Monday, October 1, 2012

October 2012: "In Tempest's Wake"

The U.S.S. Enterprise and other starships that participated in the final battle in the Taurus Reach have been remanded to a remote starbase. While evacuees from the station are processed and the ships repaired, restocked, and re-staffed as needed, Captain James T. Kirk is ordered to report to Admiral Heihachiro Nogura, Starbase 47’s second and final commanding officer. Through flashbacks intercut with the ongoing conversation between Kirk and Nogura, the Enterprise’s involvement in the last days of Operation Vanguard—and the conflict between Starfleet and Tholian forces at Starbase 47—is now told from the perspective of Kirk and his crew.

by Dayton Ward
eBook - 100 pages
Pocket Star Books - October 2012 - $3.79


While awaiting repairs to the Enterprise, Captain Kirk takes some time to compare notes with Admiral Nogura in a novella that bridges the events surrounding the Shedai mega-genome with both Kirk's future career and the evolution of Federation relations in the late twenty-fourth century.


Author Dayton Ward provides this final installment in the Vanguard series, but, to be honest, the book's examination isn't the part that's worth reading: it's the personal interplay between Kirk and Nogura that keeps the story alive in the reader's mind. "In Tempest's Wake" may well have worked better as the transcribed record of their meetings after the conclusion of the Vanguard project than in its present format, which generally alternates between flashbacks and the present day. The one flashback section that is most welcomed is a portion in which Kirk ruminates on his immanent demise while trapped in interphase - essentially constituting a deleted scene from "The Tholian Web". It works well, and ties that episode more tightly into Vanguard's continuity.
Ward examines Kirk's interphase thoughts.

Coming in at one hundred pages, it's a fast read, and while it is engaging enough, I doubt it will be going on my 'best-of' list. A serviceable story, well told, with some great development for Nogura. In fact, for me personally, it was the first time I had a clear image in mind of Nogura's look - that of actor James Shigeta (who plays Nogura in the forthcoming fan film "Yorktown: A Time to Heal"). It's obviously not a 'canonical' reveal, but it enhanced my enjoyment of the story. I grew up watching Shigeta play the role of Japanese admiral Chuichi Nagumo in "Midway", so porting him into Nogura's shoes isn't a stretch. I asked Ward who he saw in the role of the future Starfleet chief, and he cited Japanese-born Oscar and Tony nominee Mako Iwamatsu.

Pick your Nogura: DC Comics version, Mako Iwamatsu, or James Shigeta.
"In Tempest's Wake" is an interesting enough little diversion, but not essential reading by any means.

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