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Open Secrets Library Binding – Apr 28 2009

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--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Library Binding: 384 pages
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439578567
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439578568
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 10.4 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g

Product Description

About the Author

Dayton Ward served for eleven years in the U.S. Marine Corps before discovering the private sector and the piles of cash to be made there as a software engineer. He got his start in professional writing by placing stories in each of Pocket Books’ first three Star Trek: Strange New Worlds anthologies. He is the author of dozens of Star Trek novels, many written in collaboration with coauthor Kevin Dilmore. He recently penned a tie-in to the cult classic television series The 4400, and is currently at work on a new Star Trek novel to be released in Fall 2010.


Though he currently lives in Kansas City with his wife, Michi, he is a Florida native and still maintains a torrid long-distance romance with his beloved Tampa Bay Buccaneers.


Readers interested in contacting Dayton or learning more about his writing, or who simply need proof that their website is cooler and better looking, are encouraged to venture to his Internet cobweb collection at --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 31 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Too Long to Wait! May 11 2009
By George Wood - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Vanguard series is a great concept, set in the same time frame as James Kirk and the original Star Trek, it's about a star base in the distant Taurus Reach, and its secret project, searching for the mysterious Shedai who once dominated the region, and trying to understand the unfathomable technology they left behind.

In this the fourth book in the series, the station's commander, Commodore Diego Reyes, stands accused of violating his orders by allowing the secrets of the station and its mission to be leaked to the media. The whole mission grows far more dangerous as Klingons enter the area, hoping to harness Shedai technology as weapons. In the background the nearby Tholians, once slaves to the Shedai, remain hostile, and powerful remnants of the Shedai have awakened.

A parallel story takes us to Vulcan, where there are ancient mysteries in the desert and a tie-in to Spock and an episode of the original Star Trek.

The nice thing about this volume in particular is that it brings in other elements from this time frame in the original series. The prologue and epilogue refer to Kirk's confrontation with Klingons and the peace imposed by the Organians. And one of the main researchers on the station is Dr. Carol Marcus, with her son by Kirk, David, still a child, but grown up in the film "The Wrath of Khan".

On the other hand one of the frustrating elements about placing a series of different adventures in a familiar time frame is the problem of where did it all go? There's very little here that shows up in other Star Trek, which makes sense because those stories were written first. But if the secrets of the Taurus Reach are so amazing, and the technology Carol Marcus is dealing with has such ability to change science, why are there no traces of it, no references to it, in the later Star Trek time frame? Apparently less than century later the mighty and dangerous Taurus Reach has become a backwater, too familiar and too tame to mention.

It's very possible that what Carol Marcus learns on Vanguard turns into the Genesis Project of "The Wrath of Khan". The Cestus III outpost mentioned in passing here, site of the original series confrontation between the Gorn and James Kirk, has in the time frame of "Deep Space Nine" turned into the only place in the galaxy where baseball is still played. But where's the rest of it? Were all the adventures we are reading about here for naught?

The other frustrating element is the enormous length of time between the publication dates of the books in the series. The previous volume was published almost two years before this book. When you have to wait that long, it's hard to keep track of who is who and what has happened, no matter how hard the author tries to fill in the missing information.

Fortunately the wait for the next volume won't be quite so long, as it's due out about half a year after this one. But one does wish Pocket Books could bunch up such an excellent series a little more, especially when each volume has such a cliff-hanger ending.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Unexpectedly strong follow-up May 6 2009
By Hobgoblin - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I had doubts this series could produce an adequate follow-up to the cataclysmic events of "Reap the Whirlwind". That book seemingly resolved major threads and left the lives of major characters forever altered. If the series had stopped there it would have made a nice trilogy. How do you keep the momentum going when it seems you've blown the wad? Somehow, Dayton Ward delivers. As the Federation and Klingon Empire hurtle towards war, Diego Reyes stands trial, T'Prynn fights for her life, and the puzzle of the Taurus Reach gets even more complicated. I won't spoil anything, but if you've read the earlier books this one is a must read.

Those who suffered through Ward's last Vanguard outing (Book 2: "Summon the Thunder") likely remember an exciting tale marred by sloppy writing. What a great surprise to find the writing this time out is solid and tight, 100% improvement. There's still a habit of mixing too much exposition with the dialog. But while this was mind numbing in StT, it works a lot better here. It's also worth mentioning that the reams of bad Trekno-quips that littered StT are absent this time. Thanks Dayton.

