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Harbinger (Vanguard #1)

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  789 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
Returning from its historic first voyage to the edge of the galaxy, the damaged U.S.S. Enterprise journeys through the Taurus Reach, a vast and little-known region of space in which a new starbase has been unexpectedly established. Puzzled by the Federation's interest in an area so far from its borders and so near the xenophobic Tholian Assembly, Captain James T. Kirk orde ...more
Paperback, 388 pages
Published July 26th 2005 by Pocket Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,426)
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Aug 11, 2011 Rebecca rated it it was ok
Well David Mack, you've got something here, but it isn't a novel. Harbinger reads like a fantastic new Star Trek TV pilot. There's plenty to hook viewers - short, punchy scenes, loads of world-building, promising arcs, explosions! And who cares if the story doesn't really hold together. But for 300 pages of print, there are flat out too many original characters introduced to keep track of, let alone care about who is sleeping with whom. (And, yes, they are ALL having illicit affairs. Did I menti ...more
Jul 15, 2015 Alex rated it liked it
Shelves: star-trek
I have a bit of a fetish for tie-in novels. I don’t know why, I think that they’re the hardest thing to pull of successfully and generally say as much on every review I write of one. Yet I always get suckered in by the prospect of further adventures of … x character from TV show/movie of the moment. I’ve been a Star Trek:TNG and DS9 fan for as long as I can remember and recently added TOS to the list, so colour me suckered again when I read around some good reviews of this ambitious series, set ...more
Noah Soudrette
Dec 27, 2007 Noah Soudrette rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Trek fans, Original Series Fans, Those looking for Trek that's more adult
Shelves: star-trek
This is a really great start to what could be cool new series. Set during the original series era and on a starbase next to the Klingon-Tholian border, we follow a colorful cast of characters through the ups and downs of life on the frontier. Highlights include: Vulcan/Klingon lesbian sex, amazing starship combat, adultery, Kirk, etc. Great stuff.
Aug 16, 2014 Julija rated it it was amazing
Shelves: star-trek, queer-lit
I loved it! The one big problem that it has is that it's the first one in the series, and between establishing the places, setting and the characters (there are seriously so, so many) there's not much room left for any actual plot. Don't get me wrong, there's a ton of stuff that happens, but that's mostly just bits and pieces out of the character's lives (for example, one character cheats on his wife and tries to dispose of the evidence, another character's mother falls ill).

The Taurus Reach my
Sep 21, 2014 Steve rated it really liked it
An interesting tale, not centered on the Enterprise as most of the Star Trek fiction of this time, but still involving them. It spins an compelling story, managing to keep much of it hidden until I had a brainwave in the last half of the book as all of the pieces fell into place. There wasn't really a climax, but since this is book one of nine, I wasn't really expecting one. The epilogue sets things up nicely for the next book in the series.
May 16, 2015 Aron rated it it was amazing
Shelves: st-vanguard
This is a great start to what I think will probably be my favorite ST series. It read more like a pilot, establishing people, places & things. I read one review prior to reading this novel that described the Vanguard series as what Star Trek would be like if it were a series airing on HBO. That being said this novel sheds a little more light on the very harsh, very deadly reality of life on the final frontier surrounded by adversity. It's my opinion that David Mack is the best Star Trek writ ...more
George Kamana Hunter
Reading Mack is like sailing down a highway in a sleek limosine, filled to the glass with engaging characters. Then, you hit the potholes. The otherwise energetic writing is littered with cheesy cliches and tired expressions that I found to be distracting from the building tension. The ideas behind the series are creative. I finished the book feeling hungry for more answers and resolution, but its the kick-off to a series and is supposed to end with a stinger that makes you come back. The most i ...more
Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
»Harbinger« ist das erste Buch in einer StarTrek-Serie, die nur in der Welt der Lizenzromane existiert. Sie hat im StarTrek-Universum keine Entsprechung als Fernsehserie. Unter den StarTrek-Büchern gibt es mittlerweile mehrere solcher exklusiven Print-Serien.

David Mack schreibt mit »Harbinger« den Auftakt zur Romanserie «StarTrek: Vanguard». Vanguard heißt eine neu errichtete Raumstation der Föderation mit einer Besatzung aus Charakteren, denen wir sonst im StarTrek-Universum noch nicht begegnet
Sep 27, 2014 Pkelsay rated it really liked it
I picked this up because one of the authors I follow on Twitter mentioned it in terms of the positive treatment of people of color, and characters with various gender orientations. I haven't read Star Trek books before; I'm a fan but not a Fan.

