the momentum of Season 9 was never going to be maintained, leaving a ton of unresolved plot threads, I was wary of any future long form plans from the Star Trek novel line Even New Frontier could end up being incomplete, at this rate So the notion of Vanguard as a concept was very intriguing That it was, tonally, Deep Space Nine in the time period of the Original Series only made it better This was dark, gritty Trek at its best.Because most of the characters were specific to this setting, and events took place on the periphery of the Federation, the writers were able to take chances with the main characters and change up the status quo in realistic ways Few characters were safe on any level, physical or otherwise, so there was never a sense that everything would simply work itself out That made this final novel all thethrilling choices had ever escalating consequences, and there was no reason to think the author would be pulling punches I was genuinely shocked over the fate of some of the characters I had grown to love.I also enjoyed how well this series fed into the existing continuity Since some of the characters from the Original Series films have been heavily featured in Vanguard, there was always a question of how they would end up in their future positions on the galactic board Not only did it make sense, but those interactions and situations were used as important plot points It works well in terms of placing these events in the larger context of that period of the timeline.Best of all, as mentioned above, the pace is relentless The book isn t particularly short, but there s an economy of words at work Very little time is wasted The result is a book that you don t want to put down, because there s no telling what might come next Even the climax of the series, in the final third of the book, seems to escalate at frightening speed.Of course, for those who haven t been reading Vanguard up to this point, this is not the place to start it s essential to start at the beginning And those who have been reading from the beginning don t need me to tell them to run out and pick this one up But for those who may have been sitting on the fence, waiting to see if it would have a good enough ending to justify giving the series a shot, rest assured this is one Star Trek saga that does not disappoint

  3. says:

    A seven year saga comes to an explosive end While Dave is known for his pyrotechnics and earns his nickname as the Angel of Death, there are many lovely, quiet moments here that can be overshadowed T Prynn with Spock and T Prynn with Cervantes Quinn are two such moments and they give the book heart The Enterprise scenes could have been somewhat better integrated and I don t entirely buy how they managed to entrap such powerful beings as the Shedai but those are quibbles compared with the scal A seven year saga comes to an explosive end While Dave is known for his pyrotechnics and earns his nickname as the Angel of Death, there are many lovely, quiet moments here that can be overshadowed T Prynn with Spock and T Prynn with Cervantes Quinn are two such moments and they give the book heart The Enterprise scenes could have been somewhat better integrated and I don t entirely buy how they managed to entrap such powerful beings as the Shedai but those are quibbles compared with the scale and scope of this series It ends in a most satisfactory way and I remain envious of the achievement

  4. says:

    4.75 I had a little problem with it, but that can be discussed in a longer review a stellar ending to the series Without a doubt the best installment And fixed an issue I d had with Vanguard since the beginning Nice one David Mack

  5. says:

    Vanguard concluded in exactly the way I wished it hadn t but expected it would It features a star studded deus ex machina, the most blatantly foreshadowed death in the history of the world, and a contrived excuse for none of this showing up in any other Star Trek series.That being said, I kind of liked this book It had some good character beats and certainly wrapped up all the disparate plot points But that s pretty much all it did The prose is some of the best in the series, but sometimes c Vanguard concluded in exactly the way I wished it hadn t but expected it would It features a star studded deus ex machina, the most blatantly foreshadowed death in the history of the world, and a contrived excuse for none of this showing up in any other Star Trek series.That being said, I kind of liked this book It had some good character beats and certainly wrapped up all the disparate plot points But that s pretty much all it did The prose is some of the best in the series, but sometimes comes off as a little too arrogant and unnecessary I m really kind of bummed to come away from this knowing it s one of thehighly acclaimed series in the Star Trek extended universe Since I was either lukewarm or disgusted by the books in Vanguard, it s sort of killed my optimism for enjoyingStar Trek books Likely, I ll readI just really like Star Trek And hey maybe one or two of em will impress me I don t really feel like gettingin depth with this review cause I don t think the subject matter warrants it It s thoroughly mediocre

  6. says:

    Amazing, amazing story David Mack has managed the almost impossible He has crafted a conclusion to an amazing series that is on par and in some ways even exceeds the quality of the build up Highly emotional ending to a series that has brought me great joy to read over the past couple of years.Full review Amazing, amazing story David Mack has managed the almost impossible He has crafted a conclusion to an amazing series that is on par and in some ways even exceeds the quality of the build up Highly emotional ending to a series that has brought me great joy to read over the past couple of years.Full review

  7. says:

    A tour de force planet killing one of a kind opus like no other VANGUARD ends as it began a breakneck pace, twists no one could predict, with characters that epitomize the finest Trek literature has to offer We are in David Mack s debt for bringing VANGUARD into our world Kudos to Mack and fellow scribes Dayton Ward and Kevin Dil and their co conspirator Marco Palmieri for their triumph.

  8. says:

    What a ride I ve enjoyed Vanguard every step of the way, from the beginning to the bitter, bloody end Kudos to David Mack, Dayton Ward, Kevin Dil and Marco Palmieri for this epic Star Trek literary saga It makes me look at the original series in a whole new light.

