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Precipice (Star Trek: Vanguard, #5)
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(Star Trek: Vanguard #5)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  445 ratings  ·  35 reviews
On a post-apocalyptic world in the Taurus Reach, undercover Starfleet Intelligence agent Cervantes Quinn finds an ancient Shedai conduit. Unfortunately, the Klingons have found it first and have sent an army to claim it.
Mass Market Paperback, 331 pages
Published December 2009 by Pocket Books
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4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  445 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Sep 25, 2011 rated it liked it
Not bad as far as Star Trek novels go I suppose. The plotline was well thought out and executed. Decent care was spent on the details of the characters. Sadly I am not a devoted Trekkie, so I am letting this book go. Only one note of worth, it held its own in the Star Trek universe without one of the headline characters from the Enterprise. That alone might snare any reader to pick up other books by this author. =)
May 15, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: star-trek, sf-fantasy
Precipice is Mack's third entry in the Vanguard series and it's a pretty good one but I fear that the series may be running out of steam or that Mack is getting lazy.

My primary piece of evidence for this assertion is the unbelievable change in the Cervantes Quinn character. Quinn began literary life as a 50+, overweight, slovenly, perpetually soused ne'er-do-well along the lines of a Cyrano Jones ("The Trouble with Tribbles") or Harry Mudd ("Mudd's Women," "I, Mudd"). He was never comic relief a
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Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
In typical David Mack fashion, the story in Precipice builds slowly in a chronological sequence of events. But after a while, the dates don't seem to matter much (at least to me).

Like Deep Space Nine, this book courses through multiple story arcs and a couple of interludes. But unlike his counterpart, Mack managed to keep things running at a pace that wouldn't bore you to bits and gradually tie everything together. Many of the scenes (especially towards the end) seemed tailor made for the big s
John Mosman
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
The story of the Vanguard space station continues. The peace in the Taurus Reach is still on a razors edge. The finding of and understand the Shedai technology goes on. Plots are moved forward, characters evolve and another fun Star Trek novel is finished. OK, I do love Star Trek!
John R. Goyer
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyable - several of the story lines are resolved, and in a satisfying way - and the ending is excellent. The drama intensifies and as good as this series has been, it seems to be getting even better - highly recommended.
Jul 10, 2017 rated it liked it
While I understood the need to move certain aspects of the plot along across a long stretch of time without getting bogged down into the weeds, it actually served to slow down the plot. Then again - it puts lots of pieces into motion for the last half of the series.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun one. Plenty of twists and plenty of action. So far I think episode 3 is the strongest but this one comes in a close second.
Nov 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek
Perhaps my expectations were unduly high after "Reap the Whirlwind", but "Precipice" seemed to skid along the same plateau traversed by "Open Secrets".

The Shedai plot seems stalled at the moment, with attention refocused on the Klingons after the events of the last installment. Try as I might, I found myself quickly losing interest in the "mysterious" Mirdonyae artefact and the game of ping-pong the Federation and Klingons were playing with it. Thankfully, Mack rarely disappoints with his charac
David King
Jan 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
“Precipice” by David Mack is the 5th novel in the Star Trek Vanguard series. As always with the Vanguard novels there are a several plotlines to follow but they all focus in some way around the Taurus Reach and the various interactions between the Federation, Klingons, Tholians and Shedai.

On the whole, this is another enjoyable episode in the Vanguard series of novels. Mack’s writing is competent and the pacing is much improved from what I noted in the previous novel, “Open Secrets”. In additio
Sep 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Phew, David Mack managed to sidestep some of the more egregious absurdities of the previous entry in the series. Precipice is certainly an enjoyable little pulpy space opera romp. The politics on the titular Federation station take a back seat to some exciting antics on a nearby planet. Mack also pared down the cast to the few characters that were truly interesting. There are still names I've read before that I don't remember or care about, but the main players get a lot done and it's fun the wh ...more
Jan 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: star-trek
This book would have been pretty good as a stand-alone or as the first of the series, but there are several points at which it fails gloriously to remain consistent with what has been established in the prior books of the series, mostly in terms of characterization. Cervantes Quinn as futuristic James Bond-style action hero? Please. Granted, there were hand-waving gestures made at rationalizing the change; he wasn't COMPLETELY incompetent in the last book, and the claim here is that he was previ ...more
Luke Sims-Jenkins
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: star-trek
The series is becoming so good I might need a break so I can have a life, otherwise I might miss my upcoming wedding!

Precipice the fifth book of the Vanguard series is different again, but still fast paced with enough mystery, action and plot threads to keep one interested. Sadly this series is becoming too hard to review since I don't want to give out any spoilers, but needless to say this is a worthy follow up to Open Secrets.