David Mack makes the Kirk-centric Star Trek I am used to into a real, relatable universe with actual diversity. He has clearly put thought into what a modern Star Trek novel should be, in terms of social responsibility. Considering that Star Trek has alwa
Berin Kinsman
Jun 20, 2016 Berin Kinsman rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This is what I'd like to see in a new Star Trek series or movie -- an ensemble cast, set in an interesting sector of space, moving between a space station and various ships, with mostly original characters. It explored both Starfleet officers and civilians, really rounding out the universe. The first book in a series, so it contains obligatory appearances by the Enterprise crew, but a solid start.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 05, 2015 Trev rated it really liked it
An interesting first entry into the world of Vanguard.
Oddly, there is no major plot point of this book. Being book 1 there is a lot of character introductions and scene setting, there is a storyline but it seems very much like a build up to the main event. However, it still manages to clip past at a surprisingly quick rate and with regular chapter/segment breaks you will easily find yourself thinking "just one more page..." on several occasions.

I really liked the interaction between the civilian
Emmett Fikus
Jan 02, 2015 Emmett Fikus rated it liked it
A nice expansion to the Star Trek universe. Gives a detailed look at the everyday lives of a wide array of different characters throughout the Federation - doesn't just focus on one ship and one crew. Kirk and the Enterprise show up for a time, but I think the new characters are more interesting. It's well written, and clear, and once you start reading it's hard to put down. The only thing I didn't like was the chauvinistic tone used when describing some of the female Starfleet officers. The boo ...more
John Mosman
Feb 11, 2016 John Mosman rated it really liked it
I have been a fan of Star Trek since NBC put the show on in color in 1966. This seven book series is about Star Base 47 or Vanguard, the personnel on the base, the three ships assigned there and the tensions on the Taurus Reach. This are is unexplored by the Federation which borders the Klingons and Tholians. Kirk, a newish captain of the Enterprise is part of this opening book. To put the story within the Star Trek timeline, at the end of the book the Enterprise leaves for Earth to pick up thei ...more
Brian Turner
Oct 08, 2015 Brian Turner rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
A new Star Trek series, set in the early period of Kirk's command of the Enterprise.
The action focuses on Starbase 47, also known as Vanguard. Situated between Klingon & Tholian space, it's build was significantly fast-tracked by the UFP for reasons unknown.

It now houses a mix of alien races both as crew, civilians and tradespeople; imagine an early Deep Space Nine/Terok Nor.

It takes a while to get used to the new crew as they're introduced. The Enterprise makes a stop there which lets Kirk
Paul Kutscha
Aug 11, 2016 Paul Kutscha rated it liked it
This feels the exciting start to a book series, but the book itself was kind of lacking in anything happening. Too many characters were introduced without giving them much to do (yet).

The book does a lot (too much) to ground itself in the existing Trek canon by having the Enterprise show up. While this makes narrative sense and does a lot to ground the novel in an existing universe, it takes away time from the new characters that are being setup.

I want to read more in this series, however. I th
Herb Schaltegger
Sep 12, 2016 Herb Schaltegger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Best-Written Star Trek Novel I've Read in Decades

Okay, to be fair, it's the first ST novel I've read in decades, but that said, it compares well to the very best of Diane Duane, David Gerrold and DC Fontana ... Well-written characters with wonderfully-complex motives, good people, bad people and those of a delightfully gray moral complexion, good use of "Treknobabble" as appropriate and consistent with the canonical TV shows, and nice insight into life on the Federation's far frontier. Looking
Jonathan S. Harbour
Mar 29, 2016 Jonathan S. Harbour rated it really liked it
Shelves: series-sci-fi
This first book in the series develops the plot intentionally slowly in order to make room for many more "episodes", while ignoring some rather simple solutions to problems. Instead of allowing characters to resolve certain issues, personally and professionally, they are given vices to demonstrate why they are unable to cope or deal with challenges. While this may seem more realistic, it's not compelling science fiction, especially knowing that the author has no intention of concluding any plot ...more
Sep 13, 2015 Matt rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
After thoroughly enjoying the Star Trek movie I am looking to reconnect with my Star Trek roots, so I went looking for novels set in The Original Series (TOS) universe. The reviews on the Vanguard series were pretty stellar and the cover art was really cool. It shows the old school Enterprise flying toward a huge Starbase. Essentially, it looked like a pretty good re-entry point back into the Star Trek universe.

I soon discovered that this is really a set up story for the rest of the series. None
Feb 28, 2014 Barry rated it liked it
I'm not a fan of TOS set stories, if I'm honest, but I thought I'd give the Vanguard series a crack for a few reasons. The author, David Mack, has written some of my favourite Trek stories over the last years, it's an origin story regarding some of the plot points in later books (which I do like), and it's not a Kirk story. Except this is... (but only by way of introducing the Vanguard station).