  9. says:

    An exciting finish to a fascinating series Oh wait Is there an epilogue of some kind on the way

  10. says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here So, this is it The end of the books only Trek series Vanguard Is it a worthy ending to this very ambitious project Storming Heaven suffers a bit from its many plotthreads which distract from the station and the Shedai which is unfortunate, given the premise of the series But let s again take it plotthread by plotthread and work our way through to the end diplomacyAfter the failed experiment of collaboration on Nimbus III none of the delegations were really capable of letting go of old So, this is it The end of the books only Trek series Vanguard Is it a worthy ending to this very ambitious project Storming Heaven suffers a bit from its many plotthreads which distract from the station and the Shedai which is unfortunate, given the premise of the series But let s again take it plotthread by plotthread and work our way through to the end diplomacyAfter the failed experiment of collaboration on Nimbus III none of the delegations were really capable of letting go of old customs, spying on each other and not comitting to the cause , Jetanien officially left the diplomatic circles and retired to Nimbus III unofficially to continue his backdoor diplomacy with the Klingons and Romulans, albeit now in secret.The Klingons and the Romulans have forged an alliance Romulan stealth technology against free passage for Romulan ships But some forces wantDuras, a member of the High Council, allies himselfclosely, wantingpower to eventually overthrow the Chancellor and his allies, amongst them Gorkon, which in turn would enable the Romulans to gaininfluence Gorkon asks for support in uncovering this conspiracy, Jetanien, enlisting Pennington s help comes to his aid.While this thread might have the most impact on the Star Trek we know Gorkon s rise to power, his attempt at forging peace, the Klingon Romulan alliance, Duras reach for the Empire , it still sits very apart from the rest of the events in this novel And frankly, in the final part of a series, I don t want too many different plotthreads unless they come together at the end Which this one unfortunately doesn t the Shedai, the Tholians and StarfleetThe end of the Shedai is a bit anticlimactic Instead of the huge final battle, the threat of the Shedai is virtually ended by capturing them all inof those Tkon devices that the Sagittarius collects in a covert mission, using the navigational data Reyes got from the Orion ship.This part felt rushed, honestly It builds upon the mission where Bridy Mac was killed and the Apostate showed her and Quinn the building map for a weapons array against the Shedai The array houses lots of those Myrdoniae devices, 2 of which were already used within the series Constructed correctly, the array can help discover Shedai, Shedai conduits and, due to the energy build up when all the devices are occupied by Shedai it can also be used to destroy planets.But first of all, the Sagittarius only gets about half the devices that were on that Eremar statite a remnant of a Dyson sphere but it says nowhere how that influences the array Secondly, there s no way to predict the consequences of actually using the array All experiments were done on 2 devices one of which they managed to destroy , but not on over 5000 linked together And still, they just use it And thirdly, why should a self destruct work on the Shedai who can move beyond what we can perceive And we are meant to believe that all Shedai just stand there and let themselves be hit by that explosion not even one had the presence of mind to just shift away It s one thing for them to converge on Xiong and take their revenge, it s quite another for them not to react.And then there s the Tholians who very conveniently get wind of the Tkon devices themselves just before the Orion ship blows up Also, that first attack by the Tholians on Eremar only seemed to be aimed at raising the danger level of the mission did anyone really believe the Sagittarius would fail at delivering the devices to Vanguard But then again, I guess, the book had to be stretched to its usual 350 pages, and certain plotparts needed an extra helping of suspense In my opinion it would have madesense if they had caught wind telepathically of the situation when the array was used to capture the Shedai then they could have assembled at their borders and, as was shown, launched their attack when the array was used again.What s most disturbing, but unfortunately quite consistent with the rest of this series, are Starfleet Command s orders They don t care about consequences, ethical questions their whole focus is on getting the edge over everyone else, no matter the cost This is quite a different Starfleet than the one we are used to, especially from the TV series where questionable decisions are rather the exception and not the rule.On the other hand, this is the Starfleet Command that eventually plays an important role in the demise of a foreign leaderBut it s not even so much the orders themselves, it s that even the people involved get so carried away that they don t question them Chain of Command is good and well and perhaps it s due to the fact that I never was part of a military organization that I have problems with this , but does being part of a chain of command preclude you from thinking for yourself From determining what s right and what s wrong Granted, there are innumerable shades of gray but experimenting on the Shedai, a living species Keeping them prisoner and using them for your own gain up to and including hurting the Tholians in the process Reyes reached his end of the line with issuing General Order 24 and killing innocent and ignorant civilians who he couldn t warn of the danger because of his orders back in Reap the Whirlwind, Desai wasn t much behind in Declassified how much further was Nogura willing to take it if not even the idea of using the Shedai prompted him to stand up for his beliefs Of course he has a point Had he granted Xiong s complaint, Starfleet Command would just have dismissed them and installed other officerswilling to cross the lines And of course, he was in an impossible situation On the other hand, given the time it took for him to come aboard after Reyes imprisonment, how long would it have taken here for a replacement to arrive at the station Granted, given that Starfleet Command has circumvented the chain of command on the station