If you're new to Vanguard I'd recommend starting with the 1st book, David Mack's excellent "Harbinger". There's enough backstory provided in OS that you could jump right in here, but you'll definitely miss out on some of this books emotional impact.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
All set-up for the next book, doesn't stand on its own Sept. 2 2009
By Jonathan D. Polk - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Dayton Ward ties up the loose ends left over from Reap the Whirlwind in the latest novel in the Vanguard series, Open Secrets. Commodore Reyes was arrested at the end of the previous book for allowing classified information to be disseminated by a reporter, and we get the fallout from that decision here. T'Prynn, intelligence officer who had a mental breakdown, suffers her malady and, of course, eventually recovers. The saga of the Shedai artifacts and the search for information continues as well. But unfortunately, this is about all Ward does.

Rather than recap all the action, I'll just say that if you are interested in Vanguard then this is worth reading. It's not a bad novel; it just doesn't stand on its own at all. What new material there is seems only prelude for David Mack's Precipice, which will continue the series later this year.

One of the interesting aspects of the series is the way that Shedai technology and the meta-genome are precursors to later events with which readers are already familiar. For example, a man is completely healed much like would happen with a dermal regenerator in TNG. Carol Marcus's very appearance lets us know that this will be an avenue to Genesis, at least to some extent. And Ward helps set the stage for not only the Organian intervention into a Federation/Klingon war shown in the episode `Errand of Mercy,' but also the colony of Nimbus III shown in one of the movies, Final Frontier I believe. Yet rather than this sort of thing being secondary to the story, it seems that Open Secrets is an exercise in reconciliation as story.

The novel also suffers from time lapse between its publication and its predecessor's. Frankly, I had a hard time remembering what happened, even with a short primer at the novel's beginning. It is always a delicate balance between killing a previous reader with unnecessary exposition and helping an unfamiliar or forgetful reader gain some sort of orientation, but I felt Ward erred on the side of too little here. While I have seen his prose style being ripped in reviews, I found it adequate if uninspired. The author likely would be served well by spending a little more time on style, but it was hardly sub-average for contemporary Star Trek fiction.

And with the title of the novel being Open Secrets, one would expect that some secrets would be revealed. Unfortunately, what is revealed leaves the reader with more questions than answers. A novel that seems to just be dealing with the fallout of the previous entry while moving characters around to set them in place for the next, Ward's book is adequate though unsatisfying.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
satisfying Dec 13 2010
By Haseeb - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It has been a while since I last read the previous installment of Vanguard so I had to do some reviewing of who the characters were. It didn't take long for me to come back up to speed on who the characters and players were and the politics given the way the book was written. Much of this installment focuses on the plight of disgraced starbase captain, Diego Reyes. Quite a lot of space in the book was taken up talking about his legal battle. I would have liked for the book to get more into the intrigue of the Taurus Reach, the mysterious artifact and the going ons of outlaw Ganz. I don't quite understand how the so-called "wanderer" fits into the whole scheme of things... it seems like it was pulled out from left field. Maybe I don't quite understand it because of my waning interest in this series and I have to concentrate more heavily, but it does seem out of place.
The ante is raised yet again. April 28 2011
By Matthias Russell - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Interesting crossover with the events on Organia at the beginning and conclusion, I enjoyed the tie-in and that books 3 and 4 shed light into the level of hostiles between the UFP and Klingons in that episode.

Ward sets up the new CO, Nogura, nicely, setting the stage for a new tough lead character from the very beginning. I want Reyes back but I am so enthused with Nogura's opening behavior that it helps me accept the change. I was also thankful for the added development of Zett's character as I find him as fascinating as Ganz. I laughed heartily when Nogura is told the Klingons are angry and his response is, "The Klingons are angry? Make a note of that. I'd like an update on the station's water supply. Is it still wet?"

Rana Desai has been well described and characterized by both Ward and Mack. She is so sexy and loyal that I can't help but find her attractive. She is one of the best scratch-made female characters in Trek novels.

Reyes' courtroom speech was one of the most powerful I've read in judicial drama (though I usually don't enjoy judicial dramas). It made you really think about what is more important- the letter of the law or the intent/spirit of the law. "I swore an oath to defend Federation citizens and that duty comes before any other rule or regulation. If that's changed, for whatever reason, then I'm in the wrong business."

It was funny how in the acknowledgments Ward "thanks David Mack for leaving so much to work with after the series' third book, Reap the Whirlwind. Here's hoping I returned the favor." He certainly did. This is only the third Dayton Ward book I've read after Typhon Pact 4 and Vanguard 2. I wasn't sure about him at first, but this book has concreted him as a good Trek author for me as I've come to highly value his style.

I am charged for more Vanguard! Can't wait for Book 5 and the new releases.