The story starts just as the TOS episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before" has ended. Kirk is feeling gui
Feb 03, 2013 Andrew rated it it was amazing
Harbinger introduces Starbase 47 (known as Vanguard) and the Taurus Reach, a region of space desired by the Federation, the Tholian Assembly, and the Klingon Empire. The story revolves around the Federation trying to quietly execute their secret plan for the Taurus Reach, which proves difficult when unexpected losses occur. Only some of the closely-guarded secrets come to light in the novel. You can tell that there is more hidden that hasn't been disclosed to the reader.

A whole new set of charac
John Kirk
Oct 11, 2014 John Kirk rated it it was ok
Shelves: star-trek
In brief, I think that the concept is good (a TOS equivalent to DS9) but the execution is flawed.

They've put quite a lot of thought into this, and the book includes a fold-out section in the middle with diagrams of the space station (Vanguard, aka Starbase 47). There are also some ideas that I recognise from elsewhere, e.g. a monorail that runs around the station - according to the DS9 DVDs, this was one of their original plans before they decided to go with the standard turbolift approach. Ther
Joe Hempel
Jan 08, 2013 Joe Hempel rated it it was amazing
After reading the reviews of this book, I was actually shocked to find myself in the minority of loving it.

I think people are a bit too hard. When I read a Star Trek book, I have images in my head that liken to a TV Show, and because of that, the little mini climaxes that build on each other don't bother me. Nor do the myriad of characters thrown at you. And that's the other thing, people talk about how this would be a good pilot. Well guess what? It is a pilot! It's the first book in a series,
David King
Dec 23, 2013 David King rated it really liked it
“Harbinger” by David Mack is the first novel in the Vanguard series, a collection of novels set in the Star Trek Universe around the same time period as the Original Series. This series of novels does not utilise Enterprise or its regular crew beyond the odd cameo, instead it uses a whole new cast of characters and is set on Starbase 47 aka Vanguard.

Anyway, the events of this novel take placed just after the TOS Episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and features the Enterprise heading to Starba
David Brawley
Jun 06, 2011 David Brawley rated it really liked it
Shelves: paperbackswap, 2011
This is the first book in the Vanguard series. Set in the early days of the original series at the very beginning of Kirk’s command of the USS Enterprise this series focuses on Vanguard, a huge space station perched at the very edge of Federation territory in an area of space known as the Taurus Reach, located between the Klingon Empire and the Tholian Assembly.

As a means of introducing Vanguard and it’s crew to readers they bring the Enterprise limping into base after the events of the episode
May 17, 2010 Terence rated it liked it
Recommends it for: ST fans
Shelves: sf-fantasy, star-trek
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lindsay Stares
Jun 03, 2011 Lindsay Stares rated it it was ok
Premise: Plots, espionage and secrets ride just beneath the surface at Starbase 47, aka Vanguard. The plot contains mysterious artifacts, smugglers, gangsters, lovers and the opportune arrival of the Starship Enterprise. Set near the start of The Original Series.

I wanted to like this book a lot more than I actually liked it. The plot is very convoluted, without much of a solid through-line, and there were so many characters that it got a good way into the book before I could start to keep them s
Scott D.
Dec 18, 2014 Scott D. rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this, my first Star Trek novel for a long while.

The book takes place after the early TOS episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before". The crew of the Enterprise plays a role in the story, but not the central role. There are many characters being set up (I assume) for the rest of the story - this is Book 1 of 7.

The most interesting character was T'Prynn, a vulcan female troubled by a katra that refuses to leave her mind.

The book is not big idea stuff, but is an entertaining story in a comfor
Sean O'Hara
Mar 03, 2014 Sean O'Hara rated it liked it
So this is Trek-lit's attempt to do Deep Space 9 in the TOS era. But since there's no room in TOS for anything as massive as the Dominion War, the setting has to be pushed into a distant corner of the Federation and any long term consequences have to be covered up.

Also, there's a pretty big plot hole: (view spoiler)
Apr 30, 2012 Jimyanni rated it it was amazing
Shelves: star-trek
The Vanguard series is set during the Original Series time period, but with the original Enterprise characters being merely supporting cast; the setting for the series in on a Star Base (ala DS9) and the main characters are the denizens of that Starbase. This first book is set just after the original series' second pilot episode, "Where No Man Has Gone Before"; it asserts that this star base is the one at which the Enterprise was repaired after the damage it suffered in that episode. Plausible, ...more
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Star Trek Reads: Vanguard 9 46 May 14, 2015 03:35PM  
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David Mack is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty-five 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 o
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