before see the botched attempt at Reyes extraction from the Orion ship , who knows what they would have ordered the station s security to do in this case But I guess I just wanted Nogura to stand up for what he knew what was right In fact, he argued Xiong s point to his superiors and was told that they were in fact at war just to turn around and refute Xiong s argument that at war prisoners have certain rightsHowever, it doesn t just stop with Nogura What about Xiong himself He was so keen on revealing the Shedais secrets and he couldn t wait to experiment on things he couldn t possibly understand, and later on he was so single minded on revenge because of Bridy Mac s death though it would have madesense if he had reacted like that to his real mistake in letting the Wanderer escape this one and its consequences have really been on him that he was willing to let himself be used to further Starfleet Command s ideas Only later too late did his good conscience reassert itself It can be argued that destroying any trace of the Shedai is just as much a crime as exploiting them for military purposes Of course, in this instance Xiong didn t have much choice but had there been no attack, and Nogura and Xiong been forced to, as they called it, pull the plug on the whole project, who determines that everything has to be destroyed, and consequently the whole universe deprived of a chance of peaceful exploration Granted, the Klingons and Romulans and all the other potentially adverserial races would have quite certainly explored military uses as well, but maybe there truely is a race out there that would have investigated the Shedai for historic purpose, out of scientific curiosity and not for some personal gain One can only hope that at some point we all grow beyond those petty interests and just seek knowledge for knowledge s sake.I think it is difficult to draw the line Many scientific breakthroughs have been made because of military advancement, many inventions have been used to hurt others, often it s hard for ethics to keep up with science Should anything be done just because it s possible Or is there a higher standard we should adhere to Or let s take this the other way around Should scientific advances be forbidden because they might be used in the wrong way in the future Star Trek s strength has always been to put a mirror in front of its audience And as uncomfortable as reading of this militaristic and aggressive Starfleet is, it also reflects modern society just think of those flimsy reasons to wage war in the Middle East back in the 2000s, or the pursuit of an arms race to put fear into your opponents.Another topic worth discussing is the distinction between Federation and Starfleet law Civilians on Vanguard don t fall under Federation law because Vanguard is not on Federation territory Therefore it s okay to commandeer civilian freighter ships for military operations or replace civilians in key positions and even dismiss them from the station entirely as done with Carol Marcus and her team who are shipped off to remote Regula 1 It s definitely small wonder that she s not keen on any kind of Starfleet interference in Star Trek II Any way, it s definitely a very fine and extremely gray line Starfleet is toeing here.Interestingly, the one reason for Operation Vanguard, the exploration of the meta genome was pretty much abandoned again, of course, we know that Marcus continues with her work if only Starfleet had known what military advantages the metagenome could have back at Vanguard, the torpedo would have been invented quite a bit earlier, I guess , but aside from the Shedai themselves it was this scientific issue that attracted me most to Vanguard, aside from the characters sidenotesAs with the first part of the finale, Storming Heaven s frame story takes place 2 years later with Pennington at Reyes doorstep on some remote island on Caldos II In What Judgments Come Reyes told his story, this one here is Pennington s And Reyes does get his happy ending since Pennington didn t find out about his whereabouts just for his own reasons I absolutely enjoyed this part in both books because it lends closure and the epilogue had some beautiful imagery with events and protagonists fading into the mist of time.Dr Fisher was the last of the Reyes confidants on the station, and he spent the whole book resigning and getting transport off the station This seemed awfully contrived and longwinded , especially the ending with his abandoning medical procedures in catastrophic events triage etc with predictable results.Vanguard always kept track of Enterprise s missions, tying it into the bigger picture And while Enterprise s appearance in Harbinger was welcome to send Vanguard off, I didn t appreciate it here, especially as Kirk once again swoops in and saves the day by driving off the Klingons, helping with the first Tholian attack and then again in the final battle I think to have Enterprise intervene diminishes the characters and ships that were so painstakingly established here as if they can t accomplish their mission without help by their famous if in universe still only in their first 5 year mission colleagues I did like Spock helping T Prynn recover the music within herself though, again, it should have occurred to her on her own that without Sten s katra, of course, she s a different person, reflected in her approach to music and the kind of music she chooses to playSpeaking of T Prynn, she continues on her road of redemption This time Quinn, who has absolutely hit rock bottom, benefits from her abilites in a mindmeld and in letting people disappear without a trace.I ve heard Vanguard being called the Battlestar Galactica of Star Trek I don t agree I rather liken it to Babylon 5 awakening ancient forces, experimenting with them, trying to use them Sounds a bit familiar, doesn t it I like to read while listening to music and somehow the random setting on my stereo always seems to find just the right score for what I m reading Like the soundtrack to Into Darkness during the Shedai capture, or LotR Two Towers during the siege of Vanguard Game of Thrones works just as well as soundtrack to this book series.This has become quite a long review because of the vast amount of plotthreads that come together here some could have been shortened or even dropped to the benefit of the bigger picture perhaps And that s perhaps my main point of criticism here and the reason why I m not 100% thrilled with it

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