Some readers may find it strange about the development of one partic
Jan 28, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
5th book of the series: the overall plot is still going strong, but I'm still soft on some of the main personalities. Diego Reyes, I don't feel that I have a grasp on him like I do for most of the others.

I admit to feeling lost on the identity of the several Shedai personalities roaming about. I know that one or more is/are hunting some other(s), but I couldn't tell you which was which.

The morphing of Cervantes Quinn-- ne'er do well, tramp merchant-- into a guerrilla fighter, I could handle. His
Benjamin Plume
Mar 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, star-trek
I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as the other Vanguard books I've read to date. I'm not sure why.

It had probably the most action of any book in the series so far, and it was definitely more of a page-turner than, say, "Reap the Whirlwind." I think ultimately what took some of the edge off of this one, for me, was how neatly all the various plotlines tied together. It just didn't seem quite messy enough.

I still enjoyed it, and like most of David Mack's Star Trek work it was well-crafted and
Dec 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I've been loving the Vanguard series thus far ..... DS9 concept meets the Kirk days meets spy fiction meets scientific/medical inquiry (think Sector General series). This has been a great series and I'm disappointed it will be ending for me after just a few more books. While I'm sure it's "sequel series" (The Seekers series) will be just as fun and well-written ..... but I still don't want this fun to be over! The writers on this series have done a fantastic job ..... I just wish the "last book" ...more
Jan 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
I love the way the writers and editors behind the Vanguard books managed to fit a suspenseful space opera full of entertaining new characters into a corner of the established Star Trek universe - relatives of the Tholians, where Project Genesis gets its start ... The writing is skillful, and the many characters all are vivid, even the ones who are just on the page briefly. The story continues to build in interesting new ways, and I'm looking forward to finding out what happens next.
Still going strong!

I feel awful that it took me several months to continue with the Vanguard series, but it was like coming home once I did. I'm telling you all that this isn't just a great Star Trek book series, it is also great sci fi! I doubt we'll ever see it, but I would love to see this made into a TV or movie series. Honestly, just read these books.
Robert Soroky
Feb 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Started slow, and had just a few too many nods/references to Star Wars and Blade Runner (specifically dialog and creature names), which were a major distraction. Fortunately, the story kicks into high gear by the final third of the book, and finishes with a bang! Overall, it's been a terrific series thus far...
Jan 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Excellent, excellent, excellent! The high quality of the Vanguard saga is maintained. A lot of setup that I can't wait to see finally pay off.

Full review:
Feb 18, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: star-trek
Still a great series, I love all the politics between the Federation/Tholians/Klingons & I still love T'Prynn despite not entirely believing that pennington would just tag along with her for a whole year doing -letsfaceitnothing-.

A bit boring compared to the previous books but still good.
Aug 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Lots of action in this installment with a few surprises. Also, there was very little recall of events from the previous titles. I liked that. Not much in furthering character development occurred. The next in the series is the novellas which may fill in some of the blanks.
Jul 27, 2011 added it
This series just keep getting better. The characters introduced in the first book, whom you thought were stereotypical Starfleet heroes, have become pseudo-criminals, and fugitives from justice! This is definitely the best book in the series so far.
Marc Mason
May 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
The VANGUARD series continues to impress, as literally just about anything can happen in this edge of the Trek universe. David Mack proves that he is the absolute best Trek writer working today- period- with this latest entry in the series.
Evan Wood
Oct 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: star-trek
Best book of the series so far!
Jul 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: scifi
Dull, wooden and dreary, almost svaed by a few good plot ideas. The writing style is utterly repetitive and uninspired.
Christopher Backa
Jul 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The excellent vanguard story continues in book 5, it wraps some character arcs , and continues to explore the mystery of the Taurus reach
Duane Ballenger
Aug 30, 2011 rated it really liked it

I'll miss this series when it ends. Love the characters and the time period of this Trek series.
Brian Stuhr
Feb 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: star-trek
Seriously, David Mark is this generation's Peter David... Read ALL of this series!
Debbie A Seaborn
Oct 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
love Star Trek but this is the first book i have read. enjoyed very much and good story. Would search out some more of David Mack's stories.
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David Mack is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 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 Fac

Other books in the series

Star Trek: Vanguard (9 books)
  • Harbinger (Star Trek: Vanguard, #1)
  • Summon the Thunder (Star Trek: Vanguard, #2)
  • Reap the Whirlwind (Star Trek: Vanguard, #3)
  • Open Secrets (Star Trek: Vanguard, #4)
  • Declassified (Star Trek: Vanguard, #6)
  • What Judgments Come (Star Trek: Vanguard, #7)
  • Storming Heaven (Star Trek: Vanguard, #8)
  • In Tempest's Wake (Star Trek: Vanguard, #9)